Wi-Fi stands for wireless fidelity. Just like hi-fi or lo-fi. (Kids, ask your parents.)
But while the acronym stands for wireless fidelity, there’s no such thing as wireless fidelity. Confused yet?
So what is Wi-Fi?
The actual name of the thing we all think of as Wi-Fi is actually IEEE 802.11. This is the technical name for the standards that define the local area network (LAN) technology we all use daily.
IEEE 802.11 does not exactly roll off the tongue. How would you even say it? Can you imagine being the barista who has dozens of people ask them for the Eye-E every day? Don’t get us started on the pronunciation. We don’t need this to turn into another Gif v Jif issue.
It always comes down to branding.
The Wi-Fi Alliance was created in 1999 when this technology was being more widely adopted in home markets. They wanted consumers to be able to identify if a product complies with the IEEE 802.11 standards, like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. (Kids, ask your grandparents.)
The Alliance was looking for something easy to remember and consumer-friendly so they went to a brand consulting firm who gave them some options. Wi-Fi was one of the suggestions and since adding the suffix “-fi” was commonly used in home electronics and would seem familiar, it became adopted.
Wi-Fi is a proper noun and a registered trademark of the Alliance but has become common usage like q-tip or kleenex. And we all generally use it to mean something that connects to your LAN network without being hardwired to an access point.
Is it capitalized? Does it have a hyphen?
Merriam Webster Dictionary, AP Style Guide, all use Wi-Fi capitalized and with a hyphen. The macOS dictionary will even autocorrect wifi to Wi-Fi. So that is what we recommend too.
Regardless of how you write it, we are the ones to connect you to it. Contact Green Light Wireless for a fast, reliable Internet connection today!
- How Do You Spell Wifi / Wi-fi / Wi Fi? | Rocket Yard
- Wi-Fi, Wifi, Wi-fi, WiFi–Which One Is Right? | Proof That Blog
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