Do the newer 5.8 GHz phone cause computer problems?

A long time ago, my son gave me a 5 GHz (I think) phone, but I discovered when it was placed near my computer the phone caused lots and lots of problems with my old Dell.

I don’t remember what the problems were (I put up with them for maybe 1 day) but they were significant enough to force me to switch to a different and less powerful phone.

Well, I just bought a 5.8 GHz Panasonic and I’ve been assured these other problems are a thing of the past. Can anyone corroborate this?

It is possible for any cordless phone, regardless of frequency, to interfere with any computer or any other electronic device in your house like your TV, microwave oven, coffee maker, radio, etc.

Generally speaking, computers are and always have been shielded against radio frequency interference, not only so that things like a cordless phone won’t affect them, but since they generate radio noise themselves, so that the computer won’t interfere with the electronics in your house too.

I can’t guarantee that your phone won’t interfere with your computer, but its’ not likely. If you do run into trouble, quite often adding ferrites to things like the monitor cable and sound card cable can clear a lot of it up. Ferrites are little clamp on radio frequency filters. I believe Radio Shack sells them (not sure).

Computer speakers may cause you trouble, especially the amplified ones. They generally aren’t shielded, and are well known to pick up noise from cell phones, cordless phones, walkie talkies, and other RF sources.

Cordless phones can play havoc with WiFi networks. Most of the problems are between 802.11b and 2.4 GHz phones. Your 5 GHz phone operates in the same frequency spectrum as 802.11a.

Mine is an old fashioned hard wired system, AZcowboy, so happily I don’t have WIFI worries.

But, engineer_comp_geek, you’ve alleviated my worries somewhat, but here 's my concern.

My son who’s extremely adept happened over and neatened up the spaghetti mess behind the computer, during which time a couple of useless system-to- phone-jack telephone wires, an old, unconnected ac/dc transformer, etc., were discovered back there.

Then, I suggested let’s go to Circuit City. I want to buy a good phone, and we did.

Well, after it was all set up and charging, I turned on the system and everything seemed AOK. But I don’t know if I used any audio during this.

So he goes and later on I bring up for some Play Money action.

The only sounds I hear are those cheesy clicks and clacks from the monitor speaker. (The sounds of the poker chips, that is.)

So, I email him twice - but both times, it comes back as “failure delivery”.

Oddly enough, messaging for SDMB is no problem, and I think I got an email or two through to my daughter.

So here I am, semi-stumped until it’s late enough this morning to call my son.

Oh, how I hope this isn’t a 5.8 GHz problem.

But thank you engineer, for your thorough response.

I’ve had no problems with a V-tech 5.8GHz phone and my 802.11b/g network in the same room. I have just purchased, but have not used a new set of 2.4GHz V-tech phones which are labelled to be wi-fi friendly and that they will cause no interference.


Didn’t think of trying them, so I just did. Oy. The sounds are even worse.

But your experience is heartening, padeye, so maybe my son will be able to put my audio back on track with a simple something o rother.

If the web pages work, and the other e-mails work, then the phone is not the problem. If the phone were causing interference, it would interfere with all internet traffic, not just e-mails. If everything else works except for e-mailing one person, it sounds like the problem is either with their account (possibly over its size limit, for example) or their mail server.

What exactly did the failure message say was the reason it failed?

I am embarrassed to say…

  1. About the sound…

My son had disconnected, then reconnected my audio head set. Turns out, it took over the sound system. He went into the computer’s audio, and fixed things but it immediately reverted to the headset controlling the sound. So we disconnected the headset, and problem is solved. I don’t use it that much, anyway.

  1. About the e-mail…

He has a new — and very email address — and I was using the old, discontinued one, and that’s why the email was returned.

For your own edification the error message was:

Message from
Unable to deliver message to the following address(es).

555.55.55.555 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 550…User unknown Giving up on

(My bolding. It strikes me as very humorous. :D) I changed the IP address for obvious reasons.

Thank you engineer_comp_geek. You’re a very good person for trying to solve my problem.

Unrelated to your problem but useful information nonetheless:

Lots of phones labelled 5.8Ghz are only 5.8 Ghz from the base to the phone whereas the phone transmits back at 2.4 Ghz so doublecheck and make sure you don’t get one of those. My wireless traffic interfered significantly with the phone and reception became very crappy.

Since then, I switched to an older 900 Mhz phone and it works like a charm. I strongly recommend the Panasonic KX-TC1503 (you can find it for around $15 online).

I already bought the Panasonic phone. How do I check that stuff?