Winter weather is on the move across Canada, blanketing our roads and homes with snow and ice. Your internet connection can deal with average winter conditions, but severe weather can slow down or even shut down your internet connection. Here are some ways in which bad winter weather might impact your DSL or cable internet speeds, and some suggestions for what you can do about it.
High winds, heavy snow, ice build-up, and ground heaves due to freezing and thawing can take out power lines, damage connection points between your internet provider and your home, and stress cables, causing your connection to be slow or even be dropped if lines are damaged or broken.
(Remember: never touch exposed wires or cables as they could be live. Always call your local utility company to report downed power lines.)
What can you do about a slow or nonexistent internet connection?
At Worldline, we know it’s frustrating when your internet connection is not all that you want it to be. If you don’t see a blizzard raging outside, start with the easy things: check all the connections inside your house to make sure no cables or connection points have accidentally been pulled out or damaged.
It’s become a cliché to say “turn it off and turn it on again” in relation to any tech issue, but it is still a viable option. Turn off your router (make sure to warn everyone in the home first!), wait a few seconds, and turn it back on again; you’d be amazed how many times that works.
Next, check and see just how many people in your home are using the internet. If you have a combination of gamers and movie and music streamers, your internet connection speed will likely suffer no matter what the weather is doing. Consider upgrading your internet package to accommodate more users or encourage everyone in the house to watch a movie or play a game together.
Your next step is to take a walk outdoors and check your termination box. This is the point where the cables enter your home from the outside. Wear and tear, snow and ice buildup, or moisture on any exposed wires can cause lines to short out. Make it a priority once or twice a year to check your termination box for any damage and be sure to contact your internet provider if you think there’s a problem with it.
Still having issues with your internet connection?
One thing to bear in mind during cold weather is that if YOU want to be inside where it’s warm, your neighbours probably do too. Heavy internet usage in the neighbourhood can mean poor connection and download speeds for everyone. Have a bit of patience, and consider hosting friends from the neighbourhood to enjoy a movie or game night together while cutting down on competing internet usage.
It’s also worth remembering that good weather in your neighbourhood doesn’t mean there isn’t a storm somewhere else that’s impacting connection points to your home. Check local weather reports as well as utility and internet provider sites to see if there’s a problem somewhere. Again, patience is really the only answer here as you wait for the storm to blow over.
And for Worldline customers, if your problems aren’t blowing over with the weather, you can always give us a call and we’ll do what we can to help.
Stay warm and stay safe this winter, friends!