7 Tech Myths You Need to Know
Think you’re tech-savvy? The truth might surprise you. Check out these 7 common tech myths busted by our experts.
1. Magnets won’t erase your computer data.
While back in the day, a powerful magnet could easily erase or ruin the data on a floppy disc, modern hard drives won’t be wiped so easily. SD cards, memory cards, and other data storage devices are all relatively unaffected by magnets, too. This idea is leftover from old-school technology that was adversely affected by magnets; but despite what they show in the movies, you can’t use a powerful one to wipe your computer in a pinch. That doesn’t mean you should start experimenting on your tech with super-charged magnets, though– they can still harm the magnetic compass and magnetometer inside phones and other tech.
2. You don’t have to fully drain your battery.
There’s an old rumor that you should let your phone battery fully deplete every so often before charging it. But while this myth has roots in fact, it’s an old holdover from lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries. Today, modern phones use lithium-ion batteries and do not require full charge cycles. In fact, letting a phone charge from 0% to 100% every time can negatively impact battery life and longevity over time. For optimal battery performance, shoot to keep your phone’s charge at somewhere between 25% and 75%. On a related note…
3. Always keeping it 100% can actually hurt your phone.
Perpetually keeping your phone plugged in to charge is a great way to quickly degrade the battery for good. When your phone stays at 100% and remains on the charger for a long stretch, it subjects your battery to a higher voltage and temperature, which shortens its lifespan. Instead of constantly keeping your phone plugged in all the time, it’s actually more effective to charge your phone in short spurts.
4. Blowing on a Nintendo 64 cartridge won’t fix it.
Don’t waste your breath– turns out that blowing on a Nintendo 64 game never actually did much. In fact, the moisture from breathing on our favorite games could actually add condensation and cause rust on your cartridges. What really worked? Taking the game out and putting it back in. No extra air required.
5. Turning off GPS won’t make your phone untrackable.
While location services help pinpoint your location, unless your phone is off and/or not in service, it’s constantly pinging to nearby cellphone towers. These towers provide fairly specific location data, so even when your GPS is off, your phone is still “on the grid.” While turning on airplane mode too can keep your phone from connecting to nearby towers, it also renders internet services on your phone unusable. Connect to wifi, and someone could use that connection to find your location instead. If you’re really aiming to be untraceable, the best bet is to turn your phone off completely.
6. A faster computer doesn’t mean faster internet.
While having a faster computer can help your computer operate faster, that has nothing to do with your internet speed. The two are completely unrelated. If you’re shooting for a faster connection, talk to your internet provider to discuss your options instead of running out to purchase a new PC.
7. Turning off Bluetooth and WiFi won’t save you battery life.
At least, not much. While actively using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi can indeed cause your devices to die a little faster, if these services are idle, they have no discernible effect on battery life. Today’s phones use such efficient hardware for both services, having them turned on without being connected won’t drain your battery.
Eager for more myth-busting? Check out our infographic on Smartphone Urban Legends for the 411 on other myths and “common knowledge” that’s actually incorrect, including a few home repair “tricks” that could hurt your phone.