ARCHIVED: What is Wi-Fi?
The term "Wi-Fi", a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, refers specifically to wireless local area networks (WLANs) utilizing the standards spelled out in the IEEE 802.11 specification.
The term "Wi-Fi" is promulgated by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a nonprofit group of manufacturers who certify the interoperability of products based on the IEEE 802.11 specification. Their intent is to create name recognition of 802.11 wireless networking products through the use of this very simple term, and to distinguish those products from others that don't conform to the 802.11 standard.
Initially, the term "Wi-Fi" was used only to identify products and WLANs using the 802.11b standard. The Wi-Fi Alliance has chosen to expand the usage of the term to cover any 802.11 product. Note that "Wi-Fi" is not a slang term like "Hi-Fi" was in reference to high-end audio equipment. "Wi-Fi" is an official, trademarked term accepted and used by manufacturers of IEEE 802.11 networking products.
Last modified on January 03, 2013.