VoIP as an alternative to using a cell phone


A reader recently emailed to say, ‘I run my own business and in the interest of keeping my costs down only have one phone line. This happens to be a cell phone. I’m starting to do more work on the phone and am very aware of the problem cell phone energies create. I’m wondering if you have any experience or words of wisdom about using VoIP?’

Well, yes. I use VoIP all the time, and have done for many years.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for “voice over Internet Protocol” and refers to voice, fax and SMS communications that are sent over the internet instead of over a telephone network. The most popular of these is Skype, which you can download to your computer or laptop and use for free to call anyone in the world and talk for as long as you want, computer to computer. For a small charge you can also call to a landline phone, and for a larger charge, to a cell phone.

Providing you use a cabled ethernet connection and have disabled the WiFi on your router and computer or laptop, you will not be exposed to WiFi radiation (except if you have neighbours who use WiFi, of course, which you can do nothing about, but at least that will be some distance away from you so won’t affect you as much).

However I don’t recommend you use a headset that is plugged into your computer or laptop because there can be very high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that travel down the wire and straight into your head. The best way to use Skype is to get a high quality microphone and some speakers. Most computer webcams have built-in microphones these days that do the job very well.

Avoid high levels of EMFs

Of course, WiFi is only part of the problem. You need to also check that you are not being exposed to high levels of EMFs from your computer and other office equipment while working. If you feel fatigued or dizzy when sitting at your computer or get aches in your fingers after typing, you are probably sitting in much higher fields than are good for your health. But even without these tell-tale signs, it is wise to check.

The only sure way to do this is by using a good quality EMF meter. The best I have found for this purpose is the EMFields Pro meter. It’s is a little pricier than some other meters but is much more accurate, reliable and robust. I’ve had mine for over 20 years and it has travelled more than 20 times around the world with me during that period and still works fine. I’ve done experiments where I’ve lined up 10 EMFields Pro meters and they all gave the same reading, but when I tried this with cheaper meters, the readings varied so widely I could hardly believe it. I sent them all back and asked for a refund.

Another good feature of the meter I use is that it measures both magnetic and electric fields, and has a digital readout as well as a beeper that starts as a low buzz and rises to an alarming wail when exposed to unsafe levels of EMFs. I find this buzzer especially useful when showing kids the extent to which all their combined electronic gadgets affect them. They generally yawn and tune out when I suggest there might be a problem, but when I give the meter to them to hold and they see the readings and hear the sounds it makes, they get it.

If they care about their health at all, they usually want to unplug everything in their room immediately and then work with me to plug each gadget in one by one to find out which give out the highest fields and which the least. Then I help them work out the best way to minimize EMF exposure, and which things it is most important to turn off while they sleep. It only takes a few days of waking up not feeling as exhausted as they used to for them to realise how much they were zapping themselves 24/7 before.

How to use the EMFields Pro meter

To use the meter, you need to sit where you normally sit with all the equipment you normally use switched on, and see what reading you get. Check the electric field first. Anything up to 5 volts per meter (V/m) is very good. Some people can tolerate up to 10 V/m. Anything above that can have health effects over time. I have measured fields of 700 V/m or more on some computers and laptops, and it’s not that some brands are OK and some are not. Each model of each brand is different, so the only way to know for sure is to test. After checking the electric field, click the button on the side of the meter to test for magnetic fields. A reading of 0.02 microtesla or less is ideal.

Many people avoid checking EMF levels in their home or office because they are concerned they will discover something that worries them. I must say I’ve never understood this approach. Surely it’s better to know as soon as possible that you have a problem rather than after irreversible harm has been done. In many cases, there are simple solutions such as unplugging some pieces of equipment that don’t need to be left turned on all the time, earthing equipment that isn’t earthed, installing a mains conditioner that filters out radio frequency interference, and so on. You can find a wide range of solutions in Powerwatch’s extensive online article library.

Update in Sep 2017
The EMFields Pro meter has now been replaced by the PF5 Pocket Power Frequencies Meter, which is more affordable.

Related article
How to shield your home from neighbourhood WiFi

Copyright © Karen Kingston 2013

About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fourth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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11 Responses to VoIP as an alternative to using a cell phone

  1. Thank you so much, dear Karen, for giving this article…not exactly an eye opener coz I already know how harmful and destructive these electronic gadgets are and the effects that they have on the users…but after reading this I’m so concerned about my son, who is studying in Bath UK now. He’s got quite a small room in the Uni and I know that he’s got his computer on all day long plus the portable heater which he keeps on day and night and, of course, his cell phone never leaves him…always earplugs are in the ears…well, most of the time I guess.

    How exactly can I guide him on this and take as much precautions as he can? I’m in India so I can’t be with him (actually when he joined the Uni I was there with him, so I had the opportunity to do space clearing in his room, but then he had to shift to another accommodation which is too small a room, where he’s currently staying). I would really appreciate if you can help me with some advice. I thank you once again.

    1. Hi Sangeeta

      I wish I could say that your son’s behaviour is rare, but it’s all too common. It’s a pretty sure bet all his friends live this way too. A Daily Mail headline in the UK today calls it The Biggest Experiment of our Species.

      The best I can suggest is that you send him a link to that article and to one I wrote a while ago, titled Is your cellphone zapping you while you sleep?. If he is interested to learn more, there are many articles in the Healthy Homes section of my blog, and a wealth of information to be found at http://www.powerwatch.org.uk.

      1. Thank you so much, Karen. I really appreciate your advice. I’ll send him these websites straight away … and will also tell him to show this to as many friends, students, and people as he can. Once again, thank you.

  2. Thanks for the article! Can you suggest any modems or brands that have the on-off wifi function (US compatible) or direct us to a trusted website to find such?

    1. I personally use a Netgear router here in the UK. They are also available in the US, although the models available may be different.

      I suggest you also read another blog I wrote titled A good alternative to WiFi, which explains that not all ‘off’ buttons on routers actually turn the WiFi off. The one on my UK Netgear router does, and I would hope that US Netgear routers are the same. The only way to know for sure is to test with a microwave meter.

  3. Hi Karen, this is a great article. I have always been wary of EMF’s, but honestly didn’t know there were meters we could own to detect them. Do you have a recommendation for a meter available in the US? There are many on the market, but I have no idea which to buy. I am in the market for a new home, and think this would be a valuable tool to use in my search.

    1. It’s been many years since I purchased a meter in the US, so the best I can do is recommend a website to you that was recommended to me: http://www.emfsafetystore.com

      You will need one meter to measure electromagnetic frequencies (make sure it has separate settings for both electric and magnetic fields), and another meter to measure microwave frequencies (a must if you are searching for a new home, in my opinion).

      Be wary of meters claim to measure EMFS and RF fields too, such as the Trifield meter. Magda Havas, a respected expert in this field, says, ‘The RF/MW part of the Trifield meter is virtually useless for any type of monitoring.’ She also warns that with this meter, ‘in a low frequency environment the magnetic field reading should be reliable but if radio frequencies are present it will give abnormally high readings.’ These quotes come from Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution by Camilla Rees & Magda Havas, published by Wide Angle Health in 2009. Is is one of the best books I have ever found on the topic of EMFs, so you may like to consider getting a copy of that too.

      1. Thank you SO much. As a side note, I was introduced to your book a few weeks ago and began clearing clutter right away. Most of it belonged to my landlord who rented my current space to me furnished. It was furnished with LOADS of second hand items she has collected over a lifetime. I had cleared a truckload when I moved in, but there was still tons left. I saw changes in my life almost immediately. There is still more to do and I have one more chapter to listen to. I have also begun your second book. I could write more on this and think I will. Now off to find these meters.

    2. Hi Marianna, and Karen,

      I’m wondering why it would matter where the meters are manufactured or sold (except for the overseas shipping charge)? Do the meters Karen has on her site not work in the U.S.? I’m asking because I haven’t bought any meters, but I would always go with what Karen personally recommends and has used.

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