wifi.jpgWiFi is a godsend. You used to have to sit at a desk with your computer tethered to a cable connected to the network. This made the concept of using laptops to connect to the Internet absolutely ridiculous because you had to connect it to a cable anyway. So much for wireless freedom!

But then came WiFi, and everyone got excited about the possibilities. WiFi kept on getting faster and faster, and the range is getting wider. Other technologies like WiMax even let coverage span across towns and cities. And when you travel, you can count on wireless hotspots being available at hotels and even public places. Ah, good times.

But what is WiFi really, but just another buzzword? It’s just another marketing name for an otherwise nerdy engineering term – 802.11 b, g, n, or whatever initial they think of next. “WiFi” doesn’t really mean anything? They say it stands for Wireless Fidelity. Come on. What does that mean?

Wi-Fi is a brand originally licensed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to describe the underlying technology of wireless local area networks (WLAN) based on the IEEE 802.11 specifications. It was developed to be used for mobile computing devices, such as laptops, in LANs, but is now increasingly used for more services, including Internet and VoIP phone access, gaming, and basic connectivity of consumer electronics such as televisions and DVD players, or digital cameras. More standards are in development that will allow Wi-Fi to be used by cars in highways in support of an Intelligent Transportation System to increase safety, gather statistics, and enable mobile commerce (see IEEE 802.11p). Wi-Fi and the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance – the trade organization that tests and certifies equipment compliance with the 802.11x standards. -Wikipedia

Still, WiFi is an important part of our lives now, especially for people who work remotely and even for those who abhor the idea of wires snaking around their living room floors. In a connected world, the best (neatest) way to connect stuff is through the airwaves.

WiFi is here to stay.