Top 10 WiFi etiquette rules


WiFi etiquetteSending large files and opening ‘dodgy’ links when connected to someone else’s network both breach the top 10 WiFi etiquette rules, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 adults discovered the ‘rules’ everyone should follow, with not using their phone to go online at a dinner table and not changing someone’s password also featuring.

Others believe you should never use a coffee shop’s connection without buying a drink. But the average adult admitted to breaking the etiquette rules once a month.

It was also revealed people typically wait less than half an hour to ask for the WiFi password at someone else’s home, and a tenth ask within the first 10 minutes.

The study, commissioned by full-fibre broadband provider Hyperoptic, also found more than two-thirds of adults use Wi-Fi daily. In fact, an average of six hours a day is spent connected to the likes of games and dating apps online – compared to four hours working and one-hour exercising.

Says Charles Davies, MD ISP at Hyperoptic:

“Everyone has their own views on what’s right and wrong with using someone else’s Wi-Fi and it proves how often people rely on it.

“Downloading large files or streaming films can have an effect on the overall connectivity for everyone using the same Wi-Fi, which can make others frustrated if their internet becomes slow.

“Similarly, the number of people using one router can influence performance.

“Quality home WiFi has never been more important than this year, with increased members of households sharing the connectivity to either work or keep themselves entertained.

“And these rules have never been more necessary to make sure everyone can do what they need to online.”

The study also found 61 per cent of adults have become more reliant on their household Wi-Fi in recent months than ever before. This is due to 38 per cent of them working from home, but 27 per cent admitted to multi-screening – such as watching TV while using their phone – more than usual.

And 32 per cent have streamed more music and films recently.

More than one in 10 (13 per cent) have become more reliant on a decent connection because their children have spent more time than usual on games consoles.

But a quarter of those polled have had to ask others to stop using the WiFi because it was slowing things down when they were trying to do something, such as watch a film or take a video call.

More than six in 10 (63 per cent) have even had disagreements over the slow internet speed because of how many gadgets have been connected at once since the start of lockdown.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed that the typical home has six devices which require Wi-Fi, including smart TVs (56 per cent) and heating devices (10 per cent). However, 18 per cent of households have up to 10 or more.

In recent months a tenth of  those surveyed purchased new gadgets and 13 per cent have upgraded their broadband due to the demand. But despite 31 per cent of households owning a smart speaker and a further 67 per cent owning a tablet, 39 per cent admitted they think their devices ‘spy’ on them.

Top 10 Wi-Fi etiquette rules according to Brits:

  1. Never connect to someone’s Wi-Fi without asking them
  2. Never change someone’s Wi-Fi password
  3. Never hijack a neighbour’s Wi-Fi
  4. Don’t give that person’s Wi-Fi code to anyone else
  5. Don’t use your phone at the dinner table
  6. Don’t sit in a coffee shop all day using Wi-Fi without buying a drink
  7. Don’t open any links that look dodgy when using someone else’s Wi-Fi
  8. Don’t sit on your gadget/ on the internet when you are in someone else’s house
  9. Don’t send or download large files on someone else’s internet
  10. Don’t go somewhere just to use their internet
Chris Price
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