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What is the meaning of “Wi-Fi” ? The answer may surprise you

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In 2024, many people still think that Wi-Fi is an acronym for “wireless fidelity”. But, in reality, the term Wi-Fi is not an acronym for anything at all. This is a brand that was created, during the creation of this wireless connection technology, to facilitate its adoption by the general public. In a recently published article, the Huffington Post recalls this by quoting the words of Phil Belanger, founding member of the Wi-Fi Alliance, who chaired the selection of the name of the technology, on this subject.

“It’s not an acronym. “It makes no sense,” he explained, according to an article published by Boing Boing in 2005. But if many people today still think that Wi-Fi means wireless fidelity, it would be because from members of the group who absolutely wanted the term to have meaning. Thus, a compromise had to be made by including the slogan “The Standard for Wireless Fidelity” in Wi-Fi branding. “It was a mistake that only caused confusion and diluted the brand. For about the first year (around 2000), it appeared in all our communications”, he admitted. But, since then, this slogan has been abandoned.

Better than IEEE 802.11

The technical name for Wi-Fi was IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence. As it was too complicated, the Wi-Fi Alliance recruited the company Interbrand to find a brand that would better suit the general public. And it was this one that found the Wi-Fi brand, as well as the logo inspired by the ying and yang that we find everywhere. Like Phil Belanger, Interbrand specifies on its website that the term Wi-Fi has no meaning.

“There is a common misconception about “Wi-Fi” which will probably surprise you. While Wi-Fi has become one of the most widely used utilities on the planet, a persistent myth remains: the name Wi-Fi does not mean Wireless Fidelity, in fact, it means nothing at all. everything…”, we can read on the Interbrand website.

However, the company did come up with the name Wi-Fi because of its similarity to Hi-Fi, which was a concept very well understood by the general public at the time.

  • Many people think that W-Fi means wireless fidelity
  • In reality, it does not the case since this brand, created by Interbrand, has no meaning
  • Interbrand admits, however, that it proposed the Wi-Fi brand to the Wifi Alliance because the term was very similar to Hi-Fi (high fidelity)

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116