What Is WiFi, And What Does It Stand For?

WiFi, often referred to as Wireless Fidelity, is a wireless networking technology that allows users to connect their computers or other devices to the internet. Wi-Fi is a branding used for several IEEE 802.11 standards (IEEE Std 802.11). Want to know more about this? Then read our in-depth guide explaining everything about this topic.

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 12:12PM 6/18/2022

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One of the greatest recent inventions I can think of is Wi-Fi. This invention represents the technological revolution that the world is now enjoying. Yet many people wonder what Wi-Fi means, and exactly what it involves.

In this article I will tell you more about what WiFi is, its implications for our lives, who invented WiFi and much more.

So, what does WiFi stand for?

In essence, WiFi means wireless networking technology. It is an abbreviation for Wireless Fidelity.

WiFi was first pronounced ‘waif-ie’. The pronunciation of this word now varies from country to country.

The term Wi Fi comes from the audio world, specifically as a tribute to the term Hi Fi, which is short for ‘high fidelity’.

The term WiFi is now a household word. Everyone currently calls wireless fidelity WiFi, but it originated with a rather wonky name: IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence. That string of numbers and letters is difficult for regular folks to remember and pronounce, so it is rarely used now.

Only electrical and electronics engineers would understand IEEE 802.11.

Wi-Fi usage

WiFi coordinates the internet for your mobile phone, television, gaming console, tablet, laptop and/or desktop computer, and many other devices. You can do the same things with your device on a wireless connection as with a cable-connected internet connection: watch the news, scroll through social media, play games and stream. Even smart TVs and smart refrigerators use WiFi.

Why WiFi?

The biggest advantage of WiFi is precisely that it is wireless; you can use it without needing to be plugged into an outlet. There are millions of access points all over the world. Every modern home has a WiFi connection these days.

Good routers make good internet connections

A router is a device connected to your modem (and both of which you typically receive from your provider). The WIFI router is used to run a wireless network. The wireless network uses radio waves to broadcast a wireless internet connection in various places in the building.

Wireless networking

Improving your network through a better WiFi reception is always a welcome move. Visit the link provided above for 11 tips on speeding up your wireless connection.

Reception is essential when it comes to public Wi-Fi like the free hotspots found in public transport and near company buildings. Public WiFi hotspots do not require any login credentials to connect to the internet. The free wireless networking is an attraction, but the wireless router and its Wi Fi signals must provide dependable –and secure — internet access.

The inventors of Wi-Fi

One single person could not bring a technical revolution like Wi Fi into the world on their own. But because so many people helped to create wireless networking technology, it is still possible to find some of the original inventors.

A group effort

There are five living inventors who helped develop today’s wireless technologies: Australian radio astronomer John O’Sullivan and his colleagues Terence Percival, Diethelm Ostry, Graham Daniels and John Deane. All these clever people have scientific and/or technical backgrounds. Phil Belanger was one of the founding members who died in 2021.

Ups and downs

WiFi is, of course, a great invention that has already made our lives more convenient. WiFi has also made us wiser, as we can access much more knowledge than we used to, and we share more information with each other. People with a wireless device, whether tech savvy or not, can make contact with each other more easily through WiFi. You can connect to the internet wherever you are.

Except when you can’t

Sometimes technology lets people down. People are increasingly upset when this happens. The reasons are both practical and emotional.

The fallout from the failure

For example, if your Wi-Fi network is down for some reason, you’ll be forced to grab a cable (which you may have to go buy) or move elsewhere to use public Wi-Fi. For example, you might have to take your device to a library to finish your reading, which wastes more time driving or walking there. And if your thought process has been interrupted, it takes a while to re-focus your concentration.

Everything from work to play gets thrown off course if there is a failure of a WiFi system.

Staying connected

Also consider the businesses that use WiFi. If the Wi-Fi goes down due to a cyber-attack or some other serious accident, people cannot inform each other about potential dangers. In these cases, in fact, Wi-Fi is crucial, because it is needed more than ever to quickly inform others and bring them to safety.

On the emotional side, our hectic modern lives, our many devices, and the constant pressure to be productive make us feel a bit lost when such a useful tool is suddenly not available.

Stay close for wireless fidelity

When things aren’t working right, there are reasons for your poor WiFi reception. If you get too far from your router, you will soon suffer from bad reception. When distance is the problem, using a good WiFi amplifier or a powerline adapter will improve your WiFi experience.

The Wi-Fi Alliance

Who’s in charge here, anyway?

A trade association called the Wi-Fi Alliance sets the standard for wireless fidelity for all WiFi manufacturers around the world. (Note the hyphen; you may see the term written Wi-Fi, as in the name, but WiFi, Wi Fi and wifi are also used.)

The Wi-Fi Alliance decides, after equipment testing, who in the wireless industry gets to use the WiFi logo on their devices, as they own the Wi Fi trademark. The group was originally called the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, and compatibility is still an important part of what the Wi-Fi Alliance does to keep WiFi working for everybody.

A must-have

Wi-Fi has become increasingly vital to our lives. You use it for everything, and you use it everywhere. With the invention of Wi-Fi, the world started to work and think differently. We might even call it a technological revolution.

Humanity cannot go back to a world without WiFi or mobile devices. Let’s face it: could you go without a WiFi network for a few days? Or even for just one day? Judge for yourself, and feel free to share your thoughts.

Frequently asked questions

WiFi, usually known as WiFi or Wi-Fi, is a term created by a marketer that stands for Wireless Fidelity but there isn’t anything like it. The phrase was invented by a company owing to the fact that the wireless sector was seeking for a user-friendly name to describe an unenjoyable technology called IEEE 802.11.

Wi-Fi is a way for smartphones, computers, and other devices to connect wirelessly to the Internet. The Internet, on the other hand, is a language used by computers (send and receive data) over the Internet Protocol.

Wireless networks are classified into four categories: wireless local area networks, wireless metropolitan area networks, wireless personal area networks, and wireless wide area networks.

Wi-Fi, in its most basic form, is a wireless networking technology that lets local area networks (LANs) operate without cables and wiring. Wi-Fi may be used to provide wireless broadband Internet access for numerous contemporary gadgets, including laptops, smartphones, tablet computers, and electronic gaming consoles.

Wi-Fi transmits data between your device and a router via radio waves, which are known as frequencies. Depending on the amount of information being sent, two radio-wave frequencies may be utilized: 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz.

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