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People left baffled after learning the true meaning of the word Wi-Fi

People left baffled after learning the true meaning of the word Wi-Fi

The true meaning of the word WiFi will certainly surprise you

66 percent of the world's population has access to the internet, according to Statisa.

That's a whopping 5.35 billion people using WiFi on a daily basis across the globe.

Whether it be for the day job or a bit of social media browsing, WiFi is certainly handy indeed.

And while the vast majority of us on Earth have access to the internet, many do not know the true meaning of WiFi.

As is the case with the internet and social media in particular, there have been a lot of good guesses as to what WiFi could actually mean.

The term 'WiFi' has been around for a while. (Getty Stock Photo)
The term 'WiFi' has been around for a while. (Getty Stock Photo)

The way it is written makes the vast majority of people think it's short for something.

One explanation discussed on the web is that WiFi is a pun on Hi-Fi and wireless fidelity.

Makes sense right? Well, a bit too much so in fact.

And you'll be surprised to know that WiFi does not actually stand for anything.

Phil Belanger, a founding member of the Wi-Fi Alliance, explained: "Wi-Fi doesn't stand for anything. It is not an acronym. There is no meaning."

So, if it doesn't mean anything, how did the term WiFi come about?

Well, it appears that WiFi was magicked up by marketing firm Interbrand, who were tasked way back in the day of creating a memorable name.




The technical term for it was IEEE 802.1, which doesn't exactly have a ring to it, does it?

So, that's when ideas were bashed around and the team finally decided on WiFi as the name.

A list of ten names was brainstormed before then, with WiFi the winner in the end.

Interbrand said: "We proposed the name Wi-Fi, as customers told us that its similarities to the already widely understood concept, hi-fi, short for 'high fidelity' helped them grasp the concept.

"The name reflects that, even without cables, Wi-Fi delivers a high-quality, lossless connection wherever you go."

WiFi doesn't actually have a meaning. (Getty Stock Photo)
WiFi doesn't actually have a meaning. (Getty Stock Photo)

To be honest though, I still can't get over WiFi and HiFi not being linked.

However, according to Belanger, there’s much more to why folks think WiFi is linked to wireless fidelity.

"The only reason that you hear anything about Wireless Fidelity is some of my colleagues in the group were afraid. They didn't understand branding or marketing. They could not imagine using the name Wi-Fi without having some sort of literal explanation,” he explained.

"So we compromised and agreed to include the tag line 'The Standard for Wireless Fidelity' along with the name."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Technology