WiFi networks and computer equipment

WiFi (or wireless networking) is a way to connect a computer or other device to a network. It uses low-power radio signals instead of cables.

Safety of Wifi signals

WiFi signals will not harm your health.

Measurements in New Zealand and overseas show that exposures are tiny fractions of the public exposure limit. This limit is set out in the radiofrequency field exposure standard. The highest exposures found in two New Zealand schools were 4000 times below the limit, and generally exposures were more than 10,000 times below the limit. 

Exposures are low for three main reasons.

  1. The transmitter (or router) is low power.
  2. The signal strength quickly gets weaker as you move away from the router.
  3. A signal is only transmitted when data is being transferred (except for brief ‘beacon signals’).

If you want to reduce your exposure

You can take these simple steps to reduce your WiFi exposure.

  • Place your wireless router up on a high shelf or away from where people might sit and work.
  • When working with a WiFi-enabled laptop or tablet computer, place it on a table rather than directly on your lap.

But there’s no evidence that you need to take any precautions.

Office equipment

Some people are concerned that if there’s a lot of office equipment together in a small area, it might produce dangerous levels of radiation. This is not the case.

Like any other electrical appliance, the modern office equipment produces electric and magnetic fields. These aren’t the same as radiation. And the fields quickly get weaker the further away you are from the equipment.

The strengths of the fields you’re exposed to are:

  • generally the same regardless of how much equipment there is in your office
  • well below the exposure limits recommended in New Zealand and overseas.

Modern office equipment may communicate wirelessly, over WiFi networks or using technologies such as bluetooth. The transmitters used for this purpose operate at very low power and do not cause harmful exposures.

Last updated: