Download speeds for consumers using WiFi stations are on average 30 percent slower than they are for users of fixed connections, because of physical barriers and interference from devices like microwaves, a study showed on Thursday.

Broadband research firm Epitiro said the differences are rarely visible when surfing Internet, but higher latency and bigger loss of data transferred over WiFi connection could well hurt usage of online gaming, Internet telephony or video streaming.

The advice to consumers is simple.

Set up your laptop at location at home where you get a good signal, said professor Andy Nix from Bristol University.

When you are far from the WiFi station, on battery, and your microwave is on -- the connection is not that great.

For the study Epitiro monitored performance of 14,001 consumer broadband connections in Britain, United States, Italy and Spain from November 2010 to February 2011.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)