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I have heard that its not safe to keep magnets or anything that produces static electricity near my computer.

So is it safe to plug in my Bluetooth dongle ?

Will it harm any of my computer components in any way?

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2  
The Wi-Fi radio in a laptop is more powerful than a Bluetooth radio. Yes, they are both radio transceivers. –  Dennis Williamson Mar 4 '11 at 14:39
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The static electricity and magnets myths were debunked numerous times, even here on SuperUser.

To cut the long story short, you most likely are not going to be able to obtain access to powerful enough magnetic fields and static electricity sources to damage a modern computer.

Furthermore, all standard computer equipment used today needs to pass certain compatibility tests if it emits radio signals or can cause any type of interference.

Other have mentioned CE, but there are FCC certifications, various TÜV safety marks, UL safety mark and so on.

Do note that the fact that a product may have safety mark logos does not necessarily mean that it has passed certifications required by the safety mark. Some marks, such as CE, basically mean that manufacturer claims that product has passed safety mark requirements and leave the responsibility of actually testing the products to manufacturers and product safety organizations. Sometimes some manufacturers may design logos which are very similar to certain safety marks and apply them to their products as "decoration". Some manufacturers may go as far as falsifying safety marks.

Some other related questions can be found here, here or here.

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Nothing is written on the Bluetooth or on the box except for its manufacturing date –  SpongeBob SquarePants Mar 4 '11 at 17:03
    
So how can I find out whether it has passed the qualifying tests. There is no model number either !! –  SpongeBob SquarePants Mar 4 '11 at 17:06
    
@SpongeBob SquarePants It will be difficult and may be impossible. This should be a lesson to you not to buy devices which aren't made by easily tracked manufacturer if you're concerned by things such as interference or standard compliance, since they may work great or they may not work at all. Do note that not all is lost. If there are no external markings on the device, you could use for example some GNU/Linux live CD and obtain some information on the device using lsusb for example. –  AndrejaKo Mar 4 '11 at 17:15
    
@SpongeBob SquarePants Some sources for lists of certified goods may be here or here or here. Searching for certificate name plus list of goods on popular search engines can usually find lists of approved goods. –  AndrejaKo Mar 4 '11 at 17:16
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Since a bluetooth dongle does neither of those things (to any measurable degree), yes.

Also, does it not strike you as odd that a device designed to be plugged into a computer would be dangerous to plug into a computer ?

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Upvoted for logic. –  grawity Mar 4 '11 at 16:01
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But Microsoft Windows is designed to be installed on a computer - and that's hazardous to both the computer and the user...! –  Majenko Mar 4 '11 at 16:05
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@Matt: Windows doesn't damage the computer. (The user occassionally does, however ("shotgun debugging").) –  grawity Mar 4 '11 at 16:37
    
@Matt: On the second thought... perhaps you are right. –  grawity Mar 4 '11 at 16:39
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The magnetic field generated by a Bluetooth dongle won't be strong enough to damage your computer. The device is designed to be plugged directly into your computer so will have been tested to make sure it's safe.

There are already quite powerful magnetic fields in and around your computer - the hard drives, speakers etc. but they are all short range.

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I quote from the CE approval specs:

A device has to:

  • Not create interference that will have a detrimental effect on other nearby equipment
  • Accept any interference generated by nearby equipment

So as long as the bluetooth radio and the computer are both CE approved there will be no problem.

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Nothing is written on the Bluetooth or on the box except for its manufacturing date –  SpongeBob SquarePants Mar 4 '11 at 17:01
    
Course, CE is not used ouside Europe. For USA it's the FCC - there should be an FCC ID on the dongle, or a CE symbol like this: imw.ca/cms/uploads/ce_mark.gif –  Majenko Mar 4 '11 at 18:15
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