Wi-Fi is similar to wireless technology, or more precisely a telecommunication technology that uses radio waves to send/receive digital signals (data).
It creates a network for these devices to exchange information with each other.
It also allows for the computer, mobile, and other devices such as laptops, smartphones, video cameras, printers to have an interface with the internet.
For internet connectivity, the devices have to be connected to a wireless router.
It is commonly known as Wireless Local Area Network that allows the Local Area Networks to work without any kind of wire or cables.
The Wi-Fi Alliance (formerly Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance) appointed a consulting firm – Interbrand to create a marketing name for their technological name 802.11b since it was found to be somewhat challenging to be accepted by the customers.
Interbrand invented the terms Wi-Fi that sounded similar to hi-fi.
As mentioned earlier, Wi-Fi is not the internet. Yes, it is used by the laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices to access the internet, in reality, Wi-Fi is used to connect your devices with a router or any other access point that provides access to the internet.
In short, it creates a wireless connection for devices and not to the internet.
All the devices on a Local wireless network can exchange information with each other including file sharing, print any document, or view videos from the digital cameras without connecting it with any wire or cables.
The three essential components or elements of a wireless network are the Radio waves or signals, router, and antenna.
The radio waves are transmitted at a defined frequency range, normally at 2.4GHZ and 5 GHz by routers and antennas.
These signals travel in the air and are received by the devices having Wi-Fi support or Wi-Fi cards. For example, your laptop, smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs.
When these devices are within the specified distance range from routers or access points, they get connected over the network creating a Wireless Local Area Network.
The range depends on the location of the router, whether indoor or outdoor.
Every frequency range comprises of multiple channels compatible with wireless devices to help reduce the congestion of their signals or by interruption of other traffic.
The history of wireless technology is much longer than you can think.
The revolutionization in technology that gave birth to the wireless internet was conceptualized by Nikola Tesla in 1929.
She predicted that future people will be able to make wireless communication with handy devices that perfectly fit in their pockets.
Several theories and unexpected beginnings of various terms came up until 1971 when Norman Abramson at Hawaii developed the first network to use radio communications also known as Additive Links Online Hawaii Area Network (ALOHAnet) that are also the predecessors of the Ethernet or 802.11 standards.
The first wireless setup was done by NCR / AT & T in the Netherlands in 1991. It has been a controversial point about Australia labeling itself as the inventor of Wi-Fi.
The first standards of 802.11 were released in 199,7 having a speed of 2Mbps and the formation of the Wi-fi alliance in 1999 to take care of the Wi-Fi trademark, promote the technology development, and a certification process for the companies who wish to sell their products under Wi-Fi certified logo.
Later there have been various versions released, and the future is Wi-Fi 6, which is claimed to be a big revolutionizing in the Wi-Fi technology.