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Unreliable WIFI signal at my home in France

When I am using my mobile at home using its wifi, the signal varies a lot. What can I do about it?  K.P.

There are a number of reasons why a wifi signal can vary. It is most often to do with the structure of the house. If it is a stone house with thick walls or a newer property with a lot of steel in it (usually flats) this may impede the signal, and the further you are from the modem and the more walls there are, the weaker the signal will be.

A similar situation will arise if you are outside and there are obstacles between your modem and mobile signal.

Wifi extenders can help. You plug the base unit into an electrical socket and then the modem into it. Then plug as many extenders as you need into sockets in rooms with a weak signal. The device uses the home’s electrical wiring to carry the signal from the base unit to the remote units. This is ideal for gîte owners as long as their buildings are on the same electrical supply. Some people search for these on a UK website as the product reviews will be in English, then buy from a French site or big store as it will come with correct plugs and a usable guarantee.

If your signal is weak (eg. if devices connected to the modem using an ethernet cable are faster), the wifi channel could be congested. Look online to find out how to change the modem’s wifi channel (they usually have 14) or ask your broadband supplier to do it. It is quick and free.

Another reason for varying performance is if you are located between several masts. When you move around, you could find your connection transferring between them. Also, if you have obstructions between yourself and the mast, the signal will be degraded so buildings and trees can contribute to a problem.

There is a fix for most speed issues and your telecom company should be able to help.

Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See for more information on their services in France. If you have a query on this topic send it to

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