Do you need to protect yourself from WiFi radiation?
I guess the first question that needs to be answered is ‘what is WiFi radiation?’ Which leads to the question ‘is WiFi safe?’
Because if you’re not clear about these questions it’s pointless talking about WiFi radiation protection.
What Is WiFi Radiation?
WiFi devices emit radio-frequency radiation, otherwise known as microwave radiation.
This microwave radiation is exactly the same kind of radiation that microwave ovens use to cook food.
Basically a microwave oven bombards your food with microwave radiation. This creates molecular friction which heats up the food. It’s known as ‘the heating effect’ or ‘the thermal effect’.
WiFi devices like wireless modem routers and wireless computers contain transmitters that use this microwave radiation to send information back and forth in the air.
The whole controversy surrounding the safety of these exposures revolves around this heating effect. On the one side there is the telecom’s industry and other vested interests saying because there is no observable thermal effect with WiFi and similar devices these technologies are safe.
On the other side there are now thousands of peer reviewed studies conducted by scientists from around the world that show WiFi radiation to be harmful. Not to mention extensive anecdotal evidence – this website alone is littered with testimonies of people that have experienced severe adverse health symptoms from these exposures.
Not surprisingly the World Health Organization has classified WiFi radiation type exposures as a ‘possible Class 2B carcinogen’.
If you still have any doubts as to whether WiFi is safe, click here.
WiFi Radiation Protection Tips
There are some simple steps you can take to limit your exposure to WiFi router radiation. In this article I explain what they are.
1. Buy The Right Modem Router
I recommend the TP-LINK Wireless N300. You’re probably surprised to hear me recommending you buy a wireless router.
The TP-LINK Wireless N300 is a wireless router with a difference. The difference being that you can switch the WiFi function off (by pressing a button) and it stays off. The customer reviews on this router on Amazon are outstanding – currently 4.4 out of a maximum of 5 stars.
Wireless routers are what most people buy, unfortunately, so this is where the best value for money is currently found in modem routers. You could buy a non-wireless version but these tend to be over-priced for what you get. The ideal set-up is the TP-LINK Wireless N300 and some good quality shielded Ethernet cable.
It’s usually possible to disable wireless functionality on a router. Typically this involves opening your browser and typing in a string of numbers to access the settings. I don’t like this kind of set up because these devices have a tendency to default back to wireless functionality (power outage or software upgrade) without you knowing. So you think you’ve disabled the wireless but an hour later it’s back on again. That’s why I recommend the TP-LINK Wireless N300 which has a built in hardware option to disable wireless functionality.
If your Internet is supplied by your cable company you need to buy a (wired) cable modem router.
2. Use The Right Ethernet Cable
Most people don’t give this cable a second thought. They use the cable which comes with the modem/router. Mistake.
This Ethernet cable can be a source of RF radiation and so needs to be shielded. There are lots of different qualities of cable category 5, 6, 7 etc. I recommend buying at least Cat 6a SSTP (screened shielded twisted pair) Ethernet cable. Maybe the cable that came with your modem/router is Cat 6a SSTP. In that case you’re OK. If in doubt change it.
3. Learn To Switch Off
You’ve disabled the wireless on the modem/router but you must also disable the wireless on your on your computer (desktop, laptop, iPod Touche, iPad, tablet) AND also printers, projectors and anything else that might have Wi-Fi capability. Again a lot of people overlook this. Look for software options on these devices to do this.
Lower Wi-Fi power intensity is now an option on certain wireless set-ups. Look carefully what the software allows you to do. And keep your eye on it once you’ve changed the settings to make sure the default settings don’t come back on again.
If you’re unable to disable Wifi via the software you may be able to have the WiFi module physically removed (requires some electrical knowledge).
4. Swap Wireless For Wired
Replace your wireless keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner and whatever else you have that is wireless with USB wired versions. Solutions now exist even to connect devices such as iPads, which are not designed to be hardwired, to the Internet via a USB Ethernet adapter as shown in this video:
To implement the solution shown in the above video you will need:
5. Neighbors WiFi
Legally there is nothing you can do to oblige your neighbors to remove their WiFi so you need to have a softly softly approach. Go and see them, have a friendly chat. Ideally take an RF meter with you, show them the radiation levels they are exposing both you and themselves to. Take some print outs of some of the studies that have been done on the dangers of radio frequency radiation.
If they are unsympathetic EMF shielding should be considered only as a last resort measure. An effective WiFi radiation shield may well involve shielding several rooms – this is no small undertaking. Click here for more information on RF shielding.
Reduce Your Exposure To WiFi Radiation Without Eliminating It
I know that some people can’t quite bring themselves to surrender their wireless devices so here are some tips on minimizing WiFi without eliminating WiFi.
1. Keep your distance
WiFi radiation drops off significantly with distance (called the inverse square law). Many routers have a strong enough signal to maintain a connection up to 100m from the router. Make sure you put as much distance between you and your wireless router as you can without diminishing the efficiency of your connection. Remember: walls don’t stop wireless radiation, never situate a wireless router behind a bedroom wall.
2. Switch off at Night
Studies tell us that the biggest danger with WiFi radiation comes from nighttime exposures; cellular regeneration, rejuvenation, and detoxification is impeded. Notably melatonin production can be significantly reduced. If you really can’t bring yourself to remove your wireless router you can install a simple mechanical electrical timer (see attached image) on the socket where you plug your router in. Then just set it to turn the power off during sleep time.
3. Use USB Adaptors Wisely
If you use a USB Wi-Fi adapter (for PCs that don’t have a built in wireless network interface card) use it on a USB extension cable (10 feet or more). The same goes if you use a 3G or 4G USB internet stick, or dongle, to connect to the Internet while you’re traveling. A USB extension cable will significantly reduce your exposure. Tip: the further the USB internet stick is from you when you’re surfing the Web, the less you will be exposed. Buy a USB extension that’s a good 10 to 15 feet long.
Is Powerline Networking The Solution?
This goes under various names ‘powerline networking’ or ‘broadband over power lines’ (BPL). Whichever name is used the principle is the same, special adapters are used to send the Internet signal through your home or office wiring. What does this mean? It means you don’t need to have WiFi BUT these adapters do introduce radio frequency signals (RF radiation) on to your house wiring.
Combining RF radiation with power line frequency electrics is known to give rise to the phenomenon of ‘dirty electricity’. There are many health issues associated with dirty electricity. For this reason I do not recommend BPL as a safe alternative to WiFi.
The dangers of WiFi are real. Use the above tips to eliminate or reduce your exposure to WiFi radiation.
This post was last updated June 2016.