The Meaning of Wi-Fi: What It Is and How To Use It

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There’s nothing more frustrating than when your Wi-Fi network is slow, down, or nonexistent! We all know the struggles of waiting for your router or modem to reboot or being trapped on hold with customer service agents for hours just trying to get your Wi-Fi hotspot back online. 


Most people use Wi-Fi all the time in their daily lives, but do you know what Wi-Fi means or how it works? This article will teach you all about Wi-Fi and how Wi-Fi works! So, read on to become a Wi-Fi expert. 

What Does Wi-Fi Mean?

According to Make Use Of, many people believe that the term Wi-Fi is an abbreviation for wireless fidelity. However, this is false. Wi-Fi is simply a term that was invented to replace Wi-Fi’s original name, “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence.” IEEE stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Interbrand, a consulting firm, coined the phrase after being hired by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Then, they advertised the term Wi-Fi by calling it the standard for wireless fidelity, hence the common misconception of what Wi-Fi stands for. 

Wi-Fi is a type of internet service and wireless networking technology that provides internet connection wirelessly. Wi-Fi meets the IEEE 802.11 standard of WLANs, an acronym for wireless local area networks. Wi-Fi operates on two radio frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This is so that it does not interfere with any other nearby networks. 5 GHz is considered high-speed Wi-Fi.

How Does Wi-Fi Work?

Many people know how Wi-Fi works on the consumer end. 

Your internet service provider, like AT&T, will mail you a modem and a wireless router, you plug it into the wall, and the access point provides you with Wi-Fi. Then, you connect your computers, smartphones, and other mobile devices by entering a password. But do you know how Wi-Fi works behind the scenes?

Before Wi-Fi connection, people connected to the internet through broadband or ethernet cables. This type of wired connection is effective but not as convenient as wireless access or a Wi-Fi device. 

Many people enjoy being able to utilize a wireless connection to move around their home or even to utilize a free Wi-Fi signal in a cafe or airport. Imagine if everyone had to plug their computers in at a coffee shop to get internet!

The Technology Behind Wi-Fi

Much like a radio, Wi-Fi uses radio waves in order to move information from one place to another. In this case, it transports data to and from your device and your router, which is connected to the internet using what is called an ethernet connection. 

The wireless adapter inside your computer takes your data and converts it into a radio signal. Then, the computer’s antenna transmits it to the wireless router. This router then receives the signal and translates it to send it to the internet via a wired connection. This process also works in reverse. 

According to How Stuff Works, to set up a wireless network, you need to obtain a few different things. First, you will need your wireless router, which includes a few different components. The router contains:

  • Your ethernet hub
  • A firewall
  • A wireless access point
  • A port that lets you connect to your modem

The modem is what connects your network, also known as your LAN or local area network, to your internet service provider, while the router is the device that lets your devices talk to the modem and to each other. 

Your local area network is the Wi-Fi network that you choose the name and password for, while your service provider’s network is much larger.

Wi-Fi Outages

Wi-Fi outages are some of the most frustrating problems we come across in modern life! Wi-Fi outages can come from a variety of sources. 

Sometimes, it’s a problem with your local network, which can be fixed by restarting your modem or router. Other times, it is a much larger issue with your internet service provider’s network that only they can fix.

What Are Translations of Wi-Fi?

The ability to connect to the web using a wireless connection exists all over the world! Do you know what people in other countries call Wi-Fi? If you don’t, this list of translations of Wi-Fi from Collins English Dictionary and Nice Translator will be sure to help you out. 

If you are going to be traveling to another country, you will probably need to ask about connecting to Wi-Fi at some point! In order to learn how to ask about Wi-Fi in another language, use the below list of translations of Wi-Fi! 

  • Chinese (Taiwan): 無線上網
  • Japanese: ワイファイ 
  • Korean: 와이파이
  • Tamil: வைஃபை
  • Ukrainian: вай-фай бездротовий доступ в інтернет
  • Hindi: वाई – फाई
  • Russian: беспроводной доступ 
  • Arabic: واي فاي 
  • Icelandic: Þráðlaust net
  • Turkish: kablosuz internet
  • Amharic: ዋይፋይ
  • Arabic: واي فاي
  • Chinese (PRC): 无线上网
  • Chinese: 无线上网 
  • Hebrew: וויי – פיי
  • Kannada: ವೈಫೈ
  • Polish: komputerowe sieci bezprzewodowe 
  • Bengali: ওয়াইফাই
  • Thai: Wi-Fi
  • Vietnamese: mạng không dây
  • Lithuanian: bevielis internetas
  • Norwegian: trådløst datanett 
  • German: W-lan
  • Gujarati: વાઇફાઇ
  • Romanian: interfață de comunicare fără fir
  • Portuguese: ligação à Internet sem fios
  • Danish: trådløst internet
  • Marathi: वायफाय
  • Telugu: వైఫై
  • Serbian: Ви-фи
  • Latvian: bezvadu internets
  • Thai: การเชื่อมต่ออินเทอร์เน็ตแบบไร้สาย
  • Urdu: وائی ​​فائی
  • Malayalam: വൈഫൈ


Many people think that the word Wi-Fi is short for wireless fidelity, but that is not true! Wi-Fi is a word unto itself that refers to the capability to connect a device to the internet wirelessly. Many people purchase Wi-Fi service from an internet service provider. 

Before Wi-Fi, people had to connect to the internet through a wired connection.


English Translation of “Wi-Fi” | Collins French-English Dictionary

Wi-Fi | Nice Translator

How Does Wi-Fi Work? | Britannica

What Does Wi-Fi Mean and How Does It Work? | Make Use Of   

How Wi-Fi Works | HowStuffWorks