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Wi-Fi

How Wi-Fi works.

About

Wi-Fi (pronounced /ˈwaɪfaɪ/) is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance for certified products based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. This certification warrants interoperability between different wireless devices.

In some countries (and in this article) the term Wi-Fi is often used by the public as a synonym for IEEE 802.11-wireless LAN (WLAN).

Not every IEEE 802.11 compliant device is certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which may be because of certification costs that must be paid for each certified device type. The lack of the Wi-Fi logo does not imply that a WLAN-device is incompatible to certified Wi-Fi-devices.

Wi-Fi is supported by most personal computer operating systems, many game consoles, laptops, smartphones, printers, and other peripherals.

History

The term Wi-Fi suggests Wireless Fidelity, resembling the long-established audio-equipment classification term high fidelity (in use since the 1930s) or Hi-Fi (used since 1950). [1] Even the Wi-Fi Alliance itself has often used the phrase Wireless Fidelity in its press releases and documents; [2] the term also appears in a white paper on Wi-Fi from ITAA. However, based on Phil Belanger's statement, the term Wi-Fi was never supposed to mean anything at all.

The term Wi-Fi, first used commercially in August 1999, was coined by a brand-consulting firm called Interbrand Corporation that the Alliance had hired to determine a name that was "a little catchier than 'IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence'". Belanger also stated that Interbrand invented Wi-Fi as a play on words with Hi-Fi, and also created the yin-yang-style Wi-Fi logo.

The Wi-Fi Alliance initially used an advertising slogan for Wi-Fi, "The Standard for Wireless Fidelity",[3] but later removed the phrase from their marketing. Despite this, some documents from the Alliance dated 2003 and 2004 still contain the term Wireless Fidelity. There was no official statement related to the dropping of the term.

Reference

  1. Oxford English Dictionary (2 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1989. ISBN 0198611862.
  2. "Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) Awards New Wi-Fi Interoperability Certification". Wi-Fi Alliance. 2000-05-08. http://www.wi-fi.org/news_articles.php?f=media_news&news_id=64. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  3. "Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) Awards New Wi-Fi Interoperability Certification". Wi-Fi Alliance. 2000-05-08. http://www.wi-fi.org/news_articles.php?f=media_news&news_id=64. Retrieved 2009-11-30.

Links

See also

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