5 Kickasscular Facts About Wi-Fi


1) What Wi & What Fi?

The name is coined from the terms Wireless & Fidelity. It is a direct descendant of the term Hi-Fi used for audio recording and playback equipment. Fidelity(in communication systems) refers to the degree to which the output is an exact replica of the input. It has nothing to do with sound quality, as most people think. Wi-Fi, in fact, has little to do with Fidelity. So I wouldn’t really agree that the name is justified. In fact, The name don’t mean shit. It’s just called so because it is… called so.

So, the fact is that Wi-Fi is a stuphid name and has nothing to do with fidelity. It’s not even supposed to be a short for Wireless Fidelity.

2) How it Works

Wi-Fi allows us to browse the internet without wires, using multiple devices, at high speeds. It uses radio signals in the unlicensed frequency bands(see 5 Kickasscular Facts About Bluetooth)-using particularily the frequencies 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz. The radio signal comes from the antenna to a Wi-Fi Router that decodes the signal to stuff your Wi-Fi device can understand(0’s & 1’s, that is). The digital goes to the device-the cell phone, laptop, xbox, or your desktop-anything that supports Wi-Fi. Most laptop’s come with an inbuilt Wi-Fi card. A card can also be installed and used via USB or using the PCI slot. Most coffee shops & restaurants have Wi-Fi networking-these are called hotspots.

Though, the new “Wi-Fi Direct” will allow Wi-Fi usage without the needs of hotspots-allowing direct interaction b/w devices-somewhat like Bluetooth-with a greater range-and higher speeds.

3)802.11? That’s Wi-Fi for you.

Wi-Fi is often referred to as 802.11 technology-this is because it is based on the IEEE 802.11 standard. The standard further has the following sub-standards which can be used for Wi-Fi communications:

802.11a-uses high frequency-hence, high speed but cannot penetrate walls.
802.11b-slower; about 11 mbps, lacks range but can penetrate walls.
(802.11c-not used for Wi-Fi)
Most commonly used-802.11g-54 mbps.
The future-801.11n-150mbps.

4)Spread Spectrum

Wi-Fi transmission makes use of The Spread Spectrum-which spreads the signal in the frequency domain to occupy higher bandwidths. More presicely, it emplys the single-carrier direct-sequence spread spectrum radio technology. This increases the reliability and security of the transmitted signals. (More info)

5)Wi-Fi won’t kill you… Or maybe it will?

All around you-wherever you go-the em waves follow. They are everywhere. Coming from antennas-going to cellphones-to more cellphones-to radio sets-to television sets-to walkie-talkies and so forth. And you can pretty much do nothing about it. The waves from WiFi devices are however of very low power and this power further drops as it follows the inverse square law(with distance). Perhaps, the effect they have on you is negligible compared to the effect cell phones have on you. And we’re definitely not going to stop using the cell phone, then why not use Wi-Fi?


About Author

Founder at Durofy. Blogs on technology & startups, runs a full service digital agency, teaches AP Calculus.

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