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Home Wi-Fi isn't up to scratch for many in the UK

A new survey from Global Wireless Solutions has shown the state of Wi-Fi in homes across the UK, and the picture is a bleak one for some folks.

Of the 2000 UK adults who were questioned, 40 per cent said they used their 3G or 4G data connection even when they were at home, because their Wi-Fi wasn't fast enough. Indeed, a quarter of respondents said they were “forced” to use their mobile data allowance due to substandard Wi-Fi.

16 per cent of those polled said their Wi-Fi connection was so slow that when it came to videos and music streaming, and even web surfing, they opted to use mobile data instead. 13 per cent never use their phone with Wi-Fi at home, exclusively preferring 3G or 4G because their Wi-Fi is that bad.

That could be due to a poor connection from the broadband service provider, a substandard (and/or badly situated) wireless router, or indeed a crappy phone – or a combination of all three.

57 per cent of respondents said they would rather do their social networking on mobile data as opposed to Wi-Fi, with 46 per cent preferring mobile data when it came to online shopping, and 40 per cent in the case of working from home (answering emails and so forth).

The survey also looked into the worst rooms in the average home for Wi-Fi, and unsurprisingly that was the bedroom(s), which are typically upstairs and furthest away from the router. The kitchen was the second worst room, followed by the lounge.

Paul Carter, CEO of GWS, observed: “Network operators are under a great deal of pressure to improve the UK’s mobile networks and eliminate signal blackspots around the country. Most major network operators offer their customers voice-over-Wi-Fi services as a temporary solution to in-home blackspots, but as our poll shows, Wi-Fi connectivity in British homes is often too slow or patchy for consumers to reliably access the Internet. These same Wi-Fi issues will affect consumers hoping to use voice-over-Wi-Fi to make calls at home.

“Today’s Brit is adept at switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data to stay connected while they are out and about, but they shouldn’t have to use the same tricks to get online at home. We are using our phones more than ever, and we expect to be able to work, play and shop on our phones while we are at home. How that connection is ultimately made is not important to the average consumer – as long as it’s made.”

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.