How does my microwave oven affect a wireless router?

  • Thread starter Naty1
  • Start date
5,598
39
My daughter claims that when she runs our microwave oven, it disables her laptop computer connection to our wireless router. What might cause that? Will we be sterlizied?? (just joking...I think!!)

One possibility is that when the microwave oven draws power sparking from a loose 120 wall plug might create noise...but the plug seems secure in the wall outlet.
 

mgb_phys

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,744
11
It is possible, microwave ovens operate across the 2.4Ghz band used by Wifi (and Bluetooth).
Although the oven is shielded well enough to stop the microwaves damaging you, a wifi antenna is very sensitive and you only need a few millionths of the power from the oven leaking out to affect a wifi link.

Try setting your wifi router to different channels.
 
129
0
You could try lining the oven with foil :)

Edit: On the outside, not the inside!
 

Defennder

Homework Helper
2,579
5
Strange I never had my microwave affect my wireless internet connection.
 

DaveC426913

Gold Member
18,248
1,851
I am still running my wireless network at 2.4GHz because my stupid wireless phone is all over the 5.8GHz band.
 

mgb_phys

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,744
11
I am still running my wireless network at 2.4GHz because my stupid wireless phone is all over the 5.8GHz band.
Does anyone have any 802.11a kit that can run at 5GHz - I've never seen any.
Sometimes there is enough difference between channel 1 and 11 on the 2.4GHz band to get away from some interference.
 
1
0
Older microwave ovens can affect your wireless signal badly, the older the technology of your microwave the worse it can be, the magnetron in more modern microwaves are designed more in line with wireless technology. The worst microwaves are 1080watt and 1200watt. Most new microwave ovens will not make much difference.

The RF frequencies from older microwaves affect the higher channels 802.11b/g worse than the lower, so if your wireless router picks itself a channel and choose 11 you may be in trouble, unless you plan on replacing your microwave oven for a newer model, then I suggest configuring your wireless rouhter to work on channel 1, or at least channel 6 or lower.

I just finished trouble shooting a campus wireless problem involving someone who had a really old microwave oven in her office, it was ancient, as soon as somehting was cooked and the door was opened, it knocked everyone off completely and people could not authenticate again for up 15 minutes. The oven blanketed the air with interfering RF signals that just choked everything.

See also this article

http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/tutorials/article.php/3116531
 
5
0
If it's leaking enough to damage the connection, wouldn't that be enough that it may be damaged and not containing it and a risk to you?

Also this makes me worry, with WiFis using this microwave range. I sit right next to my WiFi for hours on end, am I cooking my brain?

Using a guess of the WiFi wattage at 0.06 and my microwave oven at 600W, that means 2.8 hours by my router = a second of my oven's microwave wattage...

I can easily spend 3h on the comp a day (yeah I know, sad) so.... I don't like the idea of exposing myself to 6 minutes in the microwave every year...

Brain cancer scares me the most, would a tin foil hat help?
 
634
1
If it's leaking enough to damage the connection, wouldn't that be enough that it may be damaged and not containing it and a risk to you?

Also this makes me worry, with WiFis using this microwave range. I sit right next to my WiFi for hours on end, am I cooking my brain?

Using a guess of the WiFi wattage at 0.06 and my microwave oven at 600W, that means 2.8 hours by my router = a second of my oven's microwave wattage...

I can easily spend 3h on the comp a day (yeah I know, sad) so.... I don't like the idea of exposing myself to 6 minutes in the microwave every year...

Brain cancer scares me the most, would a tin foil hat help?
I don't know if you are serious or just kidding, probably both.

One thing to consider when comparing the 2, when you use a microwave, the food is enclosed in the microwave. But in case of the Antenna, your head receives only a part of the radiation.

So a hat, partially covered with tin foil would suffice.

Also, when you consider the wattage for comparison, you are assuming equal efficiency of both devices.
 
595
0
Does anyone have any 802.11a kit that can run at 5GHz - I've never seen any.
Sometimes there is enough difference between channel 1 and 11 on the 2.4GHz band to get away from some interference.
802.11a _is_ always at 5GHz...see the wiki entries. Here's a Dlink AP that does them all:
http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=304
b and g are at 2.4Ghz and subject to oven interactions.

I wonder if the OP's oven is damaged and leaking. Some moving-around of components might enlighten the situation.
 

Related Threads for: How does my microwave oven affect a wireless router?

Replies
6
Views
25K
  • Posted
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
12
Views
29K
Replies
3
Views
25K
  • Posted
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Posted
2
Replies
30
Views
31K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top