What Does Wi-Fi Stand For?

Ever wondered what Wi-Fi stands for, despite using it every day? We finally put your mind at ease with the answer in this article.

What Does Wi-Fi Stand For

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With Wi-Fi being used so commonly across the world, it makes sense that the majority of us have heard of it before and experienced using it. It is the main source of the internet in many houses, offices, and other buildings.

But with it being such an important part of our daily life, how many of us know what it stands for. Does it have a reason behind the name Wi-Fi, or is it completely random? Our article aims to find out.

What Are Wi-Fi Networks?

Wi-Fi networks are wireless networks which use radio waves to transmit data between devices on them.

This means that they can be accessed from anywhere around the building, as long as you have access to a device capable of receiving the signal.

The most common type of network is called Wi-Fi, which was developed by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). They created this standard in order to make sure that all devices could connect to each other without any problems.

The first version of Wi-Fi was released in 1971, and since then it has been constantly updated and improved upon.

Wi-Fi networks are dispersed from a router in the building that allows multiple devices to connect to the internet connection that it is broadcasting.

The internet signal comes from the router and allows any device in the vicinity to connect to it and use the internet.

As long as you are in the coverage area of your Wi-Fi router, you will be able to connect to the internet.

What Does Wi-Fi Stand For?

Wi-Fi is thought to stand for Wireless Fidelity, but that is incorrect. It actually doesn’t stand for anything. Strange, we know, as it certainly looks like it should stand for something!

People think that Wi-Fi stands for Wireless Fidelity because it makes sense. Hi-fi stands for High Fidelity, so under this logic, Wi-Fi should stand for the same – right?

Unfortunately that is not the case, because there is no such thing as Wireless Fidelity.
Wireless Fidelity is actually a term made up by a marketing firm to make a type of technology sound more user-friendly. The original name for this technology was IEEE 802.11. You can see why they might have wanted a different name! Thus, Wireless Fidelity was born.

What Is IEEE 802.11?

Created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, 802.11 is simply what we know today as Wi-Fi. The IEEE took the idea of wireless networking that was first born in 1971 by ALOHAnet and improved upon it to create their own form, originally named 802.11.

This became so popular that the Wi-Fi Alliance formed a trade association so that they could remain the holders of the Wi-Fi trademark.

It is unclear as to why IEEE created the name Wi-Fi for their wireless network technology, but one thing is for sure – Wi-Fi is much easier to say than 802.11!

Does Wireless Fidelity Hold Any Meaning?

Unfortunately not, as the term Wireless Fidelity was created by a marketing firm to make the IEEE 802.11 appear more appealing to customers. Originally when 802.11 was created, the owners of the technology thought that it should have a better name so that customers could say it more easily.

So, the name Wi-Fi was created, and it replaced 802.11. However, the marketers also considered the fact that customers might want an explanation for this name before purchasing the product. Thus, the literal explanation of ‘The Standard for Wireless Fidelity’ was used as the tagline.

There is literally no meaning to this made up term other than an attempt to market the product better. Now, over 20 years later, the name has still stuck and is confusing people to this day.


Wi-Fi is just the name given to the technology that allows us to connect our computers, phones, tablets and other smart devices wirelessly to the internet. It is a standard developed by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and is formerly known as IEEE 802.11.

Wi-Fi is thought to stand for Wireless Fidelity, although this phrase holds no meaning. It was a simple marketing ploy. So, Wi-Fi doesn’t really stand for anything.