Tinnitus, Wifi, 4G and iphone

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retiredinfranceretiredinfrance Forumite
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My OH has tinnitus and wifi makes it worse so we keep wifi off and I put it on when he goes out. I use 4G on my iphone to access the internet etc. The phone needs replacing - it is an iphone 5. As a new iphone is expensive , can anyone advise me as to   a) will this use of the phone harm it, b)  are we harming our router? and c) which iphone would be better for us - battery life is important to me. Any other advice would be great. As you can see we are in France and the phone deal is likely to be 500 euros and up for 12, 13 or 14. Thanks in advance. BTW, we are over 70 and not very good at tech stuff.


  • debitcardmayhemdebitcardmayhem Forumite
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    Hello, or should i say bon soir. I too suffer from tinnitus but my wifi is on all day as is my phone and my laptop too, I don't notice any difference but that could be just me , also 70+ but that means nothing. I have never had an iPhone too expensive and I hate the apple walled garden, but we both have iPad airs how weird is that except they are probably the best tablets I have used.
    We have both changed phones to OnePlus Nord 2 phones £240 each and they do what we want especially Mrs DCM who is a technophobe but thinks it's the best phone she has had for years! The phones have good battery life too.
    Obviously there will be a learning curve but hey age brings experience but does preclude new learning.
    So your questions
    a) No reason to harm it
    b) see a
    c) If you really want an iPhone then I can't really say but perhaps on of the SE models may be less expensive, but I will leave that to the apple fanbois  officiandos to answer
    🍺 😎 Still grumpy, and No, Cloudflare I am NOT a robot 🤖
  • fworfwor Forumite
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    I'm not going to disagree with any of the previous reply, but one thing I would add is that you may want to consider how the phone sits in your hand, and how big a phone you want to deal with. Mobile phones have been getting bigger, and that's just as much true of iPhones as any other. Your current iPhone 5 has a 4" display, and Apple haven't made anything that small in years.

    So it may be best to go to a phone shop and just try different sizes/styles out, to see how you get on. Some users simply find a 6" display phone too big for everyday use.

    As DCM says, you will pay a significant premium to buy an iPhone, compared with an equivalent Android-based phone, and some of that may be down to features such as the quality of the camera. If you seldom take photos on your phone, that may be unimportant - in effect just a waste of money. While it's true that there will be a learning curve if you make the change to Android, you will also have to cope with a completely new version of Apple's iPhone operating system (IOS) - so change is inevitable, one way or the other!
  • edited 24 October 2022 at 6:34PM
    400ixl400ixl Forumite
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    edited 24 October 2022 at 6:34PM
    Modern routers have wifi across two different spectrums. Have you checked if it is both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz that effect your OH? If it is just one you can usually separate them and switch the offending one off.

    The iPhone 5 has been out of support and a security risk for a while now so it is indeed time to retire it. Apple do support phones for a long time and the iPhone 8 and iPhone X are the currently lowest supported phones, so probably best to avoid those as they may only have a year or so left. The iPhone 11 or iPhone SE 2nd generation could be cheaper options for you than the 12/13/14.

    The iPhone SE 2nd generation is one of the smallest iPhones and can be bought as a refurbished phone for under £200 as an example.

    You could look at switching to Android, that will have a different interface to learn, but you will get a newer phone for your money. One thing to make sure of is that whatever Android phone you get it is running a 64bit operating system. Some of the cheaper ones still run a 32bit OS and more and more apps are becoming incompatible. The other challenge is that many cheaper Android handsets only have 3 years of Android support, so buying refurbished older models is not always a good idea in this world. OnePlus Nord CE 2 at under £300 would be one to consider.

    As to your questions:
    a) no, phones are designed to move between mobile and wifi signals
    b) If you are just switching off wifi then no, if you are turning off the router itself, then not likely to damage the router, but you may not be getting the best speed as the service provider may be holding back as it looks like you have an unstable line.
    c) As above, if you are familiar with it then they typically have decent battery and are supported for a longer time. Cost wise they are more expensive than the Android counterparts. 
  • retiredinfranceretiredinfrance Forumite
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    Thanks for your wise and helpful replies, DCM, fwor and 400ixl. Glad to know I’m not causing any harm. My OH ‘s tinnitus wasn’t an issue initial recently and we’ look into The Hertz issue. 
    I originally got the iPhone on advice from my daughter who said that since I have small hands I would find the 5 easy to manage and since she had one she could me if I had any difficulties. I will go to the shop and actually try them out in me hands. I know they are expensive , but I’ m a  money saving person and will keep the phone until it has no support. 
    Thanks again.
  • edited 24 October 2022 at 9:15PM
    GDB2222GDB2222 Forumite
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    edited 24 October 2022 at 9:15PM
    Does your OH notice the same problem with Wi-Fi in friends' homes? In other words, is the problem to do with Wi-Fi in general or possibly something to do with the particular router you have in your home?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • edited 24 October 2022 at 9:34PM
    HeedtheadviceHeedtheadvice Forumite
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    edited 24 October 2022 at 9:34PM
    (As a person who gets that condition too!)
    First I have heard of wifi causing tinnitus. It might be that something in your property is resonating  and rectifying the code carried by wifi..in a similar manner to what can happen when conductors/pipes/ othr metalwork makes nouse close to very big radio transmitters, or via a hearing aid.
    But the idea of switching bands if the router is multi band or even changing channels might solve that problem.

    How did you switch off WiFi...just doing a bit of lateral thinking!

    You post you will change phones when it is no longer supported. As posted above that is the case right now. It may still be working but unsupported means in these cases that it's software is not being updated and that is a security risk. Hope you do not use it on the Internet and use personal data on it as you will be putting your data at a higher risk.

    If your router is close to where you use the net consider a PC or laptop connected with an ethernet cable. They can be picked up for a lot less than an iPhone second hand, refurbished etc.

    And lastly you say you switch off WiFi but day you use 4G. Is that just whilst WiFi is off or could you be mixing up WiFi , 4G ,Internet use etc.

    Not doubting what you write just trying to exclude the possibility that owing to lack of understandi (us and you) there might be a simple and cheap answer to the problem.
    ( the above comments in random order.... not suggesting at this time any are the answer!)
  • HeedtheadviceHeedtheadvice Forumite
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    Further what do you mean "The Hertz issue" ?
  • k_mank_man Forumite
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    @retiredinfrance, when you turn off WiFi, do you just disable it on the router, or turn the router off?

    If the latter, then it may be the router (rather than WiFi) aggravating the tinnitus. Many electrical and electronic devices generate their own EMF radiation and high pitched noise.

    Also be aware that some mobile phone networks use similar frequencies to wifi (around 2GHz) so could have a similar effect
  • pendragon_artherpendragon_arther Forumite
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    One of my neighbours gets it and where we live every year we get bombarded with very loud buzzing from 100s of cicadas which are supposed to last for only 2 months but this year it was 4. She says the noise helps her tinnitus as a way of distraction. She also said her research tells her the condition is caused in the brain where some of the electrical circuits are crossed over.
    “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”
    ― Groucho Marx
  • retiredinfranceretiredinfrance Forumite
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    Hello GDB2222, )H has never mentioned the tinnitus when elsewhere. I think that is because there are enought other distracting sound which cancel it. I dare not ask!
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