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Wireless fidelity

Wireless fidelity definition

Wireless fidelity is a part of the marketing slogan for Wi-Fi used by WECA (the precursor to the Wi-Fi Alliance) to promote the technology to home users. Wi-Fi is used to connect devices to the internet wirelessly — the Wi-Fi router broadcasts a signal to nearby devices, which in turn send requests back.

Contrary to popular belief, “Wi-Fi” is not an acronym for “wireless fidelity.” The term “Wi-Fi” was created by brand consultants in 1999 to replace the unappealing technical name “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence,” but the new term left consumers confused as to what was being sold. To ease adoption, “Wi-Fi” was artificially expanded to “wireless fidelity” to capitalize on public recognition of audio and video quality standards.

Real wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) uses

  • Home networks: Many households eschew installing cables throughout the whole building and instead use Wi-Fi routers to connect to the internet.
  • Office networks: Using Wi-Fi routers makes changing office layout easy and lets employees connect smartphones and work-related gadgets to the internet.
  • Guest networks: The ease of setting up a Wi-Fi connection and the proliferation of devices that do not support ethernet connections (like smartphones) has prompted cafes, hotels, airports, and other locations to offer Wi-Fi access to guests.
  • Public hotspots: Many cities offer free Wi-Fi hotspots at bus stops, libraries, parks, and other places.