can weather impact wifi
Internet Tips and Tricks

Can Weather Affect Internet Connection: Everything You Need to Know 

Extreme weather conditions, such as wildfires in California or hurricanes in the Atlantic, have become increasingly common in recent years. As a result, the question of whether weather can affect internet connections has become more pressing than ever before. 

If you’ve ever experienced an internet outage during a storm, you may have wondered if the weather was to blame. In this blog, we’ll explore the question, “Can weather affect your internet connection?” and provide some tips on preparing for stormy weather. 

We’ll also discuss what ISPs (internet service providers) do when an outage happens and what steps you can take to minimize the impact of weather-related internet disruptions.  

How Weather Can Affect Internet Connection

Many people wonder whether weather affects internet connection, especially during severe weather events. Lightning strikes, heavy rain or snow, and strong winds can cause interference with cables and equipment, leading to slower or interrupted internet connection or, worst case, internet outages. 

For instance, in 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread internet outages throughout Texas, affecting more than 180,000 homes. Similarly, wildfires in California also caused major internet outages in 2020. 

But don’t worry, though. There are ways to mitigate the impact of weather-related internet connection issues. In the following section, we’ll explore different types of internet connections and their vulnerability to weather-related interruptions.  

Can Weather Affect Internet Connection

Types of Internet Connection Affected by Weather

Did you know that some types of internet connections are more vulnerable to weather-related interruptions than others? DSL and cable internet connections that rely on physical cables and infrastructure are more likely to be affected by severe weather events like thunderstorms, hurricanes, or blizzards.  

But in rare cases, poor weather conditions spare no one. They can impact even fiber internet connections, even though fiber is less susceptible to outages. 

Here’s a breakdown of how weather impacts different types of internet connection. 

DSL & Cable Internet Connections

DSL and cable internet connections rely on physical cables, making them more likely to be affected by severe weather events such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, or blizzards. 

  • DSL internet connections transmit data through telephone lines and can be disrupted by electrical interference from storms.  
  • Cable internet connections use coaxial cables to transmit data. They can experience slower performance due to strong winds or heavy snow. 

Let’s say, for example, a small business loses their service due to a snowstorm. During the storm the weight of the snow on the cable wires caused them to snap, cutting off internet access to his office. The business suffered as a result and had to wait several days for the cable company to restore service. 

Satellite Internet Connections

In contrast to cable and DSL, satellite connection is less susceptible to weather-related outages. However, it can be affected by snow and thunderstorms in several ways: 

  • Heavy snowfall accumulates on the dish, which leads to slower internet speeds 
  • It can move the dish out of its position, interfering with the signal 
  • Lightning strikes near the satellite dish can cause power surges that damage the equipment 

Fiber Internet Connections

Fiber internet is made of glass fibers coated with a protective layer of plastic. This makes them highly durable and resistant to water, moisture, temperature changes, and other environmental factors. 

Unlike copper cables that can corrode and degrade over time due to exposure to moisture, fiber optic cables are not susceptible to this kind of damage. In fact, fiber optic cables are often used in harsh environments where other types of lines cannot function, such as underwater. 

So, if you’re looking for reliable internet during severe weather events, fiber internet is the way to go. It can provide high-speed internet and greater reliability during even the harshest weather conditions.  

can weather impact wifi

How to Prepare for Weather-Related Internet Connection Issues

No matter what type of internet connection you have, weather can affect them all. So, you should take steps to prepare for potential outages. Trust us, a little preparation can go a long way to staying connected during severe weather events. 

So, here’s what you can do to prepare for weather-related internet connection issues. 


One crucial step you can take is to unplug your internet equipment during lightning storms. Lightning can cause power surges that can damage your equipment and internet connection. Having backup options, such as a mobile hotspot, can also help you stay connected during an outage.  

Invest in surge protectors. Power surges can damage your internet equipment and lead to outages. Investing in surge protectors can help protect your equipment, such as routers and modems. 

Backing up important files and documents is particularly important for those who work from home. In case of an outage, accessing important documents stored on an external hard drive can help you continue to work offline until the internet is restored. 

Consider alternative ways to access the internet, such as using a mobile hotspot. Make sure you have the necessary equipment and know how to use it. 

If you live in an area prone to prolonged outages, consider investing in a backup power source, such as a generator or UPS. 

Additionally, you can stay informed about weather-related issues that affect your internet connection by signing up for weather alerts from your ISP or using weather monitoring tools to track severe weather in your area. 

How ISPs Respond to Weather-Related Interruptions

Nobody dreads internet outages more than ISPs. They understand the impact of severe weather on their network infrastructure and have measures to restore the service as quickly as possible. 

One way ISPs prepare for weather-related interruptions is by using monitoring tools to monitor their network infrastructure during extreme weather events. This allows them to quickly identify areas that may be impacted by outages and take steps to prevent further damage. 

ISPs also work closely with local authorities and emergency services during severe weather events to coordinate their response and prioritize service restoration in the most affected areas. 

To restore service, ISPs deploy repair crews who assess and repair any damage to physical infrastructure like cables, equipment, or satellite dishes. 

Unfortunately, the timeline for fixing weather-related damages to the infrastructure doesn’t depend on ISPs alone. As discussed in our blog about weather-related fiber internet outages, ISPs sometimes need to wait for power companies to fix the damage done by the weather before they can restore internet service for their customers. 

Can Weather Affect Internet Connection: Recap

So, can weather affect internet connection? Of course, but the likelihood of that happening depends on the type of internet connection and the severity of the weather.  

Here are the main takeaways from this blog: 

  • Weather can impact internet connection in various ways, including interference with cables and equipment, and damage to physical infrastructure like cables and satellites. 
  • DSL and cable internet connections are more vulnerable to weather-related interruptions, while fiber connections are less susceptible to outages. 
  • Unplugging internet equipment during lightning storms and having backup connectivity options can help you stay connected during weather-related interruptions. 
  • ISPs have monitoring tools and repair crews to restore service after weather-related interruptions and work closely with local authorities to prioritize service restoration. 

Fiber internet is the least susceptible to internet outages, meaning you can enjoy uninterrupted internet connectivity. Plus, it offers the highest and symmetrical internet speeds, which means you can upload and download files at the same fast rate. 

Don’t wait until your next internet outage to take action. Call us today at 877-722-3833 or submit an inquiry to learn more about how fiber internet can improve your online experience.