Is WiFi safe for your health, children and at home

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. Ian Crick

    I watched a programme on TV the other day, where they have found a way to use lighting to transmit data. As shown they had a table lamp, a sensor on the table and where transmitting HD video’s. They said all kinds of lighting (think it was LED) could be used including street lighting and home lighting and even traffic signals and cars could talk to each other through the LED lighting used these days. If this was the case, nobody would have to worry about WIFI signals anymore. In our house all the kids are linked to the WIFI for both their mobile and games consoles, also we have cordless phones (5 of them) which also work on RF.

  2. Arun Kumar

    Great. I too think optics can be used for transmission instead of RF. Science should look further into this. Also, thank you for sharing that.

  3. Rita Lynn

    In our house we don’t use WiFi. If my kids want to go online wireless they ask me to turn on the wifi. After they’re finished i turn it of. We actually need a router with a switch for the wifi. Why isn’t it invented? Or it already is invented but ….?

    WiFi at school is damaging the kids an some kids are really sick of it. The biggest problem for the kids is concentration.

    Robyn Urback, the former Microsoft Canada head joins the fight to protect schoolchildren from Wi-Fi. He knows probably more than we do.

  4. yes its harmful better to use wired

  5. Gary

    Good article Arun and I would add that If you work with a laptop on your lap, you are being exposed to the outgoing radiation from the pc as well as the incoming radiation the router.

  6. Arun Kumar

    Thank you. This information should be taken seriously as well. There could be options other than radiation emitting radio waves. Would’ve been good if it were possible to modulate info on photons or something harmless. Dunno. Am not good at Physics.

  7. Jahangir

    I have WiMax router at home (placed on my computer table), if I turn its WiFi option and use the LAN to access internet, is it safe?

    Or the WiMax signals still affect me?

  8. Arun Kumar

    They won’t affect you much if you turn off the WiFi option. Since it is on your computer table, intensity would be high if you keep the WiFi option on. Turn it on only when required.

  9. Passi


    I would like to ask if you think it’s ok if the computer is about 5-7meters from the router and we use about 150gb per month. Does that seem reasonable to you Arun Kumar?

    Thank you.

  10. Arun Kumar

    Assuming you take breaks while computing, it should be fine.

  11. Passi

    Okay thank you very much

  12. Blue

    It’s total fear mongering to pick on Wifi. 50 years ago it was power lines and it had (and still has an effect) on home sales, then it was radio/TV signals, then in the 90s it was cellular, now wifi. Yet people have lived in their homes with TV, radio, power, microwave ovens (which do emit outside the enclosure no matter how tight the seal), baby monitors, home and car alarms, RF remote controlled toys, wireless speakers, and more recently Wifi enabled TVs and bluetooth devices, and many other EMF devices, not to mention anything with a motor and the general lighting and power around a house. And we’ve lived with it wherever we go, radio/TV in the air, satellite signals, background radiation, cell towers, and more recently any public place you go into that has Wifi, alarm systems, wireless PA systems, etc. If there were issues, we’d have an epidemic of it already. Wifi isn’t special, it’s in the same ISM band as many of the aforementioned things. The others are in lower or higher frequency bands and some transmit with much higher power like cell phones to get to cell towers miles away (and the return signals you are getting from the towers.) Even if you turn your house into a log cabin, you can’t turn off your neighbors or the general public. Even living on a desert island doesn’t completely isolate you.

    One thing that is amusing is how blame is placed on Wifi for incredibly common health symptoms like headaches, insomnia or nausea that could be caused by a million other things. Worse yet, blaming your kid’s lack of concentration or (alleged) ADHD on Wifi? Really? I think we are just looking for an excuse there to what is a much different and more obvious problem.

  13. CarlPheneger

    There is a formula that states the energy is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source. The energy level at 4 feet is one quarter the energy level at two feet. So put the device in a far corner and turn it off when not using.

  14. I’d like to join in (I know I’m a bit late) and add some important information.

    While this article does mention some key points, it leaves out the fact that there are some devices that output significantly more or less radiation than others. For example, 4G devices are using multiple concurrent connections to speed up data usage. Those devices output much higher amounts of radiation than older phones do. Switching off your phone’s wifi isn’t a good option either, because short-range wifi involves much less radiation than a 4G LTE connection does.

    As well, typical wifi devices can easily put out a lot more radiation than mentioned in this article. For example, a company called Alfa makes a wide range of wireless devices that use up to 5 Watts of transmit power, whereas older routers use on average 21 mW (one Watt is equal to one-thousand Milliwatts). Stated hazard levels start at around 3 Watts of continued exposure.

    Even typical routers and modems are starting to increase their transmit outputs to keep up with newer technologies. Router that use wireless AC typically don’t just output that alone, but in fact output AC/N/G/B for backwards compatibility, and to avoid reduction in signal strength they increase the transmit power, resulting in much higher amounts of overall radiation.

    Right now my apartment, which resides in a large apartment complex, has 80+ wireless access points within my vicinity, connectable from my living room. While the radiation from each individually isn’t much, the combined radiation “soup” of nearby wireless, as well as the wireless from my own router, modem, and any devices connected to any of these, amounts to a significantly higher concentration than most would care to consider.

    As far as “wifi protection” goes, most of the products out there consist of various devices or stickers that have some copper material in them. That’s all it is. Copper absorbs the radiation (and signal) from wireless devices, and a lot of these companies are selling various odds-and-ends that contain a little copper for hundreds when it’s only worth a couple dollars at best.

  15. Amit Singh

    Great post Arun!.. Really it needs to be revealed the other side of WI-fI RADIATION. Check out this link

  16. Amit Singh

    Hey Everybody,,Very nice article on the unseen aspects of Wi-Fi. Please check this out..

  17. Schmendrick

    This is one of the most poorly written and unscientific articles I’ve ever read on this topic. Its lack of credibility makes it impossible to believe. You also might want to run it by a native English speaking editor as the wording, spelling and punctuation are pretty bad.

  18. 1] Please clarify as to why you think this article is unscientific. This would help us update the article.
    2] This post has not been written by a native English speaking author, so you have to accept it as it is. I am sure you would not be able to write with the same fluency, if you were to ever use or learn his mother tongue. So lets be understanding on this part.

  19. smeezekitty

    The claim that RF energy at these power levels are damaging in any way is a sign of believing
    FUD. Sorry but it is severely misinformed. There is nothing to support that idea

  20. smeezekitty

    The entire premise is faulty because of the low power level of WiFi signals.
    Low power radiation in the 2400MHz range is not shown to be damaging to
    living things.

    Keep in mind that microwave ovens operate in a similar frequency range with
    power levels 5000x to 20000x higher

  21. Arun Kumar

    Even schools are turning to wired Internet. Check out this:
    United Federation of Teachers – 200,000 teachers and educational professionals in New York City (2014)

    Wireless radiation is emitted by the myriad of wireless devices we
    encounter every day. It was once thought to be relatively harmless.
    However, we now know that wireless radiation can cause non-thermal
    biological effects as well, including damage to cells and DNA, even at
    low levels.

    Check out their videos, as well, at:

  22. Arun Kumar

    You might also want to check out sites that claim research has been done to find out there ‘could be’ dangers out of using WiFi. One such site is that I think you’ll find interesting.

  23. smeezekitty

    Those websites have dubious credibility. Anybody can create a website
    that says anything they want. And they are full of weasel words

  24. smeezekitty

    There are distinct advantages of wired internet. It is faster, unjammable,
    more reliable, more secure and has lower latency. It would not surprise me for schools
    and businesses to primarily use wired connections because — well — they are better.

    “Doctors and Scientists around the world have warned against unnecessary exposure of children”
    More weasel words. What scientists and doctors?

  25. smeezekitty

    Here is a more rational look at the risks of low power RF radiation:

    In any case, if you are worried about WIFI, hopefully you don’t use a cellphone

  26. cristina

    Write this article in another language that is not your native one and then rethink about what you wrote!

  27. Nehanu. S

    Wi-Fi is certainly less harmful than using cell phones repeatedly on the same part of brain for hundred times. However it is best in everyone interest to limit their access to wifi when they are not using wifi , if possible. One the other hand, I saw in newspaper, about a certain lady who has allergy of electromagnetic radiations to the great extent that she was forced to isolate her house. She often reported falling ill many a times, and it has got me thinking that radiation is something one need to focus their attention. It will go in long way in making us happier , and more fulfilling lives. As the poet correctly said ” Preventation is much certainly better than cure”

  28. Mise Colopix

    I sleep 30cm from my wifi router(its up my head) and 2x smartphone also for years….now should i turn off my router or not ? I had some problems while sleeping but now i dont have it.Im 14year old

  29. Arun Kumar

    It would be good if you can turn it off before sleeping. I too turn my WiFi router off before going to sleep. Precautions are good. I have also configured my phone to go into airplane mode when I am sleeping because I too keep it with me all night. If nothing, it will save battery 🙂

  30. deena

    Arun, thank you for this article. Would you say that a repeater is just as potentially harmful to health as WiFi? My son is begging to add a repeater but interestingly the WiFi install man said not to do it because of health issues. What is your opinion?

  31. Arun Kumar

    As it picks up weaker signals and boosts them, repeater is also a health issue.

  32. deena

    thank you, Arun

  33. Alex Perez

    can i use copper to block these waves? lol

  34. Fastbikkel

    Wether WIFI is bad or not isn’t really the issue here is it?
    It is about intrusion for me. I did not ask to get the neighbours WIFI into our house, so why should i have to accept that?
    I made a clear choice, no WIFI in our house. Only to discover 12 signals from others that penetrate our walls.
    Why is there no law for that? Some people believe, like me, that radiation is not good for you.
    If we can keep the radiation a matter of choice, it would be much better.
    I do not want the neighbours WIFI, but they can just ignore me.

    So i turned to another option, to look for ways to either render their signal useless or “hack” their system and disable it.

  35. Fastbikkel

    I also want to know a way to block my neighbours wifi.
    I totally realise there is no way to fully escape radiation and all, but being able to minimise it in our home should be a legal option.
    By legal i mean the neighbours should keep the other neighbours in mind when they turn on their wifi.

  36. David Gonzalez


    At my
    house, I setup my WiFi router to completely turn off one of the two bands (2.4
    and 5 GHz), and the one that is still working (2.4 GHz), it was reduced the
    power from 100% to 50%, and still have the covering off almost all the house.
    imagine all the radiation we are receiving in excess. Please try this setting according
    to every case. @merpoeste

  37. Arun Kumar

    Good idea. I have my WiFi at full and the signals are available even when I cross the road. We don’t need that powerful signals. Thanks

  38. kritikosman

    Nice n4 here.

  39. Michelle Solfleur

    @Schmendrick What did you think BEFORE you saw his photo?

    Honestly, must the knee jerk teabillies add their xenophobic rants and “me too!” up votes EVERY conversation, no matter the subject?

    The topic was clear and concise and well supported. That is better than most high school grads in the U. S. can manage these days.

    Your personal attack on the author is unacceptable.

  40. Michelle Solfleur

    Weasel words–very scientific, @smeezekitty. As you consider yourself such an expert, I look forward on your behalf to a day when you are able and perhaps even willing to take a research and statistics 101 class at your local community college.

    In the meantime it is never harmful to assume the person speaking or writing more fluently than you are in a language native only to you deserves to be addressed in a respectful tone, as do most humans.

    Science and statistics are not the absolutes you appear to presume them to be. It is all open to opinion and debate. All of it. This is most true in human bio-physiology and obviously in psychology. As far as Wi-Fi goes, given my training and experience in both disciplines, I will say that I shall never live in a large apartment complex or large city until we know (as much as our infant sciences allow) precisely what is and is not safe.

    We could find out someday that the hideous pandemic of childhood obesity is caused by pituitary or other damage related to “being wireless” from conception forward.

  41. Michelle Solfleur

    Thank you. Sir, for this excellent article and the good advice you are sharing with us.

  42. Leslie

    Arun, I am hoping you can help me understand something: am I better off using a wi-fi connection to connect to the internet or a 3G connection? Which one is safer?

    Also, is it safe to live in a place where the WI-FI router is 15 feet away from me? Or is this considered way-to-close-for-comfort (health) safe distance? Thanks so much for any help on this.

  43. Arun Kumar

    Both WiFi and 3G are based on radio signals and use almost same cellphone towers. It is difficult to say which one is more dangerous. If you use 3G or WiFi on your phone that lies next to you all night, it is a danger. In that case, turn off the WiFi or 3G for the night – on your phone.
    The distance between router and you is good. It won’t harm you. But the computer you are using is with you so it attracts the signals. If not using Internet, it is better to turn off the WiFi on computer.

  44. Leslie

    Thank you so much. My thinking on this is that 3G and 4G via cell phone towers in the area are a better option, as this way one does not have a WI-FI router close to them in the house. So i’d think that WI-FI is doubly bad, as you have the router within your inhabitants, as well as the street tower it feeds off of, but with 3G/4G just the street tower. Make any sense to you?

  45. Arun Kumar

    This sounds logical – one extra exposure point is eliminated as you say. Thanks for sharing it.

  46. Leslie

    Regardless of the radiation/cancer potential as result of cell phone exposure, how credible do you feel the claims are that these EMF’s, cell signals, 3G and 4G services are potentially disrupting cortisol and adrenal levels, attention spans, as well as the integrity of the blood brain barrier?

  47. smeezekitty

    I love how you make assumptions about my intelligence. I haven’t studied statistics (yet) but I have done quite a bit of self study in electronics in including RF theory. I will probably be taking college courses very soon.

    I never said they were absolute. But the fact is that any credible research shows there is no detrimental effects on humans. I can only go by what most mainstream research indicates over borderline paranoid theories.

    “I will say that I shall never live in a large apartment complex or large
    city until we know (as much as our infant sciences allow) precisely
    what is and is not safe.”

    Then surely you never will since almost nothing is ever proven to be absolutely safe. You are probably better off away from a large city though – the pollutants are definitely not good for humans.

    “We could find out someday that the hideous pandemic of childhood obesity
    is caused by pituitary or other damage related to “being wireless” from
    conception forward.”

    Again, this is highly unlikely. If anything, it is probably chemical in origin (whether our enviroment or our food and drinks)

  48. Arun Kumar

    Based on research I’ve done on the topic, the equipment that enhances the strength of RF – be if WiFi or cellphone towers – are indeed dangerous to brain and thereby lead to different physical disorders as well. Most exposed people are the ones living directly under cellphone towers. I don’t know how it is in rest of the world but in India, even though there are proven cases of cancers and brain damage, apartment builders often lease out space to cellphone operators for installing their towers. Anyone living in that vicinity is exposed. These people even neglect court orders that no cellphone towers should be placed in residential areas. Distorted sleep, memory retention, attention spans are just few of the negative effects. These, in turn, give rise to physical disorders like tumors and cancers.
    Based on my own study and what I saw, I’d say these are pretty harmful and there should be proper ‘enforceable’ regulations. If you are asking me about the credibility of these claims, I believe in them as I’ve seen direct results of using too much of wireless networks and it is scary to see what a cellphone tower in your residential area can do – especially when regulations are simply ignored. There is a max amplification limit on papers, but it is not implemented. People don’t take the issue seriously as they still doubt it.
    RF is everywhere – in form of cellphone signals, GPS (which in my opinion is least destructive) and simple TV/radio communications. There is no way we can avoid it. But in my opinion, rule makers can do something to reduce long term effects of these harmful waves.

  49. Leslie

    Well said, and I trust your experience and observations.

    How about listening to the radio while driving? Is this on par with using a cell phone, or not near as bad, in your opinion?

    I may switch to a flip-phone/basic cell phone, that does not use 3G/4G, but I also get the sense from others that this is not even that much safer than these 3G and 4G (iPhone, etc,) devices. Thoughts?

  50. Ayush Tiwari

    Sir a wifi tower is setup on my roof.there is any risk of any type of cancer

  51. Arun Kumar

    Towers amplify the signal strength many times and are definitely harmful. I would ask you to talk to the building manager to get it removed.

  52. Arun Kumar

    Listening to radio is a different thing. As I said, the radio signals are everywhere. We can’t escape. But the strength of radio signals matter. Since the car radio player does not increase the strength of signals, I don’t have problems with them. Same with GPS – except at ground stations but we don’t usually even visit one. They might be of concern to people working at such stations but a general user is unaffected.

    Regarding older models, I’d agree that they do not conform to security standards that came into being later as research on the subject evolved. It might be the same or even more exposure to RF so I’d avoid the older models.

  53. Ayush Tiwari

    We are living in the same building for two hours.same time about wifi

  54. Ayush Tiwari

    Sir we are living in same building with2 years.and same about wifi tower

  55. Arun Kumar

    It is not good. You should talk to the building committee or something that takes care of maintenance there.

  56. Ayush Tiwari

    I put same question of wifi tower in front of wifi tower’s head.He says that he also set up tower on his roof which contains 20 router(transmitter)

  57. TWATS

    We shall all die by Wi-Fi….oh well better download as much as we can before we die

  58. AzKat

    Let’s not forget people:

    1. Wifi’s cancerous rating is b2
    2. Coffee / pickled cucumbers are also b2

    So before you go on a crusade on all wifi / cellphone users, first of all go after the pickled foods and coffee.

  59. AzKat

    do you drink coffee / eat pickled foods (pickled cucumber / hot pepper) because those are on the exact same cancerous rating as a 5.0ghz wifi, and normally, wifi is broadcasted on 2.4ghz, which is half the danger.

  60. AzKat

    do you drink coffee / eat pickled foods (pickled cucumber / hot pepper) because those are on the exact same cancerous rating as a 5.0ghz wifi, and normally, wifi is broadcasted on 2.4ghz, which is half the danger. z

  61. AzKat

    do you drink coffee / eat pickled foods (pickled cucumber / hot pepper) because those are on the exact same cancerous rating as a 5.0ghz wifi, and normally, wifi is broadcasted on 2.4ghz, which is hlf the danger.

  62. AzKat

    if you are so bent on going on a holy crusade against the vile wifi empire, do bring your crusade to the coffee that you drink each morning, or to the pickled foods you eat, because those are on the same “danger” (it’s not even a danger rating) as the wifi that “intrude” in your house.

    But still, ‘MURICA will be ‘MURICA, so if your feminine instincts still get triggered upon the sight of having 3 available wifi connections in your home, then start putting mirrors all around your house. That or aluminium foil. This, however, will make you look like a total retard / dumbass (you pick, because you’re a citizen and you have rights),

  63. AzKat

    that just means those schools are run by idiots.

  64. Fastbikkel

    I could not reply to the thing you sent me, so i will do it here.
    I never used the words vile and crusade at all so please do not try and put words in my mouth.
    It is all about personal preferences here.
    You mentioned coffee as being bad, fine. But i do not force my coffee down your throat do i? THat is my point.
    So please read well next time.

    Thanks, have a great day.

  65. AzKat

    I didn’t mention coffee as being bad, I said coffee is as dangerous as wifi, if you consider wifi dangerous then you shouldn’t drink coffee.

    As to why my previous post got removed, well it might have to do with the part where I asked you to wrap your house in aluminium foil to not let wifi in, but that would make you look “special”

  66. anonymous

    That’s ridiculous.
    There are plenty of laws controlling Wi-Fi and the
    allowed frequency ranges and bandwidths. All of these ensure that only
    Wi-Fi devices that don’t pose a risk to humans and animals are produced
    and used. By trying to “hack” your neighbors’ Wi-Fi routers or interfere
    with their ability to use their network, you are committing a criminal
    You said you wanted to keep radiation a matter of choice,
    but is that really what you want? No television, radio, GPS or anything
    else that allows the modern world to function the way it does, simply
    because you are scared of the ridiculously low amounts of radiation that
    have not a single time been proven to have even the slightest effect on
    human health? Have you ever considered police radio, life-critical
    systems, flash flood and tornado warning systems? Have you ever
    considered how many lives these systems save each day? And you want to
    ban them because some of these waves in the air traverse your property?
    Would you also
    ban sound waves? Sure, loud, high-amplitude sounds can be disruptive,
    just like Wi-Fi signals with high amplitudes; but unlike with sounds and
    thanks to our extremely stringent regulations, you won’t be able to
    find these signals anywhere remotely close to your house. Maybe it has
    occurred to you that light is also electromagnetic radiation. How long
    should your neighbors go to prison for if they leave on their lights at
    night, and the light disturbs your sleep? Every sane person would close
    their blinds; would you ban your neighbors from using light?
    I won’t even start talking about natural background radiation; radiation from air, cosmic and terrestrial radiation and the earth’s magnetic field. Maybe you’re only worried when radiation is produced by humans, but, whether natural or not, radiation is not always inherently harmful. Trying to keep all forms of radiation, harmful or not, off your property is completely ridiculous and only demonstrates how out of touch with reality you are.

  67. anonymous

    Whether it’s faster or more reliable depends on the setup. “More secure” is nonsense for WPA2 Enterprise networks, especially as LAN usually replaces WLAN authentication completely. LAN is certainly not “unjammable” and, trust me, most schools and businesses don’t need the lowest possible latencies to every computer because most people in these organizations will be working, not playing real-time multiplayer games where every millisecond matters, especially if this slightly lower latency comes at the cost of convenience and having to install LAN ports in every imaginable location.

  68. runningshoes66

    You have to find a way to block it, not disable it.

  69. Is the WiFi Hotspot that you can set up on the mobile phone equally harmful to health as the proper WiFi from a router?

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