Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi


Wi-Fi is a local area network
(LAN) that delivers the Internet wirelessly to all the devices in your home. Wi-Fi can also be found in offices, coffee shops, and other public spaces that provide Internet service. A Wi-Fi signal is broadcast from a device called a router. A router is a small box that is connected to the Internet via a cable as it enters your home or other building, and often has a range of several hundred feet, depending on the power of the router concerned. Most routers, however, are way more powerful than they need to be for the average home, and some act as hotspots enabling other subscribers to your Internet service to connect providing they are in range.

The name Wi-Fi comes from the term “Wireless Fidelity” and was first developed in the 1980s.

Although extremely convenient, as Wi-Fi enables an Internet connection to any device, mobile or static (smartphone, tablet, laptop, smart TV, gaming console, etc.), located anywhere within range of the router, without the need to run cables everywhere. It is not the fastest, and certainly not the safest, way to connect a device to the Internet, but due to its convenience, it has become the default way to do so.

As well as connecting a device to the Internet via Wi-Fi, a router can also connect using ethernet cables. A router will allow several different devices to connect at the same time, either via ethernet cables or Wi-Fi, or both.

The dangers of Wi-Fi

Today’s routers are very powerful devices that transmit Wi-Fi signals at the older 2.4 GHz, as well as the newer 5.0 GHz. As mentioned, a router can transmit a Wi-Fi signal for several hundred feet, way beyond the perimeter of your home, and probably your business. I suspect when logging onto the Internet for the first time you have noticed a long list of surrounding Wi-Fi routers broadcasting from your neighbors and close by businesses.

The benefits of using cables

Longmont Power and Communications, our local municipal company that supplies Longmont with its so-called 1 Gig fiberoptic Internet service doesn’t mention that the only way you will get 1 Gig speed is to not only have reasonably up-to-date devices but also you will need to connect those devices to their supplied router via ethernet cables capable of carrying 1 Gig or more. Not all of them do! If you connect via Wi-Fi you will not get anywhere near the speed they claim!

The above is one reason why using cables to connect rather than Wi-Fi. The second benefit, and the most important in our view, is safety. If you do not have Wi-Fi in your home you will not be subject to its harmful effects. In some cases, you can turn off the Wi-Fi at your router by pressing a button, but not all routers have this convenient function, so you have to contact your Internet provider and in most cases, they should be happy to turn it off for you.

How the dangers of Wi-Fi can be mitigated

If you are unable to turn off your Wi-Fi or prefer to use it to connect to the Internet rather than use ethernet cables, which can be a bit inconvenient, there are ways you can mitigate its harmful effects that can be found here.

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