Download speeds for people using wireless connections are on average 30 per cent slower than those for users of fixed broadband connections, a study suggests.
Network measurement firm Epitiro monitored the performance of over 14,000 consumer broadband connections in the UK, US, Italy and Spain.
It found that wi-fi speeds were significantly slower due to physical barriers and interference from devices like microwaves, baby monitors, TV remotes and cordless phones.
The differences were barely noticeable when surfing the internet which uses relatively small amounts of data, but became more apparent when using online gaming, video streaming and internet telephony services like Skype.
The research suggested that users tended to tolerate slower speeds for the convenience offered by home wi-fi.
However researchers said consumers could take simple measures to improve their connections, including changing channels on their wi-fi router to reduce interference from other devices, or simply plugging the laptop or other wireless device into the router when needed.
Professor Andy Nix of Bristol University said: "Set up your laptop at location at home where you get a good signal.
"When you are far from the WiFi station, on battery, and your microwave is on, the connection is not that great."