The Detroit Post
Thursday, 28 October, 2021

Do Weather Affect Internet Connection

author
Brent Mccoy
• Monday, 02 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Satellite internet, TV, and cell phone signals can go down during heavy rainstorms. Bad weather can cause internet outages in several ways: the weather event can interfere with the signal (such as heavy rain preventing a steady satellite signal from reaching your home), or it can cause infrastructure failures that cause internet outages (such as cable lines cracking during a prolonged freeze).

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(Source: apkpure.com)

Contents

If you trace the path that data travels, you’ll see a line going from your home to a satellite thousands of miles away and then back again. During this journey, bad weather can weaken, block, or deflect the satellite signal.

Satellite signals are transmitted via radio waves, which travel best through open air but can get deflected or dispersed when they pass through water, buildings, and heavy foliage. This is why satellite signals weaken during weather conditions like rain, snow, and even dust storms.

Although highly weather resistant to most types of storms, satellite dishes can be damaged during extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes, which can damage the equipment or push it out of alignment. Currently, there are two residential satellite internet providers to choose from in the United States: Viasat and HughesNet.

Although both these satellite internet providers operate over Hatband wavelengths, they differ somewhat on what they tell their customers to expect during bad weather. 1 Viasat, on the other hand, states that internet service usually won’t be interrupted by cloud cover, light rain, or snow.

Viasat does inform customers that severe storms can cause a temporary loss of service. Cable, fiber, fixed-wireless, and DSL internet outages can occur anywhere during severe weather conditions or even due to construction.

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But while satellite internet signal loss is more likely to occur due to rain or other weather conditions interfering with the signal itself, other types of internet outages usually happen because of equipment and infrastructure failure during storms. Snow storms can freeze and crack cables, or lines can accidentally get cut during construction or landscaping.

3,4,5 Luckily, these events are rare, but they still cause internet outages occasionally. For instance, in Kansas City, Google Fiber service went out during the winter of 2019 for more than two weeks due to a snowstorm that dropped up to 12 inches of snow in two days.

Additionally, at the beginning of the 2020 school year, the Google Fiber network in Austin, Texas, became overloaded and interrupted remote learning. Raindrops have the biggest effect on cell phone signals since water in its liquid form is the densest (and most difficult for radio waves to travel through).

12 But fog, snow, and even hot, humid weather can interfere or weaken your mobile phone signal. Trees and foliage are high in moisture content and can also block or weaken a mobile signal.

In general, weather doesn’t affect the strength of the Wi-Fi signal from your router to your device (barring some slight interference during high humidity). For example, if your satellite internet signal goes out during a thunderstorm, your home Wi-Fi network will also fail.

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Plugging your computer directly into the modem with an Ethernet cable wouldn’t solve the problem either. Some types of weather can damage outdoor satellite equipment or move the dish out of position (such as hurricane force winds, tornadoes, hail storms, and heavy blizzards).

Be aware that satellite equipment damage due to severe weather (such as hurricanes or tornadoes) is usually not covered under your internet company’s warranty. You can also report an outage to DownDetector, which can give you additional information about how widespread the issue is.

School, Ben, Kansas City Snowstorm Takes Down Google Fiber, Some Customers without Internet for Over Two Weeks,” January 2019. Knight, Drew, Google Fiber Outages Reported Across Austin as Some Try to Teach Remotely,” September 2020.

On a rainy day when you can’t play outside, you might try to stream movies but sometimes your connection seems just as bogged down by the poor weather as you are. If you’re concerned that poor weather is negatively affecting your internet, read this before calling a service professional.

When more people are stuck at home, they are more likely to be online, entertaining themselves by surfing, streaming and gaming. “Physical damage to Wi-Fi conduits and an overflow of users are offshoot causes of weather -related Wi-Fi problems,” according to Bustle.

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On the other hand, high temperatures can cause your equipment (e.g. router, modem) to overheat. Stronger weather conditions, like high winds, heavy snowfalls and other large storms can cause greater physical damage to your internet system.

Trees can fall onto power lines, debris can knock over satellite dishes and floodwaters can seep into electrical systems. Expert tip: Distance from your router can be another culprit for slow download speeds.

If the sky looks gloomy or there’s snow on the ground, you may want to go upstairs to your bedroom to read a blog or head down to the den to stream shows and movies. Do try resetting your router and/or modem, or unplug them and wait for a moment before plugging them back in.

If you see any downed power lines, debris in your satellite dish or other technical problems, contact a technician. Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet -TV providers to inform her writing on broadband.

Most urban American users have some kind of broadband Internet, typically an ADSL or cable connection. ADSL connections are offered by telecommunications providers and use high-end frequencies on regular phone lines to carry digital information.

It’s also possible for copper wires to short out if they’re frayed or broken due to extreme heat or cold. If no one is willing to venture outside, it’s a safe bet many are holed up in their homes and apartments, trying to watch movies, play games, or download music on the Internet.

If there are high winds, torrential downpours, even ice, then it’s likely your internet connection will suffer as a result. This is because severe weather conditions can harm internet cabling by damaging utility poles.

Even if your area uses underground cabling, extremely low temperatures can cause the wires to tear. If your router is in your living room, but you want to spend your rainy day curled up in bed, then the extra distance could result in a lower signal strength.

Nowadays, the most common use of Wi-Fi is through wireless routers in houses or offices. As a result, such form of Wi-Fi signals are not affected by adverse weather conditions.

However, temperature and humidity are two weather conditions that might affect your indoor Wi-Fi signal. Because, the radio frequencies are absorbed and partially blocked by rain droplets.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, temperature is one of the weather conditions that affect both indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi signals. As most Wi-Fi routers are shot range equipment, your wireless connection won’t be affected drastically.

On the other hand, extreme humidity condition would affect long range Wi-Fi systems greatly. So, electrical storms are likely to affect Wi-Fi signals in case of outdoor connections.

It might also happen that this thought has popped up in your mind a hundred times till now. In this of advanced modern technologies, Wi-Fi has become an integral part of our daily life.

And a poor signal from your router or nearest network is more than enough for you to lose your temper for the day, right? On top of that, you might have heard many heartbreaking stories centering poor Wi-Fi signals and weather.

In this article, I’ll try to explain all the weather factors that are most likely to affect your Wi-Fi signal. Eventually, you’ll also be able to understand whether these factors can affect Wi-Fi signal in all situations or not.

One example of such area is the community Wi-Fi of Google at Palo Alto in San Francisco Bay. These experiments show that there are a number of weather conditions that weakens Wi-Fi signal significantly.

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