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Definition of Wi-Fi: How is Wi-Fi Useful for Mobile Phones?

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Wi-Fi logo

Wi-Fi logo

Image © Wi-Fi Alliance
Definition: Wi-Fi, which is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, is short for wireless fidelity. Wi-Fi’s origins can be traced back to an FCC ruling in 1985.

A device with Wi-Fi can wirelessly connect to the Internet when it’s range of a wireless router that is hardwired to the Web. Wi-Fi-enabled devices can include:
  1. Mobile phones
  2. Personal computers
  3. Video game consoles
  4. MP3 players
  5. Personal digital assistants
Wi-Fi in Mobile Phones

Some mobile phones are Wi-Fi enabled and some are not. When a mobile phone has embedded Wi-Fi technology, the handset can access the Internet through a nearby wireless router.

In doing so, the Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone circumvents a cell phone carrier’s network and is not charged or counted for data usage. Wi-Fi cannot replace a voice call with mobile phones.

A Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone can link to a wireless router at your home, a coffee shop, a business or anywhere with an active wireless router.

Wi-Fi connections in airports, hotels, bars, coffee shops and more are traditionally called hot spots. Some Wi-Fi hot spots are free and some cost money.

To establish a Wi-Fi connection between a mobile phone and a wireless router, it is very likely that login credentials (i.e. a password) will be required.

Mobile phones use different technologies (such as GSM with T-Mobile or CDMA with Sprint). Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is a global standard. Unlike with mobile phones, any Wi-Fi device will work anywhere in the world.

Issues With Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi requires high power consumption when used with mobile devices. As mobile phones perform more and more tasks by the day, Wi-Fi can be an energy drain for such handsets.

Also, Wi-Fi networks have a limited range. A traditional wireless router using the 802.11b or 802.11g standard with a regular antenna can work within a range of 120 feet indoors to 300 feet outdoors.
Pronunciation: why-fy
Common Misspellings:
  1. WiFi
  2. WIFI
  3. wifi
  4. Wi Fi
Examples:
My home Wi-Fi connection allows me to surf the Web on my Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone.
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