Debunking a Myth: WiFi, Microwaves, and the Incredible Story of the 2.4 GHz Frequency

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The realm of technology is filled with myths and urban legends. One of these surrounds WiFi and microwave ovens, both rumored to operate on the same frequency. But what’s the truth behind this claim? Let’s dive in.

The 2.4 GHz Frequency

The 2.4 GHz frequency has become a staple in wireless communication. Not only does it power WiFi and microwave ovens, but devices like cordless phones and certain security cameras also operate on this frequency. But why is this specific frequency so popular?

The Choice of Frequency

The primary reason for the ubiquity of the 2.4 GHz frequency lies in its ability to transmit signals through obstacles like walls and ceilings. Additionally, on an international scale, it’s designated as an “unlicensed” frequency, meaning it doesn’t require special licenses for use.

Microwaves and the 2.4 GHz Frequency

Microwave ovens utilize this frequency because the 2.4 GHz radio waves are particularly adept at agitating water molecules. This agitation generates heat, making these appliances especially efficient at warming foods with a high water content.

WiFi vs. Microwaves: A Comparison of Power and Efficiency

Though both operate on the same frequency, the resemblance between microwave ovens and WiFi ends there. A typical microwave’s power ranges from 500 to 1000 watts, whereas a WiFi router emits a far less potent signal, generally under 1 watt. This power differential is crucial when considering the potential heating effect of a device.

Moreover, microwave ovens are engineered to focus their waves in a closed, reflective space, maximizing the heating effect. WiFi routers, on the other hand, are designed to spread their signal as broadly as possible to provide even coverage over an area.

The Truth About the Glass of Water

Were you to, in theory, place a glass of water between a phone and a router, the router’s radio waves might interact with the water. However, given the router’s low power and its non-focused design, the effect on the glass of water would be negligible. In essence, the water wouldn’t noticeably heat up.


As in many realms of science and technology, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction. While it’s true that microwave ovens and WiFi routers operate on the same 2.4 GHz frequency, the differences in power and design make it virtually impossible for a router to heat a glass of water. Let’s leave microwaves to do what they’re designed for and appreciate routers for the connectivity they provide.

Redazione UPFD

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