WiFi has become something that the vast majority of us use regularly, day in, day out. We use at home and at the office to get online, and many of us use it while out and about to get online for free at coffee shops and local stores. WiFi is quite literally everywhere these days, but have we ever stopped to think about what all those radio waves are doing to us? WiFi Exposure Meter is an app that aims to measure and evaluate the EMF exposure levels generated from WiFi access points and wireless routers against recommended limits and recommendations. It's a short and to-the-point app for Android that just asks the user to calibrate and then choose their preferred EMF measurement and then works out how bad the exposure to EMF radiation is. These are Electromagnetic Field waves and people have a growing concern regarding health effects due to prolonged exposure to EMF.
First thing's first, you'll need to download WiFi Exposure Meter from the Play Store. Then, you have to agree to some pretty comprehensive terms and conditions.
From there, you'll need to calibrate the app, this is a feature that many similar apps simply don't offer, and is the main attraction in the paid version of the app. This calibration is simple and quick, and helps to improve and safeguard the accuracy of measurements. This calibration ensures reliable results when using WiFi Exposure Meter. The below video helps to show why this calibration is important:
Once you've calibrated the app, you can go ahead and take a look at other parts of the app from the main menu.
One of the main attractions, is of course the Exposure Meter, and for those looking to get more than just one reading, there are a myriad of standards to choose from.
Once there has been enough data collected, you can go ahead and see the results. There's a simple gauge-like meter readout available.
There are also detailed graphs that you can look at as well. These present the exposure per WiFi channel to identify which of those channels contributes the most to the overall exposure quotient.
You can even view, the per-access point exposure to identify which is that wireless device which contributes the most. A scary sign for me was that the 5 Ghz router about two meters away from my desk was apparently causing me some serious EMF exposure.
All of these figures and readings are great and all, but they mean nothing without some guidance, which is why I'm glad that there's some sort of recommended limits for you to work with.
I'm sure that for some, perhaps those building a new workspace up to new building codes would get a lot of use out of something like WiFi Exposure Meter, but I just don't buy it. I'm sure that the app delivers a fairly usable baseline for how exposed you are to EMF radiation, but as there's no dedicated sensor in our smartphones, how sure can we be that this accurate? A hardware sensor will always be better than estimated values based on software algorithms however, the calibration process here has been proven to achieve similar results to machines that cost many more times than this app. Plus, there's the argument of what do you do with this information? Do you turn your WiFi off for a few hours a day? Do you move your router? Either way, I'm not entirely convinced, but WiFi Exposure Meter does feature a good offering of different standards to work with, and the interface is detailed and easy to use. It's a good app, and I'm sure they've done their homework, but I just don't see the need for something like this right now.
- Speed (4/5) – The app runs fine, and exposure readings are generated fairly quickly.
- Features (4/5) – All the right boxes are ticked here, and there's a lot of info generated here, but it will never be that accurate without a hardware sensor.
- Theme (4/5) – While not the prettiest in the world, the interface in WiFi Exposure Meter works well and is easy to use.
- Overall (4/5) – Even if you're unsure of just what the EMF readings could mean to you, this is an eye-opener, but I can't say for sure how accurate it really is.
- Offers a whole lot of different reading formats, making this usable all over the world.
- EMF radiation has become a big thing in offices and business over the last few years, and those looking to reduce the risk for their employees could use this to get some idea.
- There's a meter, graphs and more to help people see the data in a way that they can understand.
- Helps figure out just whether or not your WiFi router is doing more harm than good over time.
- Paid version does seem quite pricey for something like this.
- Can never be that accurate without a hardware based sensor, sadly.
All-in-all, WiFi Exposure Meter is a good guideline for how much EMF radiation your WiFi networks are adding to your environment, and while it can never be that accurate, it can offer some sort of guidance. It won't be for everyone, but let's say you have an inspection for EMF radiation coming up, this little app can help you out and perhaps make some changes for the better in your workplace.