You’re watching your favourite show then suddenly the rain falls hard and your streaming starts to lag… it’s pretty annoying, isn’t it? Then the first thing that comes into your mind is, “it must be the weather.” Well, it may or may not be. But in most instances, yes, the weather does have some effect on our internet connection.
The weather can definitely affect the internet in many ways, especially since some types of connections are more vulnerable than others. It could cause physical damage or wireless signal interference. Sometimes the damage can be so bad that it could cut the entire connection.
How can weather affect our internet connection? Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of weather we believe to be culprits of this problem.
Light to moderate rain normally does little damage to our internet. But heavy downpour may cause physical damage to cables especially if the infrastructure is old. ADSL types of connections are vulnerable to this type of problem, and although a lot of Australians have already switched to nbn connection, some types of nbn technologies still run through pre-existing copper wires, such as the Fibre-to-the-Node.
Storms, on the other hand, can cause serious damage. It can knock down power lines or even uproot trees. So you can guess what kind of damage it can bring to our internet connection once it comes through.
The cold temperature, moisture, and water from rain also brings damage. It can expand or contract the ground, affecting the actual physical cables that are transporting your internet to you. Also, much of internet cabling is underground, so if there is flooding due to heavy rains, water or moisture can get into the cables or connectors. This may cause an electrical short-circuit or simply interfere or block the signals. High humidity can also greatly affect the wireless signals which causes slow internet speeds.
Wind does not really affect the internet unless it’s strong enough to knock over a tower or destroy power lines that supply your signal. Usually, those that are truly affected by winds are those using satellites or antennas, as winds may tend to bend, knock-over, or break them. However, strong wind coupled with heavy storms, or perhaps a tornado, without a doubt is definitely devastating.
A heavy snowfall can definitely affect internet connections, as snow may pile up on power lines and bend or break them, that’s why during extremely cold weather conditions, you may notice a slowdown on internet speeds. However, satellite internet can have a bit more trouble during snow, as it can be blocked or broken when snow piles on it.
Heat waves during summer may not directly affect the internet signal, but it affects the equipment that sends or shares the signal. Common issues during heat waves are blackouts or brownouts caused by overloaded electricity grids.
Since electricity is what powers the communication towers, systems equipment, and your home wireless broadband equipment, then power outages will definitely affect your internet usage. High tech operating systems are also complex and when they are unexpectedly shut off, it will have to go through a sequence of standard procedures.
When the equipment starts back up, the signal may still be weak and unstable, and you may have to wait until all systems are running smoothly again. During extreme heat, the network equipment may also overheat and affect your internet connection.
So if there are any changes in weather, brace yourself. Not all internet users may be affected by weather conditions, but before you start nagging to your ISP, perhaps you may want to evaluate first the severity of the weather. It may also be a great time to stay off of your gadgets and bond with your family.
Also Read: Why Do We Need High-Speed Internet?