National Association for Children and Safe Technology
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Simple explanations of basic terms you need to know

  • Bandwidth
The range of frequencies within a given band, in particular that used for transmitting a signal.

  • Base Stations
A relay located at the center of any of the cells of a cellular telephone system
A short-range transceiver that connects a cordless phone, computer, or other wireless device to a central hub and allows connection to a network 

  • Cellular Network
A radio signal network that covers areas of land referred to as cells.  Each cell in the network is serviced by one or more transceivers, or cell towers, in a fixed location.

  • Cell Phone
A portable telephone that uses wireless cellular technology to send and receive phone signals.  This technology works by dividing the Earth into small regions called cells.  Within each cell the wireless telephone signal goes over its assigned bandwidth to a cell tower, which relays the signal to a telephone switching network, connecting the user to the desired party.

  • Cell Phone Tower
Also referred to as a cell site, this is a tower or long vertical pole on which electronic communications equipment and antenna are mounted.  Cell towers typically include transmitters, receivers, control electronics and additional electronic power sources for backup.
The purpose of a cell phone tower is to facilitate cellular phone and other wireless communication device signal reception in a cellular network.

  • Dirty Electricity
A form of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from high frequency voltage transients that contaminate the standard 60 Hertz electrical current and wiring.  This is also known as alternating current, A/C.  Examples of household items that use alternating current and produce dirty electricity include fluorescent lighting and dimmer switches.

  • Electromagnetic Field (EMF)
A general term for areas of energy that surround electrical devices, common sources of EMF’s include powerlines, household wiring, computers, appliances, and alarm clocks.  This term can be used in a general sense to include electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices such as cell phones, Wi-Fi, cell towers, etc.  

  • Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)
This is energy having both the form of electromagnetic waves and the form of a stream of photons and traveling at the speed of light in a vacuum.

  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
This includes the entire range of frequencies and wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, extending from gamma rays to the longest radio waves and including visible light.

  • Ethernet
A type of network technology for local area networks; coaxial cable carries radio frequency signals between computers at a rate of 10 megabits per second.

  • Frequency
Frequency is the rate at which a vibration occurs that constitutes a wave, either in a material (as in sound waves), or in an electromagnetic field (as in radio waves and light), usually measured per second.

  • Landline
A telecommunications wire or cable laid over land.

  • Industrial Grade Wireless Router
A hardware device that functions wirelessly using pulsed radio frequency radiation (RFR) and serves as a wireless access point.  Routers are used for environments with many devices (i.e. laptops or iPads) operating simultaneously.  

  • Ionizing Radiation
Electromagnetic radiation which has enough energy to break chemical bonds.  X-rays and gamma rays are both examples of ionizing radiation.  Radiation in this range has extremely high energy, enough to strip off electrons or break up the nucleus of atoms.

  • Microwaves  
These are electromagnetic waves of extremely high frequency, 1 GHz or more, and having wavelengths from 1 mm to 30 cm, lower than infrared but higher than other radio waves.  Microwaves are used in radar, radio transmission, cooking, and other applications.

  • Non- Ionising Radiation
This is electromagnetic radiation that has enough energy to move atoms in a molecule around or cause them to vibrate, but not enough to remove electrons.

  • Router
A hardware device that routes data from one local area network (LAN) to another.  

  • Wireless Router
A hardware device that functions wirelessly using pulsed microwave radiation and serves as a wireless access point for devices.
  • Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR or RF EMR)
The transfer of energy by radio waves; RF EMR lies in the frequency range between 3 kilohertz (kHz) to 300 gigahertz (GHz).  RF EMR is non-ionising radiation, meaning that it has insufficient energy to break chemical bonds or remove electrons (ionisation).

  • Radiowaves
An electromagnetic wave within the range of radio frequencies, radiowaves have a wavelength between 1 millimeter and 30,000 meters, or a frequency between 10 kilohertz and 300,000 megahertz.  This electromagnetic wave is used for telecommunications.

  • Wavelength
The distance between one crest (or trough) of one wave and the next is the wavelength of the wave.

  • Wi-Fi
This is a type of wireless networking that allows devices to communicate without cords or cables.  It utilizes pulse microwave radiation to transmit data.