What is Wi-Fi

May 13, 2009

The term “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, compared with the long-established audio recording term “High Fidelity” or “Hi-Fi“.
“Wireless Fidelity” has often been used in an informal way, even by the
Wi-Fi Alliance itself, but officially the term “Wi-Fi” does not mean

The term “Wi-Fi”, first used commercially in August 1999,[26] was coined by a brand consulting firm called Interbrand

Corporation that had been hired by the Alliance to determine a name
that was “a little catchier than ‘IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence’.”[27][28][29] Interbrand invented “Wi-Fi” as simply a play-on-words with “Hi-Fi”, as well as creating the yin yang style Wi-Fi logo.

The Wi-Fi Alliance initially complicated matters by stating that it actually stood for “Wireless Fidelity”, as with the advertising slogan “The Standard for Wireless Fidelity”,[28] but later removed the phrase from their marketing. The Wi-Fi Alliance’s early White Papers still held in their knowledge base: “… a promising market for wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) network equipment.”[30] and “A Short History of WLANs.” The yin yang logo indicates that a product had been certified for interoperability.[31]

The Alliance has since downplayed the connection to “Hi-Fi”. Their
official position is that it is merely a brand name that stands for
nothing in particular, and they now discourage the use of the term
“Wireless Fidelity”.


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