Homes with broadband internet utilize WiFi technology to connect devices wirelessly. This may be convenient, but there are some risks to consider because there is radiation from WiFi. For instance, data is less secure compared to a wired connection. If you’re using a public network or a connection without password protection, you are more vulnerable to data theft.
Moreover, radiation from WiFi has a lot of reasons to be a health concern. Keep reading to find out the hazards of WiFi radiation and how you can protect yourself from it. There are also additional tips on how to measure radiation and reduce your exposure and risks.
What Is WiFi?
WiFi or Wireless Fidelity is a technology that allows smartphones, computers, and other devices to communicate with each other or connect to the internet wirelessly. WiFi needs a modem, router, and receiver. You can have multiple receivers, however, a network typically uses one modem and router.
The modem accesses the internet via a wired connection. Then, it transmits data to the wireless router through an Ethernet cable. The router sends the data through the WiFi network, which the receiver picks up. The data gets translated from the receiver and appears on the screen of the device used. Likewise, the receiver can transmit data that the router will pick up and send it back to the WiFi modem.
WiFi has been using the 802.11 networking standard until it changed over time to increase the speed of data transfers. In 2019, 802.11ax started its rollout, but today, it adheres to 802.11ac for significantly faster speeds.
The signal that the WiFi receiver and router transmit is called a radiofrequency signal. Generally, WiFi signals are transmitted within the range of 2.4Hz to 5GHz, depending on the router. Radiofrequency waves belong to the non-ionizing category of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Meaning, they don’t have enough energy needed to divide an atom, unlike ultraviolet light and X-rays. However, WiFi radiation and other radio frequencies are categorized as EMF radiation.
Radiation from WiFi and the Hazards
RF-EMF radiation is potentially carcinogenic to people according to the International Association for Research on Cancer. Phone radiation is linked to gliomas, a rare type of brain tumor that is deadly, based on a study that involved rats. On the other hand, WiFi radiation still lacks extensive research on its health effects on humans.
That is not to say that there are no studies conducted regarding the subject. For instance, Martin L. Pall’s 2017 literature review of existing studies examined the health-related side effects of exposure to WiFi radiation. Findings include seven health concerns linked to that exposure such as:
- Oxidative stress
- Endocrine system issues
- Reduction of calcium levels
- Cellular death
- Neurological issues
- Sperm count and quality issues
- DNA damage
Findings are also associated with other studies on RF-EMF radiation exposure. When you’re sensitive and get exposed to WiFi radiation, you may also experience symptoms of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. However, more studies are needed regarding EHS just like in the health effects of WiFi radiation.
Even so, some people are affected by constant exposure to WiFi radiation in their homes. Some of the most common symptoms include fatigue, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
How to Detect WiFi Radiation in Your Home
You can measure RF-EMF radiation produced by a WiFi network using an EMF meter. These meters are designed to detect radio frequencies in households. The EMF meter must be secured before doing an actual test. Your position should be close to the router, then turn off the device.
Take the first reading and record the results for your reference. Turn on the router again and take your second reading while maintaining your position. See the difference, and then repeat the steps at another location. Measure EMF radiation in different positions around your home and observe the differences in your readings.
It’s also important to take several readings with multiple WiFi-enabled devices connected to the router. For instance, take one reading beside your smartphone while it’s connected to the WiFi network. And then take another reading in the same location, but this time, turn off your smartphone’s WiFi connection.
By following these steps, you can figure out how much radiation you’re getting exposed to when using your home’s WiFi network. In addition, it also gives you an idea of how to reduce your WiFi radiation exposure by identifying the devices that you can minimize using.
However, if the radiation levels in your bedroom, living room, or other high-traffic areas are low, you may not need to worry about it. For higher WiFi radiation levels in specific areas of your house, it’s important to do something to reduce exposure.
WiFi Radiation Safety Tips
The best way to protect yourself from WiFi radiation at home is to switch to a wired network. While this may require some effort and time, there are more benefits to enjoy than when using a wireless network. The biggest advantage is that you get a more secure connection to prevent data theft while virtually eliminating radiation exposure.
If you still want to use a WiFi network in your home, you can use a router guard. This device covers the WiFi router so that radiation will not spread around your home. Some simple hacks can also help you reduce your exposure. For example, you can turn off your WiFi before you sleep, and download media and games to your laptop, tablet, or smartphone so you can access them even without WiFi.
If possible, avoid using WiFi extenders as they only increase your exposure levels to radiation. More importantly, try to confine your WiFi network to a small range if possible. In some cases, WiFi signals coming from your neighbor’s network can be blocked by an EMF shielding barrier or EMF paint on the walls where your home is vulnerable to exposure. Having a timer that turns off the internet is a hasslefree option as well.
Wrapping It Up
RF-EMF radiation is inevitable if you’re using a WiFi network in your home to connect devices wirelessly. However, there are some ways to reduce or eliminate exposure so that you won’t risk your health while using your WiFi at home. So, what do you think is the best way to protect yourself from WiFi radiation?