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We've all heard of it, but what does it mean?

What does Wi-Fi stand for?

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All of us are becoming increasingly dependent on being connected to the internet as more of our devices (and even appliances) rely upon a stable internet connection. Although Wi-Fi is something we’re able to go without, people go crazy at the thought of their connection going down. But have you ever sat there at home browsing the internet on your smartphone and thought, what does Wi-Fi actually stand for? We see it written everywhere but nobody’s ever told us what it means – odd right?

Most people think it simply stands for ‘Wireless Internet’, but where does the ‘F’ come in? The truth is, it’s not that simple. For a long time we all thought that there must be some sort of correlation between the abbreviation Hi Fi (High Fidelity) and Wi-Fi. This got the world thinking; surely these two terms should have their similarities. Even the US military started to believe Wi-Fi was an abbreviation of the term Wireless Fidelity! Unfortunately (like everyone else who thought they’d cracked the da vinci code of the internet connectivity world) they were wrong.

Wi-Fi definition

The truth is, Wi-Fi stands for…. Absolutely nothing!

According to Phil Belanger (a member of the Wi-Fi alliance) it’s not an acronym at all.

“We (the Wi-Fi Alliance) hired Interbrand to come up with the name and logo that we could use for our interoperability seal and marketing efforts. We needed something that was a little catchier than ‘IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence’.”

So in 1999 the Wi-Fi Alliance gave birth to the widely used term and created a logo to go with the new branding of wireless internet connectivity. They even changed their name from ‘Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA)’ to the much catchier ‘Wi-Fi Alliance’.

Since branding the term ‘Wi-Fi’ has evolved into the global term for wireless internet connectivity and is recognised by almost everyone today.

Having trouble with your Wi-Fi?

Find out the most common Wi-Fi challenges businesses face along with simple solutions to help you overcome them here.

Posted in Internet connectivity | Tagged in Wi-Fi Technology Ethernet

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