What Does Wi-Fi Stand For?

What is your Wi-Fi password?

Wi-Fi is the radio signal sent from a wireless router to a nearby device, which translates the signal into data you can see and use. The device then wirelessly connects back to the router that is connected to the internet by a wire or wirelessly. So obviously the “Wi” stands for “Wireless” and the “Fi” stands for … ?

A lot of people think the “Fi” is for “Fidelity” which is the strict observance of promises or duties, loyalty, conjugal faithfulness, adherence to fact or detail, accuracy, an investment company, exactness,

or in the audio/video world –  the degree of accuracy with which sound or images are recorded or reproduced. None of those really make any sense for the Wi-Fi abbreviation. It seems that the wireless industry paid a marketing firm to come up with a user-friendly name for this invention.

I guess they figured that the non-geek world would have a problem with IEEE 802.11. Wi-Fi transmits data to your TV, smartphone, tablet, computer, and smart home devices using radio waves. If you password protect your network then only you’ll be able to use it (or whomever you give the password to).

Your smartphone can connect wirelessly to the data network in your home but it also connects wirelessly to cell towers that deliver high-speed internet over a 4G or 5G network.

In 1999, 802.11 products suffered from interoperability problems. This was because the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) had no provision for testing equipment for compliance with its standards.

They came up with a formal agreement, now called the Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit, that governs the use of Wi-Fi technology. The alliance lists Apple, Comcast, Samsung, Sony, LG, Intel, Dell, Broadcom, Cisco, Qualcomm, Motorola, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and T-Mobile as key sponsors.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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