Reduce electromagnetic radiation of your computer


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Nowadays, we're in the midst of a lot of electromagnetic radiation.... So much so, that the term electro-smog has been invented for it. Below you'll find some tips to reduce it within reason (i.e. no tin foil hats!).


Contents of this page:

Reduce the transmit power of your laptop (only possible for Linux)

1. You can sharply reduce the electromagnetic radiation of the wireless adapter in your laptop, when you're using Linux. This is the most important action, because a laptop is usually very close to your body.

The instruction below is written for Ubuntu and Linux Mint, but it's (with small changes related to the user interface) applicable in other Linux distributions as well.

Note: some wireless chipsets might not support the commands to reduce transmit power. For example when your wireless chipset runs on a Windows driver that you've installed by means of that defective piece of software called Ndiswrapper.

a. Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Type:

iwconfig

Press Enter.

Now find the current setting for Tx-power. This might for example by default be set at:
Tx-Power=20dBm

b. Now copy/paste the following command into the terminal (when your wireless chipset is being called wlp2s0; its name could be something else in your system):

sudo iwconfig wlp2s0 txpower 5

Press Enter. Type your password when prompted. In Ubuntu this remains entirely invisible, not even dots will show when you type it, that's normal. In Mint this has changed: you'll see asterisks when you type. Press Enter again.

Note: in this example you lower the setting to 5 dBm. This is a reasonable reduction in most cases, but in your case this might not be so. Experiment a bit with different settings, but do not set it at a higher number than it originally was. You don't want to burn up your wireless chipset....

Note: Broadcom wireless chipsets respond weirdly to the normal procedure. For a Broadcom chipset, use the command:
sudo iwconfig wlp2s0 txpower 1mW


c. Now check whether the reduction works. Type in the terminal:

iwconfig

Press Enter.

If all is well, the Tx-Power should now be at 5dBm.

Thus you can make this change persistent after reboot:

d. Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

e. Then create a new file. Type in the terminal (use copy/paste):
sudo touch /etc/rc.local

Press Enter. Type your password when prompted. In Ubuntu this remains entirely invisible, not even dots will show when you type it, that's normal. In Mint this has changed: you'll see asterisks when you type. Press Enter again.

f. Make the new file executable like this:

sudo chmod +x -v /etc/rc.local

Press Enter.

g. Now open it for editing, like this:

xed admin:///etc/rc.local

Press Enter.

h. Add the following blue text, which also contains a delay of 20 seconds, in order to exclude interference during booting (just an example, use copy/paste to transfer it):

#!/bin/sh -e
sleep 20
iwconfig wlp2s0 txpower 5
exit 0


i. Save the modified file and close it.

j. Reboot your computer.

k. The radiation should be reduced permanently now. Check it in the terminal, by means of this now familiar command:
iwconfig

Undo changes temporarily or permanently

Undoing this permanently, is simple: just remove /etc/rc.local and reboot your computer.

Need a temporary increase in transmit power (active until the next reboot)? Just issue this command in a terminal window:

sudo iwconfig wlp2s0 txpower X

Replace X by the original transmit power of your wireless adapter (usually in the range of 15-20).

Reduce the transmit power of your wireless router

2. It's obviously not as important as the previous measure to reduce the transmit power of the wireless router, because the distance between your body and the router is much larger than the distance between your body and the wireless adapter in your laptop.

However, this is how you do it:

a. In the router settings, enable reasonable Radio Time Restrictions (for example: switch off wireless transmission automatically during the night hours);

b. Reduce the TX Power, for example to 5. In advanced router firmwares like Tomato or DD-WRT this is easy to do.
Tomato: Advanced - Wireless - Transmit Power
DD-WRT: Wireless - Advanced Settings

If your router firmware doesn't offer this configuration option, then you can buy a power socket with a switch for your router, and turn off the power when you go to sleep. This way you won't have radiation from it when you sleep.

Other hardware

3. Other possible measures are the following:

- Only use a wired keyboard and a wired mouse. No wireless devices.

- Disable Bluetooth by default, and only enable it when needed and for as long as it is needed.

- Connect your printer by USB cable and not by wifi.

- Connect external hard drives only by USB cable.

Want more?

4. Do you want more tips and tweaks? There's a lot more of them on this website!

For example:

Speed up your Linux Mint!

Clean your Linux Mint safely

Avoid 10 fatal mistakes


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