5 Myths People Believe about the Internet—Debunked

People say you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet, but should you believe everything you hear about the internet? Here’s how to debunk some of the most common myths people believe about this thing we spend so much time on.

Unlimited data is not as unlimited as it seems

From unlimited breadsticks to unlimited data, “unlimited” often feels too good to be true—and it usually is. Internet providers and cellular providers alike lure customers into their plans with promises that you can have all the data you could possibly desire. But the catch is in the fine print.

 

Sure, you’ll have data all month long—but your speeds will be throttled to nearly unusable levels once you hit a certain data threshold (although some truly unlimited plans do exist). If you’re about to take the unlimited bait, be sure to check the terms and conditions first so you know what to expect—especially if it’s a cellular or satellite internet plan.

5G won’t make you sick

Although 5G has been promised to do everything from enable self-driving cars to expand the telehealth industry, some people just aren’t having it.1,2 After all, they say, what good are self-driving cars if you’re slowly dying from 5G exposure? Despite the 5G protests and even some wild claims that 5G caused the COVID-19 pandemic, experts still say it’s safe.3

The fact is that although 5G signals are stronger than what we’ve used for cell phones in the past, they’re still considered non-ionizing, which means they won’t directly damage your cells.4 The vast majority of scientific research also gives the green light to 5G.5 Those facts (and the fact that many of the claims saying it’s unsafe have been linked to Russian disinformation networks) all boil down to one conclusion: don’t worry—it’s fine.6

Not worried about 5G? Check out our picks for the best 5G phones of 2021.

And Wi-Fi won’t make you sick either

If you want to blame your router for why you just can’t get out of bed in the morning, go for it. But just know that it’s actually innocent. Even though electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is a recognized condition by the World Health Organization (WHO), most doctors won’t acknowledge it and even the WHO states that “The collection of symptoms is not part of any recognized syndrome.”

It also states that the EHS symptoms couldn’t be replicated under controlled laboratory conditions, meaning that EHS might be more of a psychological phenomenon than anything.7 Still, if you’re tired of living under the influence of Wi-Fi, there are ways you can fight back. Try an EMF (electromagnetic field) protection necklace for starters.

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If you’re all about that Wi-Fi, see our recommendations for the best Wi-Fi routers.

The cloud is not a literal cloud

We’ll agree that this one is disappointing. As magical as it is to imagine all our photos and passwords mingling around in a sparkly soup that hovers above us, that’s unfortunately not the case.

The cloud is actually pretty boring, doesn’t say much, and spends its life in giant warehouses. It’s basically an umbrella term for data that’s stored on a server and then accessed through the internet, which is what makes it possible to get the same emails on your phone when you’re halfway across the world as you can when you’re sitting on your laptop at home.

Routers and modems are not the same thing

The silent workhorses of the internet don’t ask for much, but they do want you to know that they are individuals. Although routers and modems are often housed under the same plastic box, they have distinct functions. Modems are what connect you to the internet and decode the signal that comes to your house into something usable. Routers take that signal and turn it into Wi-Fi so you can access it throughout your house.

Without modems, your house wouldn’t be connected online. And without routers, you wouldn’t have a home network. Although if you’re worried about Wi-Fi making you sick (and the necklace we suggested above just isn’t cutting it), you could always nix the router and just plug your computer into your modem via Ethernet—but we don’t recommend this.

Routers and modems belong together. Check out our picks for the best modem/router combos that will keep your connection as smooth as peanut butter and jelly.

Learn the facts and debunk the myths

It’s not easy to keep the facts straight online—but HighSpeedInternet.com is here to answer your internet questions straight. Sign up for our email newsletter to stay in the loop on all things internet, including the best deals and tips for getting the most out of your connection.

Sources

  1. Stephen Shankland, CNET, “5G Could Make Self-Driving Cars Smarter and Commutes Safer,” August 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.
  2. AT&T Business Editorial Team, AT&T Business, “5 Ways 5G Will Transform Healthcare,” Accessed April 28, 2021.
  3. Rebecca Heilweil, Vox, “How the 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory Went from Fringe to Mainstream,” April 2020. Accessed April 28, 2021.
  4. Marguerite Reardon, CNET, “Is 5G Making You Sick? Probably Not,” July 2020. Accessed April 28, 2021.
  5. Sascha Sergan, PCMag, “Is 5G Safe?,” February 2021. Accessed April 28, 2021.
  6. William J. Broad, New York Times, “Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise,” May 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021
  7. World Health Organization, “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity,” Accessed April 28, 2021

Author -

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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