We finally know what 'Wi-Fi' stands for - and it's not what you think

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

When the iPhone 14 series eventually becomes available, there is little question that this new store will be home to a familiar queue of ecstatic Apple enthusiasts in the upcoming months (expected to be around late September).

Even if the rumors are accurate and the iPhone 14 does end up costing more than its predecessor, wealthy Knightsbridge will be the last neighborhood in London where a few extra dollars will go undetected.

Give up? It’s actually a trick question: the name doesn’t mean anything.

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The history of Wi-Fi is described in an old 2005 interview with one of the Wi-Fi Alliance’s founding members that has recently gained resurgence. The name was chosen from a list of ten names generated by consultant Interbrand, claims founding member Phil Belanger.

The Alliance was aware that Wi-original Fi’s moniker, “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence,” couldn’t be utilized. Wi-Fi was chosen because they needed a catchier name if the standard was to be extensively used.

Mistakes were made

You can hold the Wi-Fi Alliance responsible if you truly believed that Wi-Fi stood for “wireless fidelity.” Belanger recalls that several of his coworkers felt the need to clarify what “Wi-Fi” meant since they seemed unable to comprehend that the moniker was merely marketing speak designed to pique interest. The Alliance adopted the slogan “The Standard for Wireless Fidelity” as a result.

“This was a mistake and only served to confuse people,” Belanger acknowledges. “A clumsy attempt to come up with two words that fit Wi and Fi,” he described it as. The Alliance printed hats and shirts with the phrase, which made the error worse. Because of the tagline’s popularity, the US military started using the term “wireless fidelity.”

And if you stop to think about it, that name doesn’t make any sense, either. Fidelity, in a technical sense, refers to how well a device can reproduce a signal. High-fidelity (hi-fi) TVs, for example, can reproduce images that could be mistaken for the real thing. But Wi-Fi doesn’t do that; it’s just a way to connect devices to one another. You’re not reproducing anything. 

But why let facts get in the way of a popular misconception? Since then, over two decades, many have accepted the incorrect definition and, if you ask them, they’d probably insist that Wi-Fi actually stands for “wireless fidelity.” However, Belanger urges people to take action and “forget the phrase” and its deceptive intent.

Wi-Fi accessories

Perhaps it’s better to focus less on the meaning of the term, than on what the technology means for us.

It’s difficult to envision life without Wi-Fi because it is a crucial component of modern society. How often do we inquire for a friend’s Wi-Fi password when visiting their home for the first time? And when the Wi-Fi abruptly goes down, many of us become frustrated.

Wi-Fi extenders are something you should buy if your connection is breaking down often. These gadgets, also referred to as boosters, extend the signal’s regular range. To deal with several gadgets that use a lot of bandwidth, you should also think about obtaining a good router.

Regarding the future, numerous businesses are working diligently to create the Wi-Fi 7 standard. Even so, Qualcomm asserts that its Wi-Fi 7 compliant chip will be capable of 5.8Gbps bandwidth and sub-2 millisecond latency. Furthermore, Mediatek asserts that the Wi-Fi 7 platform would deliver rates 100 times faster than the existing UK broadband standard.

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