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What is WiFi? 4 types of WiFi and how they work.

What Is WiFi

WiFi, often referred to as WiFi, wifi, wi-fi or wi fi, is often thought to be short for Wireless Fidelity but unfortunately it was all a lie and there is no such thing. The term was created by a clever marketing team because the wireless industry was looking for a user-friendly name to refer to some not so user-friendly technology known as IEEE 802.11! You likely use the terms Wi-Fi and Internet interchangeably to mean access to the Internet. But, let’s be clear, Wi-Fi and the Internet are two completely different things.

A long time ago, the only way to connect devices was to run network cables from one to another to create a local area network, or LAN. It was unsightly and inconvenient, and meant that you were tethered to a location where there was a cable. Wi-Fi lets you connect one device to another without the cables. You still get the network, but not the physical connections. The piece that controls those connections is typically a router. Your devices communicate with each other through the router. Those devices can share data, print, and stream files stored on one of them. That’s a wireless local network and it’s separate from the Internet.

What Does This All Mean? How to get WiFi.

Hopefully, you now understand the difference between Wi-Fi and the Internet. But why should you care?

  1. Having Wi-Fi doesn’t mean you have Internet access. You need to have a modem and pay a provider for that privilege.
  2. Having a strong Wi-Fi signal won’t speed up your Internet service. Remember, Wi-Fi is just a means of getting Internet content to your device. To have fast Internet service, you need to pay for it. Bump up your bandwidth with your provider if you need more speed. The more devices you have on your Wi-Fi network, or the more Wi-Fi extenders you add, the slower and jerkier your streams and downloads will be.
  3. If your Internet service is out, check your Wi-Fi router and connection to the modem before you call your provider. Chances are, if you reboot those two devices (router first, then modem, typically), you’ll fix the problem.
WiFi is short for Wireless Internet.

So now that we now wifi doesn’t exist! How do we use it in plain language everyday. Most people associate wifi with Modern ADSLFibreFixed LTE and Mobile routers /modems which all have the ability to broadcast a wireless signal in order to enable the user to connect their hardware (computers/ printers/ cellphones) to the internet without physical connections.

Wi-Fi technology uses radio waves to give users wireless high-speed Internet connections in an area. These areas, known as hotspots can be located in your home, a hotel, a restaurant and any other area where internet is available. Mesh solutions help to further broadcast this signal across your household.

The ability and process to connect to a Wi-Fi network is specific to the device you are using to connect; however, the principle is the same:

  • Enable the Wi-Fi function on the device.
  • Scan for nearby Wi-Fi Networks.
  • Selected the desired Wi-Fi network name.
  • Enter the Wi-Fi password and connect.

For more technical information about WiFi, see this article.

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