What is WIFI, What does WIFI stand for and how does it work?

Something that we all use and basically can’t live without these days, is WiFI. But what does WiFi stand for and how does WiFi work? All these questions will be answered right here and you will be able to know exactly what it is!

WiFi stands for ‘Wireless Fidelity’ and this perfectly captures the essence of what it is. WiFi enables the user to connect onto the internet anywhere where there is a WiFi hotspot or connectivity area, like the school, public places like the library, or at home. The great thing about WiFi is that it is compatible with almost every device and smartphone.

WiFi works in the same way a cell phone uses radio waves to transfer data across a network. A signal is transmitted through an antenna to a decoder such as a router and it will be translated via a wireless adapter that is attached or built into a computer. Once the information is decoded the data is sent through the Internet through a wired Ethernet connection. And voila! You have internet connectivity!

A wireless network usually transmits frequencies at a level of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. This will depend on the amount of data that is sent by the user. The standard name for WiFi is 802.11 as it covers the IEEE 802.11 technologies. However this networking standard will differ according to the needs of the user. Here are some of the variations of the standard network:

  • 11a – this standard will transmit data over a frequency of 5GHz. This means that data will be sent through smaller packages across the network. You can transmit a maximum of 54 megabits per second.
  • 11b – this standard will transmit data over a frequency of 2.4GHz which is relatively slow. You can transmit a maximum of 11 megabits per second.
  • 11g – this standard will transmit a maximum of 54 megabits per second over a frequency of 2.4GHz. This standard is faster because it makes use of OFDM coding which breaks the data up in smaller units like with 802.11a.
  • 11n – this standard is the most advanced and can transfer 104 megabits per second over a frequency level of 5GHz.

With the technology of today, you are able to connect almost anywhere. This poses a few security threats, especially for you as the WiFi provider. People can easily hack into your WiFi router and leech off your bandwidth. There is a number of software that you can install in order to protect your WiFi just as you would protect your computer against viruses.

WiFi has seeped into everything that we do in modern society. Things like smartphones, laptops, and tablets all have built in WiFi connectivity which makes it easier to connect. The newer model cars that come out are also capable of WiFi connectivity so that you can connect all your devices to each other. WiFi has made it easier for us to organise and access information worldwide.