When you make it your habit to turn off the WiFi router at night, it will make a huge dent in your daily EMF exposure level, say experts.
WiFi routers are a considerable source of EMF pollution in many homes. And since most people keep their routers turned on 24/7, it leads to a significant level of cumulative non-stop EMF exposure.
Changing this habit is one way to make a massive reduction in your EMF exposure – which brings us to SYB Healthy Living Tip #28: Turn Off Your WiFi Router at Night.
In this post, we’ll look at the functionality of WiFi routers in-depth to understand how they affect your physical and mental health. Besides that, we’ll also discuss how you can safely turn your WiFi router off.
So, let’s begin.
How Does WiFi Work?
WiFi is a technology that connects 63% of the global population to the internet today. It’s present in virtually every household, especially in developed countries like the US.
WiFi uses radio frequency EMF to wirelessly transmit data from your wireless router to your WiFi-enabled devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. The wireless router is connected to your internet modem, which acts as a bridge between your router and your internet service provider (ISP).
Now, because WiFi uses radio frequency to communicate with your devices, it exposes everyone within its range to this EMF radiation. This, according to research studies, can result in various physical and mental health problems ranging from minor sleep disorders to chronic diseases like cancer. More on that later.
WiFi 6: The Next Generation of Wireless Fidelity
Just like cell phone networks are named by their generations, like 3G, 4G, and now 5G, the standards of WiFi also have a name. Starting from WiFi 1, then 2, and so on. Right now, we’re using WiFi 5, with theoretical speeds of up to 3.5 Gbps.
In 2018, the WiFi Alliance, “a wireless industry organization that exists to promote wireless technologies and interoperability,” announced a new version of WiFi called WiFi 6. In September 2020, this new standard was finalized and ratified by the alliance. And it’s said to have many new features. Have a look.
How Fast is WiFi 6?
Being the next generation, WiFi 6 is projected to be significantly faster than WiFi 5, reaching a maximum speed of 9.6 Gbps in a controlled environment. That’s almost 3x faster than WiFi 5’s 3.5 Gbps.
But as with all wireless networks, these numbers are achieved in a controlled laboratory environment. And it’s highly unlikely that you’ll reach this speed in the real world.
Today, the average WiFi speed in the US is around 72 Mbps, which is less than 1% of WiFi 5’s projected rate. Undoubtedly, WiFi 6 will provide much faster connections than that. But, the next generation of WiFi isn’t just about speed.
But It Isn’t About speed
WiFi 6 is designed to improve network connectivity when several devices are connected to the same network. When WiFi 5 was launched, the number of connected devices in the average US household was no more than five. But today, the average has reached nine devices and counting.
Looking at how modern technology is developing and how the IoT is starting to become a norm, various firms predict that we’ll soon hit an average number of 50 devices per household.
As you keep adding more devices, it takes a toll on your network. The router you have right now can only communicate with so many devices at a time. And as a result, you experience slowed internet connectivity.
The proposed WiFi 6 will introduce new tech that helps reduce the issues that arrive with connecting several devices to a single network. Experts predict that WiFi 6 will:
- Let routers communicate with multiple devices at once
- Enhance your router’s ability to send data to various devices in the same broadcast
- And let WiFi devices schedule check-ins with the router.
Combined, these features will keep your connection strong even when the demand for connections increases in your home.
How to Get WiFi 6?
Just like you need a 5G phone to connect to a 5G network, you’ll need to buy new devices like a WiFi 6 router for connection.
This is because all the generations of WiFi rely not only on software updates but also on hardware upgrades.
Experts predict that you’ll also have to purchase WiFi 6-compatible phones, laptops, and consoles.
Regardless of the Generation
Though WiFi 6 will bring many new features to your home, one thing will remain the same—it will use radio frequency EMF to communicate with your devices. And if you’re within range of it, you’ll get exposed to EMF emissions.
Also, since it uses 6 GHz frequency and orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) technology, experts predict that the volume of EMF WiFi 6 will emit will be much higher than WiFi 5, resulting in a significant increase in your EMF exposure.
This is because, in order to support more concurrent connections, it would need to be able to send/receive more concurrent data. And since, for wireless tech, EMF is the data, only a larger volume of EMF emissions can support this demand.
Is WiFi Radiation Harmful to Humans?
Although RF resides in the non-ionizing range of the electromagnetic spectrum, thousands of research studies have demonstrated health risks from its exposure ranging from minor sleep disorders to chronic diseases like cancer.
So, the answer is yes. Prolonged exposure to WiFi radiation is extremely harmful to humans.
You can learn more about the dangers of WiFi on my “EMF Health Effects” page.
This is why it’s crucial for you to start thinking about taking the necessary actions to mitigate your EMF exposure.
The goal here is to be able to enjoy the benefits of technology without being subjected to the adverse health effects that tag along. Here are some ways you can do that.
Are 5 GHz And 5G The Same?
Understandably, many people get confused between 5G and 5GHz, as their terms and abbreviations are very similar. But these two are completely different things.
5 GHz is a frequency that some WiFi systems use, and 5G simply means the fifth generation.
See, the frequency speed of a network determines its connection speed.
For example, the 2G network worked on 900 and 1800 MHz (megahertz) frequencies. So, it was super slow and could only handle calls and text messages. On the other hand, 4G works on frequencies ranging up to 2.5 GHz (gigahertz). This allows it to provide HD calls, faster internet, and text messages.
Your 5 GHz WiFi simply means that it operates on the frequency of 5 GHz.
5G, on the other hand, is a mobile network that operates on frequencies ranging from 30 GHz to 300 GHz.
So, they aren’t the same.
Cut Your EMF Exposure
There are literally thousands of high-quality peer-reviewed scientific studies linking this type of radiation to adverse health effects like sleep disruption, cancer, and infertility.
In one such study, scientist Dr. Martin Pall calls WiFi an important threat to human health. He also explained seven well-established effects of WiFi exposure, including sperm dysfunction, cell damage, and oxidative stress.
In 2018, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), under the World Health Organization (WHO), also classified EMF radiation as a Class 2B carcinogen.
So, in short, there are many WiFi health risks that make limiting your exposure worthwhile.
This is even more important if you have children because children and babies are more vulnerable to EMF-induced health effects than adults.
So, to begin with, you definitely don’t want a WiFi router in the bedroom. (In fact, we recommend you keep all electronics out of your bedroom.) Experts recommend keeping your WiFi router at the safest distance possible.
And most importantly, turn off your WiFi router when you’re not using it (at night, for example).
Turn Off Your WiFi When You’re Asleep at Night
Think about it. You and your family sleep somewhere between six and nine hours a night. The simple act of turning off your WiFi router at night will cut out that radiation exposure entirely.
That’s approximately 1/3rd of your life without unnecessary WiFi radiation exposure.
Turning off your WiFi router at night is a great habit to develop because you’ll reduce your and your family’s exposure to EMF radiation for a huge chunk of 24 hours.
Besides that, there are other benefits to turning off your WiFi at night, like:
- Increased personal security (because WiFi can’t be hacked if it’s not on)
- Less power consumption (these little devices use a lot more electricity than you might realize)
According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
There are approximately 145 million of these little boxes in people’s homes, and on a per household basis, they consume just under 100 kilowatts per year – more than a new energy-efficient 32-inch TV, twice as much as a new 14-inch ENERGY STAR laptop computer, and 30 times as much as a cell phone charger.
In 2012, small network equipment consumed more than… three dirty coal power plants’ worth of electricity.
These small, innocuous black boxes that never sleep consume enough electricity each year to power all 1.2 million homes in the Silicon Valley area.The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
In fact, the NRDC found that turning off WiFi when not in use could save $300M in energy costs annually — and that’s just in the United States.
So, turning off your WiFi router at night isn’t just good for your health – it’s great for your wallet, too!
How To Turn off Your WiFi Router?
Here are some ways to safely turn off the WiFi router in your home.
Unplug It From the Socket
The easiest and most obvious way to turn off your WiFi at night is to just unplug your WiFi router/modem when you go to bed.
Then you can plug it back in when you wake up.
That’s simple and effective – and you can start doing it right now, for free, without learning anything new or buying new tech.
But that’s another thing you have to remember to do, and some people don’t want to add this to their daily list of chores.
Use a Timer
So, you might prefer an automated solution. You can plug your router into a timer, just like you would a light.
Then set the timer to go on and off when you want it to, and voila! You don’t need to worry about it anymore.
These timers (like this one on Amazon) are inexpensive, super easy to use, and they’re mechanical, so they aren’t a source of any additional radiation.
Use Your Router’s Built-in Timer
If you want the convenience of a timer, you may not have to buy anything new to get that functionality.
Many WiFi routers include timer functionality built right in. Though you will need to be comfortable going in and modifying your router’s settings.
There are a ton of tutorials online like this one that teaches how to do it with an Apple Airport or Airport Express or this one from YouTube:
If you would like specific instructions for your own WiFi router modem, you can just google “how to set a schedule on [router name] WiFi router,” and you should get the information you need.
Turn Off Your WiFi Router Remotely with Your Phone
Another option to turn off your WiFi router at night is by using your smartphone. Here’s how.
Some companies, like Asus and Verizon FiOS, have apps that can be used to turn off your WiFi router. You can install these apps on your phone to control and manage your WiFi modem. This means you can shut down your WiFi router using your phone whenever you want.
What if neither your internet service provider nor WiFi router manufacturer has an app available? Don’t worry: there’s still a way to do this.
All WiFi routers can be accessed and controlled through a web browser on the same network. And your phone has a web browser.
So, you just have to open the web browser on your phone and go to your WiFi router’s web address (usually something like https://192.168.1.1). From there, you can find an option to shut it off.
Here are links to the instructions for how to disable WiFi on some of the most common routers and internet providers.
ISP specific Modem/Router Instructions:
Modem/Router Manufacturer Instructions:
Turn Off Your WiFi With a Built-In Power Off Button
Turning off your WiFi router by unplugging, using a timer, or through the router’s online control panel can sometimes be a hassle. If you have a physical power button on your router, you can easily switch off your WiFi without disabling the Ethernet.
Though most router manufacturers don’t provide a power button, here is a list of some that do:
- AsRock G10
- AsRock X10
- AVM FRITZ!Box All models (Except Model 6590, 6591)
- Netgear Routers
- Netis ADSL Routers
- Synology Router RT2600ac
- Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac
- Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)
If You Turn Off Your WiFi at Night, You Can Still Stay Connected
It’s important to realize that turning off your WiFi at night doesn’t mean you have to turn off all your internet access.
When you turn off your WiFi router, you’re just switching off the wireless function. You can still use wired internet using an ethernet cable.
So, for example, if you want to turn off your WiFi but still keep your computer online (for overnight backups, for example), that’s easy! Just use an ethernet cable to plug your computer into your router or modem.
That way, you can turn off your WiFi, slash the EMF, and still stay connected.
Disabling your WiFi router at night will make a huge dent in the EMF levels in your home. And you really should do it.
But if you really want to trim the EMF, remember to disable WiFi on your computers and other devices, too.
While your WiFi router emits a lot more radiation than, for example, the WiFi modem in your cell phone, your cell phone is still a source.
If you don’t disable WiFi on your devices, they’ll still be on, searching for a signal, even if your WiFi router is off. So, you’ll want to ensure all of your devices are in airplane mode or have their WiFi disabled throughout the night.
Here’s how to turn off WiFi on:
In short, do make it a habit to cut out unnecessary WiFi radiation at night. You’ll lower your power bills, improve your health, and get a better night’s sleep.
This simple tip is just one example of why we always say the best EMF protection is free.