Is Home Wi-Fi Dangerous?
Short answer: We don’t know if Wi-Fi in the home is harmful. According to most scientists, it probably isn’t. Here’s why.
Wi-Fi waves, which are in the microwave band, are about 100,000 times weaker than the waves generated by microwave ovens. The minimal radiation they do emit disperses significantly at a distance of over three feet. So unless you’re camped out in front of your router, the dose you’re getting zapped with is infinitesimally weak.
In fact, you would have to be sitting with your ear pressed up against your router for a year streaming video nonstop to absorb the amount of radiation emitted by a mere 20-minute phone conversation on a cellphone.1
The other thing to consider is how often our routers are actually emitting energy. According to University Pennsylvania bioengineering professor Kenneth Foster, it isn’t often at all. Our routers are mostly just sitting there, like an Amazon Echo, waiting to be useful. They’re actively transmitting just 0.1 percent of the time.2
Pro Tip: Smart devices like the Amazon Echo are mostly passive listeners, but they do record our conversations, and sometimes that can lead to smart home disasters.
For all those reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Wi-Fi waves are officially safe for humans with the caveat that “some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.”3 The WHO didn’t pull their verdict out of thin air. It analyzed over 25,000 scientific papers, representing 30 years of research.
So that’s generally good news for all of us who have invested in smart home automation, wireless home security systems, and a host of other Wi-Fi-dependent technology, like smart locks, baby monitors, and wireless earphones. Wi-Fi, the science says, should be fine — for adults.
But what about our kids, with their thinner skulls and more absorbent brains?
Did You Know? To produce the same amount of radiation emitted by a single cell phone, you’d need to tie 20 laptops and two routers together.