Urgent WiFi advice for millions of BT, Virgin and Sky broadband users

Broadband users hoping to get a strong, reliable internet connection should be aware of some simple tips, before energy costs spike further.

Millions of residential properties across the UK are set to be drowned by a substantial rise in energy prices, which will see some gas and electricity bills rise by 80%.

It comes after regulator Ofgem announced its energy price cap would rise from October, with another push expected to take place at the start of the year in January 2023.

Read more: Millions of BT, Virgin and Sky users hit by broadband shake-up next week

The Express reports that once the higher cap comes into effect, the average electricity price will rise from 18p/kWh to 52p/kWh. Many Britons are worried about the current cost of living crisis amid sky-high levels of inflation and will be looking for ways to cut spending by turning off lights and unplugging gadgets from the walls.

However, before you start unplugging household necessities like Wi-Fi when you go to bed, you might want to think again. After the price change, the daily running cost of a broadband router will rise to around 13 pence a day, which works out to £50 a year.

And while disabling the blinking black box might shave pennies off your daily expenses, it could also seriously hamper your internet connection. Most major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the UK, including Sky and BT, recommend leaving their internet equipment on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

There’s a litany of important reasons why these devices shouldn’t be cut, including vital security updates – which are usually pumped out overnight. By preventing your router from allowing the latest software updates and patches, you risk being exposed to annoying bugs and cyberattacks.

Another issue is that by shutting down a router, ISPs may think there is instability or an outage in your area. Once this has been seen by professionals, providers often slow down speeds to keep customers connected.

Aman Bhatti, Director of Proposals for Sky Broadband, told Express.co.uk: “We know our routers are put through their paces during the day, whether it’s video calls, streaming the latest broadcast or online games. That’s why our routers run firmware updates overnight, to avoid unnecessary downtime during the day.

“Turning off your router overnight can affect automatic software updates and optimizations, which can impact the overall performance, speed, and stability of your broadband. Other connected devices in the home that are connected to your router will also be affected by delayed updates.

“All of our current hubs are EU Eco-design regulation approved, which means no excessive power consumption is used.”

BT also offers similar advice to users, with the popular provider: “It’s important to ensure that you leave your hub switched on and connected at all times. This will allow us to give you the fastest and most stable service, and ensure your hub is kept up to date.

“Constant hub shutdown makes the line unstable, which means your speed may be automatically reduced to improve the reliability of your broadband connection.”

If you’re looking for ways to cut your expenses, it’s a fantastic idea to stop leaving TVs and game consoles on standby and turn them off completely near the wall. Leaving a 4k TV on standby can cost £24 a year, while a left-on PS5 can set you back £12 a year – even when you’re not using it.

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Urgent WiFi advice for millions of BT, Virgin and Sky broadband users

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