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We finally know what “Wi-Fi” stands for – and it’s not what you think

Let me ask you a question: What does the name “Wi-Fi” mean? Given the ubiquity of Wi-Fi connections, this should be an easy question to answer; especially if you work in the tech industry.

If your answer is “wireless fidelity,” though you’ve been led to believe that’s actually not true, so keep guessing. Could it be “wireless fiber”? “Wishful Fire Dragon”?

give up? It’s actually a trick question: the name doesn’t make any sense.

One old interview from 2005 (opens in new tab) Another tour with one of the founding members of the Wi-Fi Alliance and tells the origin story of Wi-Fi. According to founding member Phil Belanger, the name was chosen from ten names created by consulting firm Interbrand.

The original name for Wi-Fi was “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence,” and the Alliance knew it couldn’t be used. If the standard was to be widely adopted, they needed something a little more appealing, so “Wi-Fi” was chosen.

made a mistake

If you sincerely believe that Wi-Fi stands for “Wireless Fidelity,” blame it on the Wi-Fi Alliance. Belanger recalls that some of his colleagues felt compelled to explain what “Wi-Fi” meant because they apparently couldn’t understand the fact that the name was just some marketing bullshit designed to attract people. This led to the alliance creating the tagline “Wireless Fidelity Standard.”

Belanger admits that “it was a mistake that just confuses people…” He called it “clumsy trying to come up with two words that match Wi and Fi.” The mistake was made even more so when the league printed hats and shirts with the slogan serious.The slogan was so successful that someone even The U.S. military calls it “Wireless Fidelity” (opens in new tab).

If you stop and think about it, the name doesn’t make any sense either. In a technical sense, fidelity refers to the ability of a device to reproduce a signal. For example, high-fidelity (hi-fi) televisions can reproduce images that might be mistaken for the real thing. But Wi-Fi doesn’t do that. It’s just a way to connect devices to each other. You are not copying anything.

But why let facts get in the way of popular misconceptions? In the nearly two decades since, people have accepted this inaccurate meaning, and if you ask them, they’ll probably argue vigorously that Wi-Fi means “wireless fidelity.” However, Belanger is asking people to do their part and “forget the slogan” and its false meaning.

wireless network accessories

Rather than focusing on what technology means to us, it might be better to focus less on what the term means.

Wi-Fi is such an integral part of society that it’s hard to imagine life without it. When you go to a friend’s house for the first time, how many times have we asked them what their Wi-Fi password is? Many of us get frustrated when Wi-Fi suddenly goes down.

If you experience frequent disconnections, we recommend getting Wi-Fi Extender. Also known as boosters, these devices push the signal beyond its normal range.You should also consider getting one high quality router to better handle multiple devices that require most of the bandwidth.

As for the future, multiple companies are working to establish the Wi-Fi 7 standard. Qualcomm even claims its Wi-Fi 7-compatible chip Will be able to achieve 5.8Gbps speeds and sub-2ms latency. Mediatek promises that its Wi-Fi 7 platform will be 100 times faster than the current UK broadband standard.

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