There is perhaps nothing more frustrating in this digital age than your technologies not functioning properly when you need them. For many people, Internet disruptions happen so frequently during inclement weather that they believe that the rain and snow are actually the causes behind their troubles.
Slow Internet When It Rains
Industry studies show a significant number of consumers believe there is a connection between rain, snow and other inclement weather and their internet speeds. There may be some truth to it, but it is a matter of correlation and not causation. A popular theory online is that rain affects Wi-Fi signal strength in the same way it limits visibility in the human eye, but this is unlikely to be the case. More on this in a bit.
High Volume, Slow Speeds
It is raining, and you decide to stay home. You sit on the couch and start binging that new Netflix show you have heard a lot about. You are not alone. When the weather is bad, people are inclined to stay home, and most of the popular home activities require the internet. In other words, rain probably does slow your internet, but not because it is raining but because more people are using it as well.
Temperature Probably Not a Culprit Either
Another popular theory online is that high temperatures cause equipment failures like the satellite internet that lead to internet problems, and this theory was particularly common during a climate-change-charged summer in which the U.S. was experiencing record-breaking temperatures. But the truth is that copper and fiber-optic internet wires are not all that susceptible to temperature. High temperatures can certainly cause electronic equipment to underperform, but this is more likely to be a local problem, such as with your router.
Bad Storms Can Certainly Be a Problem
Strong winds and heavy windfall absolutely can affect internet infrastructure in the same way it can affect electrical infrastructure. Chances are that if you are without internet for this reason, you will be without electricity too but not necessarily. This is why it is important, if possible, to have cellular-based access to the internet for emergencies. It is not as likely to be disrupted.
Your Router and the Rain
Bad weather and high and low temperatures absolutely can cause issues with Wi-Fi connections. There is a cocooning effect, for instance, that can occur and decrease the range of your Wi-Fi. A temporary measure is to get closer to your router in order to overcome the range issue. A more permanent solution is to invest in wireless range extenders that will help to avoid the problem when it rains.
Finding a Solution
If you experience Internet troubles when it rains, chances are that you have a more fundamental networking issue that you just do not notice when it does not rain. The rain exacerbates that issue but does not cause it. This can be tricky to diagnose because everything seems fine when it is sunny.
Nevertheless, poor router positioning is the most likely cause. Range is the second likely issue, and Wi-Fi range issues can vary greatly depending on your unique environment. The average consumer will want to have a technician come out to the home. You can explain the problem. He or she can gauge signal strength throughout the home and either fix it or at least explain your options to remedy it.