Whether remotely or at an on-site location, many of us spend around a third of our day at a computer. This section provides resources to help you create a safer internet-enabled workplace.
Three Simple Ways to Reduce RF Exposure in Your Home Office
1. Switch From WiFi to Hardwired Internet Connection
Connecting to the internet via WiFi involves the transmission of pulsed radiofrequency (RF) signals between the router and WiFi-connected devices, such as your laptop. This method uses the air as a medium to form an active connection, subjecting the user and those around them to high levels of ambient RF radiation.
A wired connection on the other hand, transmits signals via wires rather than the air, significantly reducing ambient RF exposure. Establishing a hardwired connection is fairly simple, but may require professional expertise. Consult with a local business to safely run cables throughout your home. Learn how (pages 7 and 8).
If you are unable to hardwire your internet, there are ways to reduce your WiFi RF exposure (see below).
2. Reduce Power and Beacon Frequency on Your WiFi Router
There are simple steps you can take to reduce RF exposure from your WiFi router that should not have a noticeable effect on its performance. Most WiFi routers use frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and, by default, have settings that are much higher than those required for a good internet connection. If you must continue to use WiFi (not recommended), you may be able to adjust certain software settings in order to reduce your overall RF exposure. This requires accessing the software settings on your WiFi router via your router’s IP address or through your internet provider’s website or mobile app. Here is an easy step-by-step guide on how to access your WiFi router settings: How to Check Router Settings.
- Once you have access to your WiFi router settings, one way to reduce your exposure is by reducing the transmit power of your router. By default, it will likely be set to 100% but this can be reduced to as low as 25%. Learn how.
- Another way to reduce your exposure is by reducing the beacon frequency. Beacon frequency refers to the time between signals and is by default, usually set to a relatively low 100 ms. However, this may be adjusted to a significantly higher value such as 1000 ms in order to reduce overall RF exposure. Learn how.
3. Switch From Bluetooth to Wired Products
Inspect the electronic products on and near your desk and ensure they are wired products that do not wirelessly transmit RF signals. Bluetooth devices are common examples and, like WiFi, use frequencies of 2.4 GHz.
|What You May Use Now||A Safer Alternative|
|Wireless Keyboard||Wired keyboard|
|Wireless Mouse||Wired mouse|
|DECT Landline Phone||Wired landline phone|
|Wireless Headphones/AirPods||Air tube headphones|
|Wireless Speakers||Wired speakers|
|Wireless Webcam||Wired webcam|
|Wireless Printer||Disable wireless connectivity. (You will still be able to use the printer with a wired connection between the device and printer.)|
|Smartphone||Switch to airplane mode and disable all wireless antennas. (Many apps can be accessed through your computer, e.g., you can access Whatsapp Web on your computer even when your smartphone is offline.)|
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