Safer Use of Computers
To view information on how to connect your iPad or iPhone to the Internet using hardwired cables while the iPad or iPhone is in Airplane mode, click here.
To view information on devices that use electric circuits or TV coaxial cables in your walls to carry Internet from your router to other rooms in your house so that you can avoid Wi-Fi without having to install Ethernet cables, click here.
To see a list of links to EMF Meters and Instruments and EMF-shielding products that Oram recommends that are sold by Safe Living Technologies, click here.
To see a list of links to EMF Meters and Instruments and EMF-shielding products that Oram recommends that are sold by LessEMF, click here.
To see a list of links to Radio Frequency EMF-shielding products that Oram recommends that are sold by Amazon, click here.
Page last updated November 20, 2016.
There are four main kinds of EMFs, and you will potentially find all four at a computer work station. These are magnetic fields, electric fields, Wi-Fi, and so-called "dirty electricity." These are each discussed separately below.
The most harmful type of EMF at computers, although it is fast becoming the least common, is magnetic field exposure from the old cathode ray tube style of monitor, which is really a TV set. We would never sit as close to a television set as we do in front of a computer monitor. The field can extend three to four feet in all directions, even through a wall into another room.
This is rapidly becoming a non-issue with the use of flat screen monitors and laptops, both of which use LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, technology or even newer LED, or Light Emitting Diodes to light up the screen. Neither LCD nor LED monitors emit magnetic fields beyond a couple of inches from the base.
If you still own a cathode-ray tube monitor, the best solution is to replace it with a flat screen stand-alone monitor or a laptop as soon as possible. They are much more affordable now than initially. If you are still really sensitive to even a flatscreen monitor or laptop, then purchase a remote keyboard and move the flat screen monitor or laptop further away. Find the setting in the Control Panel to change the pixel size on the screen (usually under "Display," and then click on the tab labeled, "Settings"). This way you can increase the size of the icons and font on your screen to see them from farther away. You can also purchase radiation screens and anti-static shields from Less EMF (remember you need to ground the shield).
There are also magnetic fields around every transformer that you have plugged into the power strip. The field extends out about 1-2 feet. The solution is to move the power strip away from your feet by at least three or four feet. A little distance makes a big difference.
There are also small magnetic fields produced from the motor of the hard drive inside the computers, but that is relatively small. Still, you should move a computer tower away from your knees by a few feet rather than having it right against your knee. Ideally move it outside the desk to the side as far away from you as possible. Once you move the computer, purchase extension data cables from Radio Shack, Frye's or Best Buy if your existing data cables do not reach between the computer and your keyboard, monitor and peripheral equipment.
Finally, if you have a laptop computer, there will be a magnetic field around the in-line transformer. Just move it as far away as the cord will allow and you should be fine.
You can reduce electric field levels at your computer workstation by replacing the electric power cords of most desktop computers, monitors and some printers with a shielded AC power cord available at Radio Shack for $10. If the existing power cord pulls out from the back of your computer, monitor or printer, take it to Radio Shack and show it to the clerk. Ask for the AC Shielded Power Cord, Part # 61-206, to replace it. Use that shielded power cord instead of the cord that came with the computer (unless you already have a shielded power cord, indicated by the word "SHIELDED" mixed in with the lettering imprinted on the cord itself, which is very rare).
Replacing the AC power cord with a shielded cord is not possible with most inline transformers, unless you have one that has a detachable AC power cord that has a plug on the appliance end that matches the shielded AC power cord from Radio Shack.
Laptop computers can also be sources of high electric field exposure while they are plugged in if they are ungrounded. (This is not a problem with desktop computers because they are already grounded through a three-pronged plug, but you must make sure the outlet has a properly working ground--see below.)
Many PC laptops have a two-pronged, ungrounded plug on the end of the cord, and Mac laptop power cords can be configured in such a way that they, too, are ungrounded.
When the power cord plug is ungrounded, placing your hands on the keyboard can produce significantly high electric field exposure, even if you don't touch the case, and even if the case is plastic and not metal. This is particularly a problem if you spend hours each day on an ungrounded laptop computer, like several clients of mine who complain of marked fatigue and agitation when doing so.
If the AC power cord is already grounded (three-pronged), then the laptop will be grounded and there will be no problem. When the plug has only two prongs, however, then the laptop will be ungrounded.
If the laptop's power supply is not already grounded, there are several workarounds:
You will notice an immediate reduction in fatigue when you make sure that your laptop is properly grounded. Now, instead of seeing 5,000 milliVolts (mV) or higher of electric field exposure on the body voltage test when you touch the keyboard, as I have seen with many clients with ungrounded computers, the level drops down to a healthy 100-200 mV. That is the range, or close to it, that you want to see.
If the electric field level drops but not as low as 100-200 mV, what remains would be coming from having your legs close to plastic-jacketed AC power cords for a lamp and other appliances at your desk (paper shredder, printer, etc.), as well as plastic-jacketed "Romex" circuits in the walls, but at least you won't be tired all the time when you use your laptop. You can reduce these remaining electric field levels by moving all 120 Volt plastic AC power cords as far away from your legs as possible, preferably 3-4 feet. Distance does make a difference. The low voltage cords generally do not cause a problem.
You also have a problem when the computer plug is grounded but the outlet is an older ungrounded two-pronged outlet and you are using a three-to-two, so-called "cheater plug" in order to power your computer. Or, the outlet does have a third hole but a circuit tester shows that the ground is non-functional.
If either of these conditions are the case, call an electrician to provide you with a properly grounded outlet where you use your computer. While waiting for that repair, run a grounded (three-pronged) extension cord to your desk that is plugged into an outlet that is properly grounded, and verify that by plugging your circuit tester into the extension cord.
You can also have a surge protector or power strip with a non-working ground. I have seen that. Verify this with your tester and if the surge protector/power strip is not grounded but the outlet is, you must replace it.
Reducing Electric Fields at Computers with Grounding and "Earthing" Pads
The discussion above has relavence to a topic that is on many people's minds these days, and that is, grounding or "earthing" pads for your bed and computer work station. If you have high electric fields at your computer, some advocate that you simply put your feet on a grounded earthing pad.
While a body voltage meter will show a reduction in electric field exposure when you do this, the German building biologists found that you are in fact passing man-made micro-current and micro-voltages through your body to the earth. This is not healthy. We believe you are better off grounding an ungrounded computer first and foremost using one of the options given above and then using an earthing pad for all of its benefits, rather than just solving the problem by using an earthing pad alone. You will be better off in my opinion if you do both.
Just be sure to move any 120 Volt AC power cords as far away from your legs as possible. These include the power cords for lamps, paper shredders, sound systems, batter back-ups, and anything else at your feet under or near your desk. Move these cords at least 3-4 feet away, if you can.
I discuss earthing pads in more detail in my "Position Paper on the Proper Use of Earthing and Grounding Pads to Combat Elevated Electric Fields.
Radio Frequency EMF Fields
Wired Versus Wireless (Wi-Fi) Routers and Local Area Networks (LANs)
The most significant EMF at computer work stations today is wireless frequencies. Your network to the web can either be hardwired, as it was in the "old days," or wirelessly between your computer and an Internet router. You can also connect to other computers and your printer through wireless, also known as Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi networks are in fact being used for many more purposes today, allowing you to connect your smart cell phone, camera and even appliances and your electric meter with your computers and with each other. The plan is to eventually have a total grid within and between homes securely sharing information. The problem is, research shows this to be detrimental and many have fallen ill as a result of exposure to these technologies.
Our goal is to show you how high speed Internet service can get to multiple computers in your house on the same Internet account without using Wi-Fi. We recommend that you set up a hardwired network or local area network (LAN). It doesn't matter how the data stream gets into the home (DSL from phone lines, now FIOS and U-Verse, or from the cable company or satellite). There is no problem with that from an EMF standpoint. The radio frequency EMFs come from the use of a router to connect computers and printers in a house in a wireless network. You want to connect these devices in your house through a hardwired network.
That is accomplished by ideally using Ethernet cables. These are installed in your crawl space, attic or outside along the soffits. An Audio Video contractor can install these Ethernet cables to jacks in your walls in the room with your router and any other room in the house where you want Internet service without having to use Wi-Fi. You then purchase an Ethernet cable and plug that into the wall jack and into your computer. If your computers are all in the same room, you can simply run Ethernet cables that you purchase at the store from the router to each computer in the room. If you run out of Ethernet jacks or ports on the back of the router, you can purchase an Ethernet Switch, also known as a Hub, that connects to the router using an Ethernet cable. This gives you more ports for more Ethernet cables connected to more devices.
If you have more than one device in the distant room that needs to be connected to the Internet, you can put a Switch or Hub in that room and then connect to each device with Ethernet cables plugged into the Switch.
You can add printers to this network and print from any computer in the house that is also plugged into this unit, just as you do now with Wi-Fi.
You can also now hook up your TV/Entertainment Center to your router over this hardwired network, rather than using Wi-Fi, in order to stream movies and TV shows from such companies as Netflix and Hulu. You will need a decoder at the TV that does not produce Wi-Fi, as the Apple TV unit does. I have heard conflicting information about Roku about being able to disable the Wi-Fi on that unit at the TV. Inquire about disabling Wi-Fi in the unit at the TV when you connect your TV to the Internet for streaming media.
I have also learned that older BlueRay units can still be purchased without Wi-Fi. You can run an Ethernet cable from your router to a BlueRay unit (using either a long cable or a network adapter, discussed below) and then run an HDMI cable from the BlueRay unit to your TV. The BlueRay remote will allow you to access the Internet, allowing you to stream Netflix and Hulu on your TV without using Wi-Fi.
If you don't want to or can't install Ethernet cables in your house, there are two other options to get your Internet to distant rooms without using Wi-Fi. The first technology puts the Internet signal onto existing electric circuits and the other uses the existing coaxial cables that usually already exists for television service. In both cases, once you install the devices that allow you to send Internet data to another room, you would then need to disable the Wi-Fi radio transmitter on the router. That is covered further below.
Let's first discuss the option that sends the Internet data stream to distant rooms on the electric circuits.
Network Adapters Using Electric Circuits
The first technology uses a pair of Network Adapters, such as the TP-LINK AV1200 Powerline Adapter, Gigabit w/ Power Outlet Pass-through Adapter Kit. This carries up to 1,200 Megabits of data per second (Mbps). This model is grounded (see below for explanation). Purchase the TP-Link with two adapters from Amazon for roughly $75 by clicking here or on the icon below.
If you need to add adapters in other rooms for additional computers, your network can be expanded by purchasing a second kit and using one or two additional adapters.
Be sure not to purchase a model of network adapter that has Wi-Fi built in (the model listed above does not). See below for details.
I chose this TP-Link model because each unit has a three-pronged plug, which is grounded, rather than a two-pronged plug without the ground prong. If the adapter unit only has a two-pronged ungrounded plug, that means the laptop that you would hold in your hand will have a high electric field EMF level when you plug in the Ethernet cable that comes from the network adapter unit.
Using the Network Adapter and Ethernet cable does allow you to turn off the Wi-Fi on the laptop and get your Internet in a hardwired way through the Ethernet cable, thereby eliminating one type of EMF. However, if the Network Adapter unit is ungrounded, you will replace one type of EMF (radio frequencies) with another type of EMF, which is a high electric field. Again, this happens because the unit that the Ethernet cable is plugged into is ungrounded. High electric fields are agitating to your cells and they drain your energy and make you feel tired, among other health effects.
We solve this by having a grounded plug on the TP-Link unit, thereby grounding the Ethernet cable and anything it is plugged into, such as your laptop. This avoids you having to purchase a separate USB Ground Cord from LessEMF to ground your laptop directly to a properly grounded outlet when you plug in the Ethernet cable from an ungrounded Network Adapter to keep the electric field levels down.
Of course, plugging in your laptop power cord, if it is grounded (three-pronged), will also ground the laptop, but purchasing this TP-Link model with its grounded, three-pronged plug will allow you to use your laptop on battery without having to plug in the power cord to stay grounded. The only cord you will be tethered to is the Ethernet cable, and they can be as long as 50 feet or longer, so you can move about the room or go outside and still have no "smoke" from radio frequency EMFs produced by Wi-Fi on your computer. (That is taken care of by manually turning off the Wi-Fi on your computer once the Ethernet cable is plugged in, as discussed below.)
A slightly less expensive alternative for those who do not need grounding of the Network Adapter unit is the TRENDnet Powerline Adapter Kit. Such an application might be if you are connecting the Ethernet cable of the remote unit to a desktop computer, all of which are already grounded, or to a TV or set-top box that plays Internet programming for a TV (Netflix, Hulu and so on). (If you will be connecting the Ethernet cable of the remote unit to a portable device you will be holding in your hands, such as a laptop, iPad or iPhone (see below), then spend the extra $10 and get the grounded TP-Link listed above.) The Powerline 500 AV2 Adapter Kit with Gigabit Port carries up to 500 Megabits of data per second (Mbps). Purchase Model TPL-408E2K as a starter kit with two adapters from Amazon for roughly $65 by clicking here or on the icon below.
If you need to add adapters in other rooms for additional computers, your network can be expanded by purchasing as many additional single units as you need. If you need an even number of additional units, buy another box of two adapters through the link above. If you only need one additional unit, purchase the TRENDnet Powerline AV600 Adapter with Gigabit Port, TPL-408E for $40 by clicking here or on the icon below.
I don't believe the two brands of Network Adapter are interchangeable. Thus, if you need the remote unit to be grounded, you need to buy the TP-Link pair in a box, and any third remote unit also needs to be TP-Link. I don't believe TP-Link sells single units as TrendNet does, so you are stuck having to buy another pair of TP-Link Network Adapters for another $75. I wish the prices were less, but they are what they are. Your health is worth it by being able to get fast, stable and secure Internet service in your home without Wi-Fi. That is what we recommend.
How to Use Your Network Adapters
Whether you purchase the grounded TP-Link or the ungrounded TrendNet model, in either case you are purchasing a pair of network adapters in each starter box. One adapter goes in the room with the router, and the other unit or units go anywhere in the house where you want to use your computers. Each adapter plugs into an electric outlet, so while one unit stays with the router, you can move the other unit around as you move the location of your laptop or desktop computer. It does not matter which adapter is used as the mother unit and which is the remote unit.
First plug one adapter directly into an outlet that is near the router. An Ethernet jack exists on the bottom of each unit. Plug the Ethernet cable that comes with the adapters into the back of your router and into the Ethernet jack on the bottom of the network adapter.
Then plug the other adapter unit directly into an outlet near the computer or other device you want to provide Internet service to in a room away from the router. Plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet jack of your laptop (or other device). You may need a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet or USB-to-Ethernet adapter, available below, if you have a Mac laptop that is too thin to have an Ethernet port.
Once you do this, the lights on the adapter will show you that the adapter unit is plugged into a working outlet (the top green light), that a computer or other device is connected via the Ethernet cable (the lowest green light), and that you are getting the Internet stream from the mother unit that is connected to the router in the other room (the middle light). If that middle light is green, the speed is faster than 80 Mbps. If it is yellow, the speed is between 50-80 Mbps. If it is red, the speed is less than 50 Mbps. A couple of clients have found this to be too slow for their needs. If so, try a different circuit (see below). I am able to stream Netflix even though the network adapter has a red light for Internet speed between the adapters.
Also, do not plug either adapter into a power strip, surge protector or extension cord, because the noise suppression technology of the surge protector will wipe out the Internet data you are trying to send over the electric wire.
If the 6-foot cord provided with the adapter units is not long enough to reach an available electric outlet in the room with the router, order a longer Ethernet cable from Amazon when you purchase the network adapter. For example, you can purchase a 14-foot Ethernet cable for $5 by clicking here or on the first image below. If you need a cable longer than that, try a 25-foot cable for $6 by clicking here or on the second image below, or a 50-foot cable for $9 by clicking here or on the third image below. If you want to purchase a different length or color, you will find one on the Ethernet cable search page on Amazon linked to by clicking here.
Click on the icon below to order a 14-foot Ethernet cable:
Click on the icon below to order a 25-foot Ethernet cable:
Click on the icon below to order a 50-foot Ethernet cable:
As noted above, to purchase any other length or color of Ethernet cable, you can see a variety of choices at affordable prices by clicking here.
Reviewers on Amazon report that you get faster speeds if the outlet in the room where the remote computer is going is on a circuit that is on the same "leg" of "phase" as the circuit that powers the outlet in the room with the router into which the first adapter is plugged. I can help you to determine which leg the two circuits are on and whether they are on the same leg of the electrical system in the house or not.
The model for the starter kit that I have recommended has a throughput speed of 1,200 Mbps. Most Internet Service Providers give you a download speed from the Net to your house of 30 Mbps. So why the need for 1,200 Mbps? That is for superfast speed when you are streaming video between a home server, such as a DVD player, to a distant TV in your house over the electric circuits using the TRENDnet network adapter.
For a Mac Air or Macbook, which has no Ethernet port, you can purchase a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter for $28 by clicking here or on the first image below, or purchase a USB-to-Ethernet adapter from Amazon for $28 by clicking here or on the second image below.
Be sure to then turn off the Wi-Fi on your laptop or desktop computer, if the desktop has Wi-Fi (many older models do not). If you plug an Ethernet cable into your laptop or desktop and assume that doing so automatically disables the Wi-Fi, you will unfortunately continue to experience the constant transmission of a radio signal by the computer every few seconds looking for a Wi-Fi router, even with an Ethernet cable plugged in and no Wi-Fi on in the house. You must manually disable the Wi-Fi on your computer. I show you how to do this below.
Be aware that at the present time there is no Ethernet port (nor even a USB port) on an iPad, however, we have now learned of a hardwired workaround that is not supported by Apple, but does get you onto the Net using various adapters and a powered USB hub--see below.
If you purchase another model other than the models listed above, be sure that the network adapter you purchase does not have a Wi-Fi access point transmitter in the unit you plug in somewhere else in the house beyond where the router is. Netgear and other companies do make network adapters for that purpose, to send the Internet signal over the electrical circuits to a distant part of the house where the network adapter unit you plug in then transmits a Wi-Fi signal. You only want this remote unit to provide an Internet signal from the Ethernet jack on the side through an Ethernet cable to your computer and not also transmit a Wi-Fi signal into this room.
If you are electrically sensitive to high frequencies (dirty electricity), network adapter technology will not be for you. Since the Internet signal travels as higher frequencies on the electric circuits at the zero crossing point of the 60 Hz sine wave, using what is known as Power Line Carrier, or PLC, technology, it can emit some level of frequencies off electric wires, which are not fully shielded. This is true even with metal-clad wiring, which shields electric fields but not magnetic fields below 1 MHz, and most dirty electricity is below 1 Mhz. Even if you have metal clad electrical wiring, you still also have plastic AC appliance power cords plugged into outlets throughout the house, and they can possibly emit harmonic frequencies of dirty electricity, if it exists, both the electric and magnetic components. Many electrically-sensitive people are quite bothered by PLC technology, such as when their electric utility uses it to gather information from their smart meters.
Instead, if you are sensitive to dirty electricity, you have two options to provide remote Internet in your house: The first is to hire an Audio / Video contractor to install Ethernet cables in your crawl space, attic or outside along the soffits from the room with the router to the rooms where you want a remote computer or printer. Ethernet cables are shielded.
Multimedia Over Cable Alliance Technology (MOCA)
The other option is to use MOCA, or multimedia over cable alliance technology. The device they use is called an Ethernet to Coax Adapter Kit for Homes with Cable TV Service. This sends the Internet signal over existing coaxial cables in your house, which are shielded, even if you already use your coaxial cables for TV service.
In one room you connect one Ethernet to Coax adapter unit to your router using a provided Ethernet cable. You then connect the unit to a nearby coaxial cable using the provided coaxial cable. Then connect the other adapter unit to a computer in another room anywhere in the house using another Ethernet cable and connect the unit to a nearby coaxial cable jack in a wall in that room. This assumes your coaxial cables are connected and you have a continuous path. If not, you will need an Audio Video contractor to make sure the coaxial cable is continuous.
The Actiontec Ethernet over Coax Adapter Kit is available by clicking here or by clicking on the image below. The kit retails for roughly $114 and is advertised to send data at speeds up to 270 Mbps. It has one Ethernet port on the back of each unit. There will be instructions on how to install them. The kit comes with two units. One goes in the room with the modem and router and the other unit goes wherever you want Internet access in the house. However, the room you want Internet access in has to have a functioning coaxial cable that is connected in the walls to the coaxial cable in the room with the modem and router.
You can buy additional single units from Amazon for roughly $71 each by clicking here or on the image below.
Another option is the Legrand DA2204V1 Four Port Coax Network Adapter available from Amazon for roughly $119 by clicking here or on the image below. This model has a built-in data switch, meaning you have four ports on the back to plug in up to four Ethernet cables at once at this location. You would need to purchase two of these units, one for the room with the router and the other for the remote room where you want to have Internet service. I would presume it would be possible to install a third unit in another room if you wanted to have Internet service in two separate remote rooms at once.
If you are electrically sensitive, you need to see how you feel with this technology. Coaxial cables are shielded, so at least the electric field component of high frequencies should not be emitted into the room, but you need to see if this works for you or not.
Putting aside cost and throughput speed considerations, of the two, the coaxial cable solution is perhaps better because the coaxial cable is shielded, while the electric circuit, which is the path that the network adapter over power lines uses, is not. Therefore the coax is a better choice from an EMF standpoint, but if coaxial jacks are not available in either room and you are not electrically hypersensitive, then use the Netgear network adapter over circuits. Installing Ethernet cables is always the best solution, particularly for electrically hypersensitive clients.
Disabling Wi-Fi on a Router
Don't forget to then disable the Wi-Fi on your computer, as well as your router. To disable the Wi-Fi broadcast feature of the router, this can be done using any computer that is connected to the router with an Ethernet cable from any room in the house. The router will stay on and function as a hardwired router but the Wi-Fi will be turned off. I can assist you with this if you are in Southern California, or you can call the Technical Services department of your router manufacturer and they will walk you through it.
This will involve opening your browser and typing in a string of numbers instead of a web address. This opens the Control Panel of the router that the computer is connected to. Once you enter the correct username and password, you must then find the wireless network setup page, where you can disable the Wi-Fi. You can bookmark this page so you can easily disable and enable the Wi-Fi, if other family members need it, with just two or three clicks. Unless you are computer savvy, however, you will need assistance to do this.
I can help you with this if you are local. An Internet Technology (IT) contractor can also do this for you. You can also call the manufacturer of the router to walk you through how to do this. If this is a modem/router combination unit provided by your cable or telephone company (FIOS from Verizon or U-Verse from AT&T), their customer service department can walk you through disabling the Wi-Fi.
When the Wi-Fi has been successfully disabled, the Wi-Fi indicator light will be off on the front of the router or modem/router. Sometimes there are two lights, one for 2.4 GHz and the other for 5 GHz. They both need to be off. Secondly, you will no longer see your Wi-Fi network available on your laptop, tablet or smart phone. Most importantly, however, a radio frequency (RF) detector will no longer pick up a signal.
Be aware that some clients are saying that after some time, the Wi-Fi light on the front of their router or modem/router is back on again. I come back to the house and sure enough, the Wi-Fi is back on. This can happen during upgrades that happen automatically by the cable company, but that would only happen if the unit you are using is a modem/router combination unit provided by your cable or telephone company. This will not happen on a router that you buy and hook up to a modem yourself (assuming the modem is a non-wireless model--see below).
We are experiencing separate Wi-Fi transmitting networks, called the "Public Network"
Modems and Routers That Do Not Transmit Wi-Fi
There are non-wireless models available for your modem and router, as noted above. Sometimes the modem that is installed by a cable company already contains a router, which produces Wi-Fi. You can get your own modem and a separate router approved by your cable company. A modem without a router built into it does not produce Wi-Fi, and we recommend below router models that either do not have Wi-Fi or have a manual switch that turns Wi-Fi on and off.
Having your own modem and router is particularly important these days when cable companies are now putting public Wi-Fi hot spots into their modem/router combinations. This is being done by Comcast through their Xfinity modem/routers, and by other companies. We have been able to show our clients how to manually disable the private Wi-Fi networks on their cable company-provided modem/router but we have had difficulty disabling the public Wi-Fi hot spot, which uses a very powerful transmitter. We have to contact customer support to try to disable that public Wi-Fi transmitter and when they say they have done it remotely, we still measure a radio frequency signal. It is best to avoid the public Wi-Fi hot spot altogether and get your own modem and separate router from the choices offered below.
The best modem would be an Arris Surfboard SB6141 for roughly $68 (Motorola also makes a non-transmitting modem called by the same name, Surfboard). It supports download speeds of 343 Mbps and upload speeds of 131 Mbps and gets good reviews. This modem does not have Wi-Fi. To order an Arris Surfboard modem in white color from Amazon, click here or on the first image below. If you want a model that is black in color, click here or on the second image below.
Note: These Arris modems provide Internet only and does not support telephone service from the cable company. For telephone service, see below. Purchasing your own modem for Internet means you don't have to pay every month to rent one from the cable company. This Arris Surfboard model is approved by Time Warner and other cable companies.
The router could be a non-wireless model, such as the TRENDnet TW100-S4W1CA 4-Port Broadband Router, available for roughly $19 from Amazon by clicking here or on the image below.
If you need to have Wi-Fi periodically, you can purchase a router that has a physical on/off button for the Wi-Fi, such as the Netgear N600 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router, model WNDR3400 available for roughly $59 from Amazon by clicking here or on the image below. The Wi-Fi on/off switch is on the back of the router.
Another router that has a Wi-Fi on-off switch is the TP-LINK TL-WR1042ND available by clicking here or on the image below. The on/off switch is on the front of this model.
Remember, you can also manually enable and disable the Wi-Fi on your existing router with two to three clicks of your mouse by going into the control panel of your router through a browser on your computer that is connected to the router with an Ethernet cable. I explain how to do this in the preceding section of this article.
I would recommend you also purchase a Router Guard from LessEMF for $52 for those few times when you do need to turn the Wi-Fi on. This is a metal box with a lid made with radio frequency-shielding wire mesh, like a strong screen, that your router can be placed inside of to reduce the signal strength emitting into the room when the Wi-Fi is on. The signal is greatly reduced but it will still allow people to connect wirelessly to the Wi-Fi. I would not recommend leaving the Wi-Fi enabled all the time and using this product as your sole means to protect yourself, because some amount of harmful radio frequency signals do still get through this box into your room, so shut off the Wi-Fi when not needed and only use the Wi-Fi sparingly. Electrically-sensitive people should not use this product and instead use a non-transmitting router, linked to above. Order the Router Guard from LessEMF by clicking here.
If you have more Ethernet cables to connect to your router than you have ports available on the back of the router, you will need to purchase an Ethernet hub, also known as a "switch." Purchase the TP-Link TL-SG105 5-port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop Switch available from Amazon for roughly $19 by clicking here or on the image below. It supports speeds of 10/100/1000 Mbps.
One issue that remains is the fact that the Surfboard modem does not support telephone service from Time Warner and other cable companies. For that, you can have the cable company provide a separate stand alone modem to provide telephone service, which they can do.
The problem with bundling telephone with TV and Internet through your cable company is that they will provide a newer modem to provide both Internet and telephone from the same modem box. These newer modems have the built-in router that has the public Wi-Fi hot spot transmitter I discuss above.
Time Warner does provide a stand alone modem that can provide telephone service but not Internet. It does not have a built in router, so there is no public Wi-Fi hot spot. Your Arris modem would provide Internet and you can also buy your own router either without Wi-Fi or a model with a Wi-Fi on/off switch (or disable the Wi-Fi through the router control panel accessed from your computer's browser). Telephone service would then be provided by this separate stand alone modem provided by the cable company.
Alternatively, you could get basic phone service from your local telephone company (Verizon or ATT), or use a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service through your Internet like Vonage or Magic Jack (be sure the device does not send out Wi-Fi, like Ooma’s units do).
It is always a good idea to have your own radio frequency (RF) meter so that you can take your own readings and verify whether the equipment you have is producing a radio signal or not. Relying on the instructions in this article and whether the Wi-Fi light on the front of the modem or router is not lit is not enough to guarantee that your house is free of this type of EMF. I have described these steps based upon the models I have worked with and researched. However, models from the cable company in your area may be different or updated and may contain wireless transmitters without you knowing it.
An electrically sensitive person should have their own array of EMF meters to periodically assess their home environment, particularly when new technology is brought in, to make sure it is safe. I review suggested models of EMF meters and where to order them on the page EMF Meters and Instruments.
Disabling Wi-Fi on a Macbook, Mac Air or iMac Computer
You will also need to disable the Wi-Fi on your laptop or desktop computer (if it has built-in Wi-Fi). If you don't, your computer will continue to put out freqeuncies as the computer tries to find a Wi-Fi router in the area, even if you are now connected to your router with an Ethernet cable.
To disable the Wi-Fi on a Mac laptop or iMac, first make sure your Ethernet cable is plugged into the Ethernet jack and that you are connected to the Internet. Then find the wedge-shaped icon, located in the upper right corner of the menu bar to the left of the volume icon and the day and time. If the Wi-Fi is on, you will see black or gray curved bars in the wedge (black if there is a strong Wi-Fi signal close by, and gray if it is weak or non-existent). Next, click on the wedge-shaped icon. The first line of the drop down menu will say, "Wi-Fi: On". If so, and you are ready to disable it, then click on the second line, which currently says, "Turn Wi-Fi Off". That turns off the Wi-Fi and the curved lines go away. You want to see an empty wedge-shaped icon. That means there is no Wi-Fi signal coming from the computer.
Next, make sure you are still connected to the Internet. If your Ethernet connection is good and the technology you use to get that Internet signal to your computer over the Ethernet cable is good, you should still be able to get onto the Internet. In fact, hardwired connections are usually faster, more stable and more secure than wireless connections, and there are no radio frequency EMFs.
(You also want to make sure the BlueTooth icon, to the left of the wedge-shaped icon, is also disabled (gray versus black), because if it is enabled, the computer will send out a BlueTooth radio signal to connect to a wireless device such as a wireless mouse or keyboard, and the wireless mouse and keyboard themselves send out a continuous radio signal. If you have a wireless mouse and / or keyboard, we highly recommend that you replace these with a hardwired mouse and keyboard. Then turn the BlueTooth off in the wireless mouse and keyboard, because if you don't, they can still transmit a signal in a drawer until the battery within them runs out.)
Disabling Wi-Fi on a PC Laptop
To disable the Wi-Fi on a PC laptop, there is often a button that turns this on and off. If not, and you have Windows XP operating system, open the control panel and click on "Network Connections." You will see an icon for the "LAN or High-Speed Internet," which will say "Connected." That means you are connected through the Ethernet cable. Leave that alone. Look for the icon that says "Wireless." You want to right-click that and click to make it "Disabled."
The Choice of Using Wireless Tablets Compared to New, Slim, Lightweight Laptops
Tablets are very popular these days, and more and more people are switching over to using them for everything they did on their computer, including surfing the web and email. There is a problem with them, however, and for that reason, you may want to choose one of the newer laptops on the market, such as the Mac Air--see below.
The reason why we prefer a Mac Air, and any other new, slim, lightweight laptop, to tablets is because you cannot officially connect to the Internet with a tablet any other way except wirelessly. The Lightning jack used to recharge the tablet's battery and to synch the tablet up with a computer to exchange and download files does not allow you to officially access the Internet through a computer that the tablet is synched up with nor to connect directly to a router with an Ethernet cable. Or so we thought.
How to Connect to the Internet from an iPad or iPhone With Wi-Fi Disabled
While Apple does not officially support it, we have discovered how to connect iPads and iPhones to the Internet using a series of adapters, cables and a powered USB type 2 or 3 hub while the iPad or iPhone is in Airplane mode (meaning, with Wi-Fi and 3G or 4G off). This is a great breakthrough for those who want to keep using their iPad or iPhone to access the Web without being exposed to radio frequencies.
We have a link to a YouTube video and a second link to an article, both of which explain how to connect an iPad or iPhone to the Web in Airplane mode. They use sightly different sets of adapters and model of USB hub than I recommend through my links below.
The YouTube video showing how to connect an iPad to the Web while in Airplane mode is linked to here.
The second method is described in an article, which also contains a how-to video using a slightly different set of adapters than shown in the first video or linked to below. As you can see, you can do this with a variety of equipment. To view the article and video, click here.
Remember, you need a Type 2 or 3 USB hub powered by electricity for this to work. The Lightning and older 30-pin ports on Apple's iPads and iPhones are not powered, and so you need a USB hub powered by electricity, rather than a USB hub powered only from a computer by an Ethernet cable.
Here are the parts you will need if you have a Lightning port on your iPad or iPhone for your charging cord. (If you have a 30-pin port, see the separate list further below). Click on the links below to order the parts.
Note: The parts are listed in the order in which you will install them, starting from your iPad or iPhone and going to your Internet router:
If you plug these components into your iPad or iPhone while it is already on, you will first see a message that says, "Cannot Use Device. Apple USB Ethernet. The connected device is not supported". That means your iPad or iPhone recognizes the USB hub, which is a good sign that you are on your way to making this work. Just click, "Okay".
Next, put the device in Airplane mode. Use the Settings icon. Otherwise, plugging the adapter and cord into your device will not automatically disable the Wi-Fi for you, and you will still have the radio frequency exposure you are trying to avoid.
Then open Safari. You will always see another message that says, "Turn Off Airplane Mode or Use Wi-Fi to Access Data". Again, just click "Okay" (and leave it in Airplane mode).
Your Safari browser should now start loading your home page, or the last page you were on before you inserted the Lightning port. If, however, you had your iPad or iPhone turned on when you plugged in the Lighting adapter and USB hub, the Safari may not get on the Internet. If that happens, close Safari and turn your iPad or iPhone off. Wait a few seconds and restart (reboot) it.
Once again you will get the message that the attached device cannot be supported. Just click "Okay". Open Safari, and again click "Okay" when it tells you to turn off Airplane mode, and now you should start loading a page and you should be on the Web.
Remember that it can take a half a minute or so for a page to load on Safari. Don't be impatient. You will see a blue line crawl across the page near the top, indicating that the page is loading. As it loads, the blue line gets longer from left to right. Look for that crawling blue line, which may have to get to one-third the distance from the left side before the page actually loads.
This has worked consistently with newer models of iPads and iPhones, with the exception that the device may need to be restarted if it was on when you plugged in the Lightning adapter. iPhone models 4, 5 and 6 work with this technology except the new iPhone 6 Plus. Older model iPads and iPhones have not been able to access the Web even when following all these directions. If that happens, you are unfortunately out of luck and will only be able to connect to the Web while in Airplane mode with a newer iPad or iPhone.
Remember to only use genuine Apple adapters (Lightning-to-USB and USB-to-Ethernet). If you use adapters from another manufacturer, they will not work. One client had this problem. His set up did not work until he used genuine Apple adapters.
Also, I have added to the lists above and below a USB Ground patch cord (available from LessEMF). This is needed in order to eliminate electric fields when touching the iPad or iPhone if you use this hardwired workaround. While the workaround allows you to eliminate one type of harmful EMF, which is the radio frequencies from Wi-Fi, it unfortunately introduces a second type of EMF. That is, AC electric fields from voltage. You would be touching a device that is connected to an outlet with only a two-pronged plug, which is the type of plug used on the power cord for the USB hub.
This is just like the high electric field exposure you experience when touching a laptop computer with an ungrounded two-pronged plug (see above under the Electric Field section). The USB hub used in this hardwired workaround for Apple iPads and iPhones must be powered from an outlet or this workaround will not work. You cannot use a USB hub powered only through the Ethernet cable, as it is not powerful enough for the Lightning ports of iPads or iPhones, which are non-powered.
Since we can't change the ungrounded plug on the USB hub into a grounded one, fortunately this USB Ground Cord from LessEMF will allow you to ground the USB hub to any properly grounded outlet or power strip, thereby eliminating electric field exposure. Just plug the USB Ground Cord into the same or any other outlet or power strip that you plug the AC power cord from the USB hub into. Use a circuit tester to be sure the outlet or power strip is properly grounded.
If you have a 30-pin port on your iPad or iPhone, you will need the following parts:
As noted above, this method of connecting to the Web through cables works successfully with newer models of iPads and iPhones. Older models, which are the ones with 30-pin ports, are the models that I have sometimes seen not work. Sometimes the problem is only that the plastic cover keeps the 30-pin adapter from seating deep enough into the port, and pulling the plastic cover away from the edges of the port or taking the iPad or iPhone completely out of the plastic cover has worked, but in other cases, even when doing that, we are not able to get onto the Web. If that happens, you will have to purchase a newer model.
Does This Hardwired Workaround Work for Android Devices?
The hardwired workaround I have just presented will work for newer model Apple iPads and iPhones. I understand it will also work for non-Apple tablets and cell phones running the "pure Google" Android operating system. This would include Google phones and tablets, but not Samsung products, for instance.
Google tablets and phones use microUSB ports for charging (Lightning is a proprietary product of Apple). You would need a microUSB-to-Ethernet adapter, such as the Gino Micro USB 5 Pin Ethernet adapter from Amazon, available by clicking here or on the first image below. You might even try the BobjGear Android Tablet Cable Adapter Set, available by clicking here.
Plug the microUSB end of the adapter into the microUSB port on the tablet or phone. Then plug an Ethernet cable directly into the other end of the microUSB-to-Ethernet adapter to get straight onto the Web. You don't need to use the USB hub mentioned above because the microUSB port on Google tablets and phones is itself powered and can take the Internet data stream directly from an Ethernet cable without needing its power to be boosted, as is necessary for the non-powered Lightning ports on Apples's iPads and iPhones.
Don't forget to put your Android tablet or phone into Airplane mode to eliminate harmful radio frequencies. You may need to reboot the device to get onto the Web when you first plug in the adapters and Ethernet cable, as discussed with the iPad and iPhone above.
Connecting Mac Air or MacBook Laptops to an Ethernet Cable
If you want to connect to the Web on a device other than an iPad without being exposed to radio frequencies, any laptop, excluding a Mac Air or MacBook, will have an Ethernet port. With all but the latest slim Apple laptops, you can plug an Ethernet cable directly into the Ethernet port on the side or back of the laptop and connect to the Internet that way, turning off the Wi-Fi on the laptop so you don't get exposed to radio frequencies. Otherwise, radio frequencies are still transmitted as the laptop looks for a Wi-Fi enabled router, which it will do even if an Ethernet cable is plugged in.
Since the Mac Air and MacBook are so slim, however, they do not have an Ethernet port. To get around this, you can purchase a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter for roughly $28 from Amazon to connect to an Ethernet cable and plug the adapter into the device's Thunderbolt port. To purchase the Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter, click here or on the image below. Be sure to always use an Apple brand adapter.
You can also use a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, also available from Amazon for $28, however, using the Thunderbolt port keeps USB ports open on your laptop. To order the USB-to-Ethernet adapter, click here or on the image below. Again, use an Apple brand adapter.
Also, I have run into the need to reconfigure a MacBook when I used a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, because the laptop did not instantly recognize that we were connected to the Web with a hardwired Ethernet cable. When using a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter, however, I have not had that problem and the laptop immediately connected to the Web on Safari with the Wi-Fi turned off.
The newest MacBook model does not even have a Thunderbolt port. The only port is a USB-C port. To get onto the Web in a hardwired way, you will need to purchase a USB-C to USB adapter from Apple for $19, available here, and then plug a USB-to-Ethernet adapter into that. Don't forget to turn off the Wi-Fi.
When you leave home, you can then turn the Wi-Fi on your Mac Air or MacBook back on to get onto the Internet. However, remember that now you are in the presence of "second-hand smoke," so to speak. Keep your use to a minimum until you can get back to a hardwired connection. Or, take an Ethernet cable with you, keep the Mac Air or MacBook in Airplane mode and plug into an Ethernet jack at the coffee shop, library or hotel, if available. Many hotel rooms still provide an Ethernet jack.
You can also connect an Ethernet cable to a Microsoft Surface tablet, at least the Surface 2 or Surface Pro models, using a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. Then put the tablet into Airplane mode to eliminate Wi-Fi.
Harmonic Frequencies of "Dirty Electricity"
In computers and printers, dirty electricity can be produced by small, chip-based transformers used to step power down or up from one voltage to another.
A typical computer has circuit boards that run on up to five different voltages, so the 19 or so Volts that enters the computer, having been stepped down from 120 Volts by the first, usually linear transformer (that does not produce dirty electricity), is then dropped further down to various voltages for the different circuit boards. It is a switched mode power supply that does this reduction.
In the process, however, switched mode power supplies change the configuration of the 60 Hz sine wave of electricity within the computer, and this spills out onto the electricity travelling within our circuits from the electric utility.
Since we need to use our computers, the only way to really decrease dirty electricity in computers and printers is with dirty electricity reduction technologies, such as filters sold by Greenwave and the RxDNA and PxDNA units sold by RFReduce. These are discussed in detail in my article on Dirty Electricity, that you can link to by clicking here.
Protection From EMFs Caused By House Wiring
For steps to protect you and your family from the effects of electric and magnetic fields from house wiring, see "Tips for a Healthy Home" on this website by clicking here.
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