Wi-Fi or WiFi is technology for radio wireless local area networking of devices based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. Wi?Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, which restricts the use of the term Wi-Fi Certified to products that successfully complete interoperability certification testing.
Devices that can use Wi-Fi technologies include desktops and laptops, video game consoles, smartphones and tablets, smart TVs, digital audio players and modern printers. Wi-Fi compatible devices can connect to the Internet via a WLAN and a wireless access point. Such an access point (or hotspot) has a range of about 20 meters (66 feet) indoors and a greater range outdoors. Hotspot coverage can be as small as a single room with walls that block radio waves, or as large as many square kilometres achieved by using multiple overlapping access points.
Depiction of a device sending information wirelessly to another device, both connected to the local network, in order to print a document
Wi-Fi most commonly uses the 2.4 gigahertz (12 cm) UHF and 5.8 gigahertz (5 cm) SHF ISM radio bands, these bands are subdivided into multiple channels. Each channel can be time-shared by multiple networks. These wavelengths work best for line-of-sight. Many common materials absorb or reflect them, which further restricts range, but can tend to help minimise interference between different networks in crowded environments. At close range, some versions of Wi-Fi, running on suitable hardware can achieve speeds of over 1 Gbps.
Anyone within range with a wireless network interface controller can attempt to access a network; because of this, Wi-Fi is more vulnerable to attack (called eavesdropping) than wired networks. Wi-Fi Protected Access is a family of technologies created to protect information moving across Wi-Fi networks and includes solutions for personal and enterprise networks. Security features of Wi-Fi Protected Access have included stronger protections and new security practices as the security landscape has changed over time.
The name Wi-Fi, commercially used at least as early as August 1999, was coined by the brand-consulting firm Interbrand. The Wi-Fi Alliance had hired Interbrand to create a name that was "a little catchier than 'IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence'." Phil Belanger, a founding member of the Wi-Fi Alliance who presided over the selection of the name "Wi-Fi", has stated that Interbrand invented Wi-Fi as a pun upon the word hi-fi.
Interbrand also created the Wi-Fi logo. The yin-yang Wi-Fi logo indicates the certification of a product for interoperability.
The Wi-Fi Alliance used the nonsense advertising slogan "The Standard for Wireless Fidelity" for a short time after the brand name was created. The name was, however, never officially "Wireless Fidelity". Nevertheless, the Wi-Fi Alliance was also called the "Wireless Fidelity Alliance Inc" in some publications and the IEEE's own website has stated "WiFi is a short name for Wireless Fidelity".
Non-Wi-Fi technologies intended for fixed points, such as Motorola Canopy, are usually described as fixed wireless. Alternative wireless technologies include mobile phone standards, such as 2G, 3G, 4G, and LTE.
The name is sometimes written as WiFi, Wifi, or wifi, but these are not approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
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