Can Heat Affect Internet Connection in 2024? (Answered)

The internet is one of the most common and useful sources for people to benefit from. However, there are some risks associated with it. One such risk is that if we use the internet too often, we may experience a drop in our internet connection speed because of heat or other reasons.

Although there are many steps we can take to avoid this risk, what if the only option we have left is to wait for hours and days until our connection recovers?

Heat, temperature and internet connection can be a tricky concept to understand. In this article, we will explore the relationship between heat and internet connection, how it may affect internet users, and what you can do when heat affects your connection.

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Can heat affect internet connection?

Yes, heat can affect the quality of your internet connection. It can even damage your device by shortening its lifespan.

can heat affect internet connection
The quality of your internet connection can be affected by heat

Heat is not typically a problem in most homes, but when the temperature gets too high, it’s time to disconnect from Wi-Fi and other forms of connectivity. The higher the temperature, the slower the speed of your network.

Why heat affects your internet connection

Heat is a problem for broadband and wireless connections. There are several reasons why heat affects your internet connection.

Heat can damage an internet cable and the equipment it connects to

One of the most important parts of having reliable internet service is being able to connect various devices. These devices rely on cables to transmit data, but heat can damage these cables and the equipment they connect to, making the connection slower or unusable.

Heat affects wireless and wired connections

Heat has a bad effect on most internet devices. It can either be too hot and it affects the performance of the device, or it’s too cold and it causes them to shut down.

Heat can not only damage cables but also decrease their lifespan. For example, in certain conditions, a temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit will cause a 24 percent reduction in bandwidth. This is because heat speeds up decay of copper molecules inside an optical fiber which weakens the fiber’s strength and exposing it to more degradation over time.

can heat affect internet connection
Heat, temperature and internet connection can be a tricky concept to understand

What’s more, heat can also cause cables to melt or break so that they are no longer usable. If this happens, you will need to replace your cable or modem with new ones.

Just know: Heat doesn’t just affect wireless network and WiFi connections but also wired connections such as Ethernet and power line communications (PLC).

Heat can cause electromagnetic interference (EMI), which can result in slow speeds or temporary outages

Heat waves can create an increased amount of electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can be detrimental to the quality and speed of internet connection. It disrupts radio signals and degrades data rates, impacting connectivity and performance.

Higher temperatures mean more power for radio signals, which means more EMI to the network.

can heat affect internet connection
Google Nest Wifi Pro (Image credit: Google)

Because wireless networks rely on radio frequencies, their performance is impacted by EMI caused by heat waves, as well as other environmental factors such as lightning strikes.

This leads to a lower level of service for subscribers due to slower connectivity speeds and the inability to use the service for a prolonged period of time.

Heat could cause the internet device to overheat and shut down, which may lead to permanent damage or data loss

Heat is a significant concern for all digital devices, including laptops, smartphones and tablets. In particular, laptops and other portable computers may overheat while being used for a prolonged period of time.

can heat affect internet connection
Laptops and other portable computers may overheat

If the device overheats, it may shut down or even permanently damage data. Data loss may occur if the device shuts down unexpectedly while in use.

How heat affects your Wi-Fi signal

In order to provide a faster and better internet connection, wireless routers are constantly changing their frequencies. However, the new frequencies introduce an additional problem for mobile devices – interference.

heat and internet connection
Wireless routers are constantly changing their frequencies

Heat is one of the biggest factors that affects Wi-Fi signals in a negative way. When it gets too hot in your home or office, your router might be forced to change its frequency and incur more interference on your device.

How long does it take for a heat wave to impact an internet connection?

Ever wondered how long it takes for a heat wave to impact an internet connection? Well, it takes about one hour for a heat wave to impact an internet connection.

The most vulnerable times during this time are late afternoon and early evening when people are more likely to be outside doing their daily activities.

can heat affect internet connection
It takes about one hour for a heat wave to impact an internet connection

It takes about 10 minutes for an antenna to lose its signal in summertime when it gets too hot outside. In summer, when it is hot and humid, the air that moves around can be up to 100 times more dense than in winter. As a result, the signals from our antennas are less likely to reach us and we could see higher latency times and packet loss rates.

What are the signs you should check if you’re experiencing heat-related issues with your connections?

Signs of heat-related issues with your connection:

  • Your laptop’s fan went from operating at full blast to suddenly shutting off.
  • Your internet connection drops suddenly and has been slow ever since.
  • You’re having difficulty connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot in your area.
  • You’re noticing a lack in speed in both uploading and downloading files from your device’s memory or storage space.
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So what can you do?

If you’re using a wireless router at home or work, there are some things you can do to prevent the heat from affecting its connectivity.

One way to prevent heat from impacting your internet connection is to place a fan near your router or switch so that it can blow out warm air and cool down both the computer and the device connected to it.

Another way is to install insulation around your router so that it can survive prolonged periods of high temperatures without melting or becoming damaged due to heat exposure.

You can also install an air conditioner in your home so it doesn’t get too hot.

Put your phone away from metal objects.