WTH is Wi-Fi anyway? – 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Wi-Fi

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Wi-Fi


Here at PresenceOrb, we utilise Wi-Fi networks to help businesses improve their services, using it to analyse buying behaviour and consumer trends.

However, we realised that although Wi-Fi is a part of our everyday lives, we may not stop to think about what it actually is and how it works. With many people unaware of how much can be done with Wi-Fi, we thought we’d bring you a few facts that you might not have known…


  1. What Does Wi-Fi Stand For?

It’s a common misconception that Wi-Fi is short for ‘wireless fidelity”. In fact, it doesn’t stand for anything at all.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the worldwide network of companies that provide Wi-Fi, coined the term in 2000 because they were looking for something catchier than ‘IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence’… We wonder whether it would have caught on as quickly with that name.

Oh and importantly, the Alliance confirm that Wi-Fi is the proper spelling too – not WiFi, Wifi or wifi!


  1. How Does Wi-Fi Work?

A Wi-Fi network uses radio frequencies to transmit information or signals between devices. The frequencies vary for different devices – Wi-Fi’s frequency is between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, which is much higher than for car radios and walkie-talkies because of the amount of data it carries.

5Ghz is faster and encounters less interference from other devices but 2.4Ghz reaches further as lower frequencies can penetrate solid objects.


  1. Wi-Fi and Internet Aren’t The Same Thing

Most people think that Wi-Fi and internet are one and the same. You’d be forgiven if you were one of these people – the two are closely associated after all!  So what’s the difference?

The internet connects computers, or local networks, together using a huge number of routers. The internet takes your home local network and makes it a part of one giant worldwide network.

On the other hand, Wi-Fi allows devices to connect without the use of physical network cables.

Essentially, Wi-Fi is the vehicle that carries the internet to your device. Having Wi-Fi doesn’t always mean that you have internet access and a strong Wi-Fi signal doesn’t necessarily mean fast internet.


  1. Wi-Fi Devices Outnumber People

Yep, you read that right. The number of Wi-Fi devices is higher than the number of people on the Earth. So, with over 7.442 billion people on the planet, there are around 23 billion connected devices – that’s an average of three per person!

Wi-Fi is now the biggest transmitter of communications around the world, with 71% of mobile communications happening over wireless internet.


  1. What is a Wi-Fi Hotspot?

A Wi-Fi hotspot is an access point to provide free network and/or internet access to your devices, like your laptop or smart phone, when you’re in a public location. You can typically find hotspots in libraries, cafes, airports and hotels. Some devices can even act as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.

According to Statista, by 2020 the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots is predicted to rise to a staggering 454 million globally!


There you go – a brief overview of what Wi-Fi is. If you want to find out more about why you should provide free Wi-Fi to your customers and the ways in which it can improve your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.