Why Does The Internet Go Down When It Rains?

by Calvin on May 4, 2021

in Articles

Everyone likes consistency, whether it’s in a relationship or your internet connection. A consistent internet connection is dependable. Dependability means that it is easy to rely on. A reliable in-home network is a direct measure of progress and success. Here is an illustrative example: With the whole world turning to remote work in response to COVID-19 lockdowns, the availability of a reliable network service like RCN internet has become a crucial factor. How? With the help of a stable internet connection, you can attend your important meetings online, collaborate with your teammates on critical projects, upload your data on company-approved platforms, utilize virtual tools to increase your productivity, and tap into the corporate cloud from your home. If the connection drops or fails, it could easily jeopardize your employment, since you won’t be able to submit your reports on time or attend profit-bearing client conferences. Overall, it would leave a bad impression on your colleagues, supervisors, and customers. 

Therefore, the presence of fast and reliable internet at your home is fundamental for steering through this digitalized world. That may be true, but the heart of the matter is that internet technology is under development. It isn’t perfect yet, which is why you experience connectivity issues every once in a while. One of these connectivity issues pops up when the sky turns grey outside and it pours cats and dogs. Yes, rainwater seems to have a link with the drop in internet signals. What is this mysterious connection? Why do you suffer through buffering and lagging when it rains? Let’s examine the possible reasons below.

Moisture Seepage in Cables

More than 90% of the homes in the United States have a DSL or cable-based internet connection. These copper cables have been buried underground or erected on phone poles for centuries, which is why you don’t have to pay extensively for installation when you subscribe to a DSL or cable internet provider. ISPs can easily leverage the existing copper cables in a community to transmit internet signals in the form of electric pulses to subscribers’ homes. Now, though these copper cables have tough insulation layering and can withstand multiple atmospheric blows, they are prone to wear and tear over time. Hardware damage can’t resist moisture from rain seeping through into the infrastructure. Since water is a great conductor of heat and electricity, it has the potential to disrupt the flow of electrical signals traveling through the cables. In other words, it can dilute them and weaken them further, leading to a connectivity drop at your end. 

Rainwater can infiltrate cables hanging from poles or buried under the cable traps if it finds an opening, and cause an internet outage until it dries up. So, make sure to call in a technician for checking your cable systems from time to time, and for patching up vulnerable areas to enjoy consistent internet connectivity even if it rains crazily outside.

Signal Refraction

In case you happen to live in remote areas where cable infrastructures aren’t available, you may still experience internet slowdowns during rain even with wireless network options. Take the example of satellite internet. Satellite internet is accessible to almost everyone throughout the States. It works in this way: A satellite provider beams internet data packets to a communications satellite at a geostationary orbit in outer space, which, in turn, transmits them down to a parabolic dish located at a subscriber’s rooftop. The dish decompresses and decrypts the signals with the help of a satellite receiver and this is how you get wireless internet at your home in the hills. The signals make the entire trip in fixed pathways, which a rainstorm can distort. Water creates electromagnetic interferences, refracting the satellite internet signals, and making them lose their potency. A lot of the signals drop on the way, and those that do manage to reach you prove to be insufficient for sustaining your online activities. 

Water seepage into the satellite dish at your home can also bungle with the process. So, protecting the parabolic dish with a moisture-free shield during storms and using a signal amplifier can help you stay connected to a great extent. While you’re at it, keep an eye out for any loose tree branches that might topple your dish down. Remove physical obstructions and you might evade internet outage, after all.

Excessive Traffic on the Network

Your internet cables are in a tip-top shape and you don’t rely on wireless signal systems, and still, you are facing connectivity issues? Then, the problem may lie in your over-crowded and over-burdened network. When it rains, a large number of users prefer to snuggle in their cozy blankets, sip a piping hot cup of tea, and watch a trending TV series on Netflix. Those who are gamers prefer to go on a Clash of Clans or PUBG marathon with other players. The point is that with rain, internet usage around the house becomes excessive. With so many devices eating up the bandwidth, there is little left for you. Providers also throttle data to prevent overage. What can you do about this indirect cause of rain on internet loss? One, get a high-speed internet plan with unlimited data, preferably, and two, control the internet usage around the home by allocating hours to each user. This may help relieve the traffic load on the network during rain.

Wrapping Up

Internet access is a true blessing for meeting your personal and professional needs online. If the accessibility falls, like during rainfall, so will your productivity. This post highlights the reasons why the internet goes down when it rains and how you can avert the loss of connectivity. Implement the aforementioned tips to continue surfing, streaming, gaming, or working on the web when it rains the next time.

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