The reason people asks this question is because all WiFi Routers emit Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation. This is the same radiation a microwave oven uses to cook food. And technically speaking there is no safe level of RF Radiation. We have all heard about cellphones and their possible link to brain tumors. Cellphone signals are RF Radiation as well, just like WiFi signals. So what is a safe distance?
The best way to determine a safe distance from a WiFi Router would be to test it yourself with a meter called a “High Frequency Analyzer“. The best model in my opinion for beginners is the HF 35c High Frequency Analyzer. If you are far enough away from the WiFi Router where your meter measures 3 to 6 micro-watts per meter squared, they you are safe. That should be the goal. Depending on the WiFi Router, and the frequency and the strength of the signal it puts out, the distance to safety level will be different.
Without the protection of something like a Wifi Router Guard, which I talk about below, There really is no place that is safe in the average home, where you can get far enough away from your router to be safe. Obviously the farther away the better. But the other problem many people have is the routers in their neighbors houses. In the below video I test my WiFi router with a High Frequency Analyzer and show you how the WiFi Router Guard Works.
If you live in apartments, or if the homes in your neighborhood are closer together, then your neighbor may have a router just on the other side of his exterior wall facing you. You may be in the place that is the farthest possible distance from the router in your house, but less than 20 feet from your neighbor’s router. Again this is why getting your own meter is so important. The HF 35c High Frequency Analyzer is directional which means it reads radiation from the direction you point it.
This makes it really handy to identify all of the sources of WiFi radiation in your house, and coming from close neighbors. Then you are dealing with facts, and you can make educated decisions on how to combat the problem.
National RF Radiation Safety Limits
Micro-watts per meter squared measures the quantity or power of the radiation being emitted. Most western countries set safety limits on RF Radiation exposures of between 100 to 350 micro-watts per meter squared. The United States is the most generous setting its safety limit at 1,000 micro-watts per meter squared. I am not sure what good these safety limits do because they are never enforced. Just about every RF Radiation emitting device far exceeds even the US safety limit standards by a long ways. Smart meters for example have been measured by Dr. Laura Pressley Ph.D., (who has a doctorate in Physical Chemistry and holds four U.S. Patents in semiconductor device technology) at around emitting 60,000 micro-watts per meter squared, or 60 times the US safety limit.
What really matters is not what the government says is “acceptable”. Not to be wearing a tin foil hat but they may be paid off by the telecommunications industry. That is what “special interests” do. It happens all of the time. So what I want to know is what will really keep me and my family safe, happy and healthy.
Real Safety Limits
Even levels of RF Radiation within the so called “safety limits” set by countries have been shown by many peer reviewed scientific studies to still cause harmful, non thermal biological problems. See the Scientific Studies page of this website to links to some of these studies. Some examples of biological harm caused by RF Radiation exposure is cancer, sterility in men, and DNA damage. That is why most people concerned about the harm from this radiation strive to get their exposure down to between 3 to 6 micro-watts per meter squared. In most cities a home with no devices that emit RF Radiation in or near the home will measure between 3 to 6 micro-watts per meter squared.
And the good news is that enough people are starting to get aware of RF Radiation Dangers now that their are companies that are starting to come out with items, like the WiFi Router guard (shown below), that will block the harmful radiation that come out of these devices. If you read my article “The Protect Your Family From RF Radiation Guide” I literally take you step by step through your home, and show you how to test for everything that emits RF Radiation. And then I give you all the available options that I know of currently to correct each problem.
Sometimes the solution may be getting rid of the device, like a cordless phone perhaps, but most of the time there are items you can get that will allow you to keep the device, but still reduce the RF Radiation down to within the 3 to 6 micro-watts per meter squared range that we have been talking about.
Router Frequency Affects Safety Distance
The lower frequency WiFi Routers in the United States use various channels or frequency bands in the 2.4GHz range. These travel through walls easily and can deliver WiFi through building structures up to 70 meters. This frequency of routers are limited in the amount of data that can transmit over them. Routers using 5 GHz frequencies are popular now and improve download speeds a lot, but have more trouble going through walls. So 5 GHz routers still use 2.4 GHz internet too so that the signal can be carried throughout the home, just not at 5 GHz download speeds.
There are “5G” routers are available now as well using the 60 GHz frequency range. These will have even more trouble getting through walls, so they will also still use the 2.4 GHz (and possibly the 5 GHz) frequencies so they won’t be so limited by obstructions. So the lower the frequency and power of the signal, the farther away you need to be to be safe. Since all routers will still use the 2.4 GHz frequency however, the distances needed to be away will still be similar. Again the best solution is test with a meter.
WiFi Router Guard
There is a device, based on the principles of the Faraday cage, that will block 90% to 95% of the RF Radiation that is emitted from a WiFi Router. This greatly reduces the distance you have to be from a WiFi Router to be safe. Again you will want to test yourself as always. I have a Netgear WiFi Router that uses both the 5 GHz and the 2.4 GHz frequencies.
When I put it in a Wifi Router Guard, I still get good WiFi internet reception throughout my 3 bedroom house. And it measures 3 to 6 micro-watts per meter squared from about 15 to 20 feet away. About 12 feet away it measures around 40 to 60 micro-watts per meter squared. And I have noticed that walls affect that range a little bit. You will want to test your yourself because routers have different ranges.
I believe the best solution is to hard wire your internet throughout your house, and plug in all your computers. And then go into the settings of your router and turn off the WiFi feature. Then you have zero WiFi coming from your router. That is the very best solution. However to those that insist on having WiFi, or who have family members who do, the WiFi Router Guard is a wonderful solution. If nothing else it allows you to control how much radiation you get from your router.
Please also see our articles entitled “Why Are 5 GHz Wifi Routers More Dangerous?” and “Wifi Radiation vs Cellphone Radiation; Which Is Safer?“