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Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

owainm
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 18-02-2009

Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

Hi. Have had Linksys and Netgear ADSL wireless routers but am concerned about the safety of the wireless output. Can anyone recommend a good router but with a setting that you can vary the power output of the wireless signal.  I can do it on my Dell laptop wireless !  Thanks.
17 REPLIES
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

I think most have an 'on' or 'off' and thats about it.
You could select different protocols, but I'm not sure whether this actually changes the output power a great deal.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

I have a Linksys WRT54G wireless Router running DD-WRT firmware I can adjust the output power from 0 to 251mW. The default is 70mW which I have always used without any problems.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

There are a few router that you can vary the power power on and also how often the beacon period is also. I have a Guru router and i can vary power form 100% down to 6%.
You can use the reduced power to stop people getting into your router as they need to be closer to connect
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

You need to be aware that there are legal limits on the power that can be used by such devices.
owainm
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 18-02-2009

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

Thanks for the info so far, guys.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

Despite a few alarmist articles, there is no evidence that there is any danger at all from wireless networking. The potential for electromagnetic radiation to cause damage to us depends whether it is ionising or non-ionising. Very high frequency radiation such as X rays are ionising, which means they carry enough energy to knock electrons off individual atoms and turn them into ions, which can be destructive as they react with neighbouring atoms.
All radio waves, including wi-fi, are non-ionising. They only way they could cause damage is by heating, when particular molecules resonate with the frequency and rise in temperature. This is how a microwave oven works. The power output from a wifi network is tiny, though, and will have next to no effect.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,978
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

I bet if grabbed hold of one of the BBC's transmitter aerials that I would become "slightly ionised" Cheesy

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

As others have said, despite some of the hype - the power output is so low as to be practically harmless. I've seen no scientific evidence to prove otherwise.
But if you are still concerned and you router doesn't have variable power, you can position it in the room / house so that the power level where you or your family are sitting is lower - i.e as far from humans as possible, or put it behind something metallic, put it in a tin box ( but leave the lid off to let some RF energy out ) etc etc. Play around so that it still gives you enough coverage to work successfully.
And if you are not using it - turn it off. So routers like the one provided by PN the Thomson TG585 have a button to turn off the WiFi, and likewise most laptops have a similar button.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,978
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

Throw your mobile away too.
And your DECT phone.
You could always enclose your head in a Faraday cage for the ultimate in protection.  Cheesy

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

As i said - I worked for a long time with radio transmitters of much much higher power - like TV transmitters at 700Mhz - like 50kW, radar, etc etc, and look at me - it didn't affect me  Grin Grin Grin Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

I find it very strange that people worry about these things when the general background "soup" of radio and TV transmissions etc. is much bigger in comparison.  Crazy
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,978
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

See http://www.rfsafetysolutions.com/shocks_&_burns.htm
Quote
Many engineers that have received shocks and burns approach a conductive object with trepidation and reach out to touch it much like one would lightly touch a wall to see if the paint was still wet.  This is absolutely the worse thing that you can do!  When you touch an object with the tip of your finger, all the current flows through a very small area.  If you grasp the object or touch it with the palm of your hand, the area that makes contact is about 100 times larger.  And the current density is only about one percent as much.  This is the reason that the IEEE standard for contact current is based on a grasp.  It was felt by the committee members that limiting the field levels to a point where a point contact would not produce a shock or burn would result in very restrictive exposure limits.  The standard would be based on concern for shock rather than body heating.

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

The best sparks I generated were from Medium Frequency transmitters  Wink -  - like the Non Directional beacons we installed on Oil rigs and platforms.
Not enough energy to burn - yet enough to draw a spark  Shocked
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Wireless ADSL router - changing signal power ?

Quote from: Axis
You could always enclose your head in a Faraday cage for the ultimate in protection.  Cheesy

Would I still need to wear my tin foil hat?
The UK limit for WiFi is 100mW, but how often do you see a Police officer with the WiFi equivalent of a speed camera!
Quote from: Denzil
All radio waves, including wi-fi, are non-ionising. They only way they could cause damage is by heating, when particular molecules resonate with the frequency and rise in temperature. This is how a microwave oven works. The power output from a wifi network is tiny, though, and will have next to no effect.

It just happens that the resonate with the frequency of the water in your brain is the same 2.4GHz that WiFi uses. For me it comes under the "Unnecessary risk" category, so I keep our WiFi switched off unless its being used, as the router is close to our sons bed room.