Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR): Setting Up A Home Office Without Wi-Fi

Get Wired!

GetWiredBG

Did you eliminate hardwire cables for the convenience and aesthetics of wireless? And did you ditch your home landline when you realized that owning a cell phone made paying for two lines redundant? Like most people, I did too.

However, if you’ve read my other posts on How to Get to Sleep Earlier or Why I No Longer Use a Cell Phone, you know that I have given up Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) to reduce radiation exposure and symptoms. In my case, less fatigue, brain fog, and headaches have made the time it took to research, modify my home, and change my habits worth the effort.

For those wanting to get wired, this is where I share products I personally use to reduce radiation in my home office:

I. Hard-wiring the home office
II. Wired telephone service


I. Hard-wiring The Home Office

ModemRouter © BeGutsy.com

Obihai VOIP, Surfboard Modem, & Netgear Router

A. Internet Access – typically a modem and router are needed to access the internet. Sometimes these devices come combined in one device. And sometimes only a router is needed, like in modern condos with built-in wiring.

  1. Set up – in my case, I use a separate modem and router (NETGEAR N750) that are compatible with my internet service provider, Comcast, with the following set up:

2. Benefits this router has a button on the front right corner to turn off Wi-Fi functionality so no Radio Frequency (RF) radiation is emitted. Here are additional benefits:

  • Faster internet speed. (Gamers often use ethernet cables for this reason).
  • Better security.
  • Reduced long-term expenses: It costs $10/month to rent the modem / router device from my internet provider. After around fifteen months my modem and router were paid off.
  • Your personal modem & router cannot be used as a “hotspot” for other Comcast users.

However, if you still prefer to rent a combo modem and router from Comcast, ask Comcast to  disable your xfinitywifi public hotspot by following the directions below or calling an agent 800-934-6489.

  • Comcast says the hotspot can be re-enabled if the modem is reset due to a power outage, IP address changes, or system refresh, etc. so it is not possible to permanently opt-out.
  • I’ve heard that they don’t always disconnect the hotspot when requested. Look at available Wi-Fi connections on your computer or “smart” phone before calling to see what hotspots are available and make sure after calling (they say it can take up to 24 hours) that the specific hotspot is no longer listed.
  • Another way to check for local Xfinity hotspots can be found on Comcast’s map, however I do not believe all hotspots are listed there.
  • I have heard that AT&T does not have the option for customers to disconnect their hotspots if using their rented devices.

How to Turn XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot Off – My Account Help

In addition to your private WiFi network, select Comcast-provided wireless gateways broadcast a public hotspot called xfinitywifi that extends the XFINITY WiFi network into your home, allowing any XFINITY Internet subscriber to connect to it there.

We encourage you to keep the XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot feature enabled, as it allows more people to enjoy the benefits of XFINITY WiFi.

This xfinitywifi WiFi signal is completely separate from your private XFINITY WiFi home network and won’t slow down your home broadband connection.

To learn how to enable or disable your XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot, please read the instructions below.

Disable the XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot Feature in My Account

  1. Go to https://customer.xfinity.com/#/settings/security/hotspot.
  2. Sign in to your account using your XFINITY username and password.
  3. Click Turn Off to disable your public hotspot. (Note: Your default hotspot status is enabled.)
    Home Hotspot Turn on or Turn off screen
  4. Confirm your selection.
    Hotspot confirmation pop up.
  5. A confirmation message will appear.
    Hotspot confirmation screen

Note: If you are presented with information about XFINITY WiFi but do not see the option to Turn On or Turn Off, you have a device that is not eligible for the feature and is not broadcasting a public hotspot signal. To learn more about the home hotspot feature, to find a hotspot near you, or to download the XFINITY WiFi Hotspots app, visit xfinity.com/wifi.

3. Alternative Solutions – if you cannot replace your existing modem & router, or if Wi-Fi must be on during non-sleep hours

a. turn the router off at night when sleeping with one of the following:

b. turn down the RF transmission to 25%, 50% or 75% if possible (log in to the router’s manufacturer website as you would to initially set the router up).

c. If it’s not possible to turn down the router transmission:

  • Place the router in room farther away
  • Place the router in a metal media cabinet
  • Purchase a router guard and place the router inside

B. Ergonomic Desk With Less EMR – in addition to reducing the radiation from RF, it was important to reduce the radiation exposure from Electric Fields (EF) and Magnetic Fields (MF)

  1. Computer, Keyboard & Mouse – Using an external wired keyboard and wired mouse creates distance from a computer or laptop and prevents EF & MF from flowing directly into the body. For that reason, I never use a laptop on my lap either.
  • In order to do this, I purchased a desk clamp with an extension for the laptop and separate monitor (see photo above) creates more desktop space and makes it possible to add an external wired keyboard.
  • Move all power-strips, plugs with attached transformers, and the lamp as far from the body, legs and feet as possible.

2. Printer – most printers with Wi-Fi emit radiation when turned on and in standby mode or just simply plugged in and not powered on. (Same for gaming consoles).

  • An ethernet cable can be used to connect the printer and computer, but Wi-Fi RF radiation may still be emitted. A RF meter can be used to verify.

3. Tablets – it is possible to use an ethernet wire adaptor with a tablet, iPhone, and some newer android phones in airplane mode without Wi-Fi. The devices will still emit EF & MF so it would be best to use a stand in lieu of holding the device while using it.

  • I personally use a wired computers for 99% of my digital work and do not use a tablet except to play downloaded videos or music from a distance.
  • I did purchase a 6″ Kindle for reading books. That Kindle is the only model I know of that does not emit measurable amounts of EMF / RF when used in airplane mode.

4. Wired Telephone – my main criteria for the wired telephone was the ability to plug in an external headset, volume control, speaker phone, and no electrical source required (except batteries for the caller ID).

Ultra Low EMF TelephoneHeadset ExtensionStereo Air Tube Headset


II. Wired Telephone Services

There are several telephone services I explored when I stopped using my cell phone at home:  Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service and traditional copper landline service.

With these options there is no charge for me to forward cell phone calls to my landline phone number. That enables me to turn my cell phone on airplane mode when at home and still receive phone calls.

Text messages cannot be forwarded unless an app is used, so I work around this by texting from my computer using a Google Voice number.

Option 1: Obihai VOIP Device + Google Voice (GV) Number:  Obihai OBi202 device for two lines (or an OBi101 with one line) and my existing GV number.

1. Upside

  • One time cost for VOIP device.
  • GV can ring to multiple devices at the same time, including my cell phone, land line phone, and desktop computer. 3. Minus the cost of privacy, GV is free to use.
  • Voicemail and text messages are accessible once logged in to Google.com/Voice on the computer. Both can be forwarded to a google email account as well.

2. Downside

  • Router must always be on.
  • No home telephone service if the internet goes down.
  • EF can travel from the Obihai, through the telephone wire, to the telephone. To address this I connected  a USB grounding cable wire from the Obihai to the surge-protected power strip.
  • Obihai (or Google Voice) drops calls a few times a month and needs to be rebooted by unplugging the power source briefly and plugging it back in.
  • The first time I tried to port a number from a different google email account, it did not go through correctly and there is no live customer service.

3. Notes

  • Obihai is well integrated with Google Voice. In 2014 there was concern that GV was dropping Obihai integration. Reviews discussed this issue quite a bit. It did not happen, and if it does in the future, using this option was less expensive than having a copper wired service for two months.
  • It is easier if you just use a Google Voice number and not a separate cell phone number. However, I did not want to have to give a new phone number out so my immediate circle knows to call, email, or text my Google Voice number since I do not check text messages on my cell phone often.
  • Update: Google Voice was updated in 02/2017 to allow for group text messaging and photos. Yay!
  • Google Voice can be used without a VOIP device or corded landline telephone. Just purchase a USB headset and mic for your computer or just use the computer mic. However, the computer must always be on / not on sleep mode to receive incoming calls.

4. Set Up

  • Shielded cat 7 cable to connect the Obihai device into to a router / broadband connection
  • USB grounding cable to connect the Obihai to an electrical outlet or surge protector. (Purchased from my local EMF electrician.)
  • Shielded telephone line cord  to connect the Obihai device and corded telephone.
  • Register with the ObiTALK portal, add OBi device and use the configuration wizard to set-up the OBi with your Gmail username + password, and start making calls! (May need to sign-in to Google Voice – select “Settings” link in the upper right corner of the window and then choose “Voice Settings.” On the “Phones” tab, check the box next to the “Forwards to: Google Chat.”)
  • *For more detailed information and latest updates, please see Obihai and Google Voice

Option 2: Copper Wire / Fiber-Optics

I also re-activated my home phone number on a copper wire land line telephone with a local service provider. Telephone jacks were previously wired into my apartment so all I had to do was have AT&T send a technician to make sure the wires were still connected in the media room to their external hub. Unfortunately, in newer homes and condos, copper wire options are not always available.

1. Upside

  • No VOIP device needed.
  • Do not have to leave the router on to use it.
  • The phone line works even if the electricity, internet, or cable goes down.

2. Downside

  • Cost: AT&T in my area ranges from $50-70 / month. To compensate for the expense, I reduced my cell phone data plan by almost the same amount when I used this option.
  • Activation appointment needed

3. Notes

  • AT&T has a policy named “2020” that states that they will phase out their copper networks or legacy systems, in 2020
  • Frontier has submitted an application for the acquisition of Verizon’s landline network that will be voted on by the end of 2015
  • Sonic – a Bay Area Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) company has been replacing AT&T copper wires with fiber optic wires. Sonic provides internet service using fiber optic cables / copper wires plus free landline telephone service with voicemail. I do not have the option of using Sonic, but I would if I could.

Option 3: Cable VOIP (I did not try this option.)

1. Upside

  • May be less expensive than a copper wire landline service
  • Easy to add this service to an existing internet / cable service provider for a monthly fee

2. Downside

  • Cost
  • Will only work if the internet is working
Posted in: EMR

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