The Disadvantages of Using a Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

By Published On: November 2, 2022

the disadvantages of using a wireless keyboard and mouse

There’s been a high demand to use wireless keyboards and mouse in the past decade because of the convenience of having no wires but there are more serious disadvantages that come with using them. The way that a wireless mouse and keyboard are used is by signals that are transmitted when a wireless keyboard or mouse USB is connected to the computer. The problem here is that those signals can easily be interfered with by other nearby wireless keyboards and mice signals.

An example of how signals interfere with one another is a user’s mouse begins moving around the screen without the user touching the mouse. Unfortunately, these signals can be interfered with from a pretty far distance making a huge issue for companies who share an office building with many users that have a wireless mouse or keyboard. The signals can be transmitted through walls making it dangerous for coworkers that use a wireless mouse and keyboard to work in offices that are next to one another. A frustrating scenario would be not knowing if a company you share an office building with is using wireless keyboards or mice so you don’t know whose signals are interfering with yours.

Wireless keyboards are dangerous because hackers can alter and spy on keystrokes through a cheap radio device that intercepts signals from over 200ft away (https://www.wired.com/2016/07/radio-hack-steals- keystrokes-millions-wireless-keyboards/). Keyboards are designed to encrypt the messages that they’re sending to the computer but some wireless keyboards have weaker security than others (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/07/hackers-can-spy-on-wireless-keyboards-from-hundreds-of-feet-away/492962/). Normally, if a hacker tries to decode a signal between the computer and keyboard, they will only hear an undecipherable sound but if the wireless keyboard has a weakness the hacker will be able to decode all input (https://www.wired.com/2016/07/radio-hack-steals- keystrokes-millions-wireless-keyboards/). If your keyboard has a weakness then you could unknowingly be giving away your bank information, passwords, etc. An aging wireless keyboard or mouse does not receive security updates even though protocols change a lot over time (https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-reasons-not-buy-bluetooth-keyboard/).

I recommend using a keyboard and mouse that has a wire connected to the computer to avoid signal interference or easy access for hackers. Keyboards are the most important device for inputting information on a computer so you must choose safely. People in the gaming, coding, and writing lines of work use wired keyboards because of their functionality and security. The chances are low for a wired keyboard or mouse to be intercepted by a coworker’s wireless and Bluetooth devices. Also, a wired keyboard or mouse is reliable for people who are working all day because the battery will never run out.

References

Greenberg, A. (July 26, 2016). Wired. Radio Hack Steals Keystrokes from Millions of Wireless Keyboards.

Lander, S. (n.d.). Chron. Disadvantages of Using a Wireless Keyboard.

Waddell, K. (July 26, 2016). The Atlantic. Hackers Can Spy on Wireless Keyboards From Hundreds of Feet Away. 

Wanjala, A. (February 8, 2022). MUO. 6 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy a Bluetooth Keyboard.

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Bill Hogan

Bill Hogan is the Owner and President of Partners Plus. He has 40 years of experience in the technology industry, specifically IT support services. Bill has spoken at seminars all over the country about network management and published his latest book in 2018. Partners Plus was selected by PHL17 as the best Computer and Information Technology Support Company in the greater Philadelphia area in 2018.

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