Strange things you don’t know about Wi-Fi

For many of us today, it would be difficult to imagine a day without Wi-Fi. Without Wi-Fi, how would people work? How would children study? How would friends and families communicate?

1WiFi is not aka Wireless Fidelity
A Common misconception is that the term WiFi is short for “Wireless Fidelity”, however this is not the case. WiFi is simply a trademarked phrase that means IEEE 802.11x.

So, just what is WiFi? WiFi Alliance is the worldwide network of companies that brings you WiFi. In 2000, the group adopted the term “WiFi” as the proper name for its technical work and announced its official name: WiFi Alliance.

Over time, different classifications of WiFi networks were given different naming conventions. Rather than “802.11b”, it’s just “WiFi 1.” Much like how mobile phone companies refer to 3G and 5G as different network speeds even though the term is almost always just a marketing tool.

This classification is supposed to help make it easier for consumers to understand — instead of understanding a whole alphabet soup, users can just look for “WiFi 1” or “WiFi 5” as what they need.

2 Am I fugitive ?
Of-course NO !! Driving a car without license is offensive. But in WiFi it is not. YES, WiFi spectrum is unlicensed. It is a particular service that uses unlicensed spectrum, but there are others as well.

Why Unlicensed
* Unlicensed spectrum is an open door to innovation
* Companies and organizations belonging to the Wi-Fi industry, have the opportunity to develop new applications to facilitate connectivity and equip devices with more capabilities.
* So the next time you listen to your newborn sleeping in the nursery over a baby monitor or hit the clicker in your car to open the garage door during a downpour, remember that these commonplace activities would be impossible without unlicensed spectrum.

3 WiFi can transmit up to?
Shhhhh !!! Yes, It is official that the total range(distance of transmission) will take 35times of Mt. Everest’s height to equal the distance transmitted.

The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) announced on 12-Dec-2002 that they have transmitted information via a broadband wireless link over a distance of 310 km. They believe that this is the longest distance achieved using wireless connectivity. The round trip ping response at 300Km was 300–500 mS.

A typical 2.4Ghz WiFi ranges 150ft (45.72 meters) indoor and 300ft (91.44 meters) in outdoor without any interfaces. And 5Ghz(11ac) WiFi ranges up to 410 ft (ca. 125 m) (amplified).

Credits to :- http://www.alvarion.com

4 2 modes of WiFi
WiFi do have 2 modes of connectivity. Peer to peer(Ad hoc) and Infrastructure mode.

In infrastructure mode, wireless clients are connected to an access point. In infrastructure mode, wireless devices can communicate with each other or can communicate with a wired network. When one AP is connected to wired network and a set of wireless stations it is referred to as a Basic Service Set (BSS).

In ad hoc mode, clients are connected to one another without any access point. Ad hoc mode is useful for establishing a network where wireless infrastructure does not exist or where services are not required.

5 There is no Full-Duplex in WiFi
99.9% of the time Wireless is half duplex. There are experiments that can result in a “full duplex” wireless network but that’s all lab-based and not real-world.

Full-duplex is what most wired connections use which means two devices can send and receive data at the same time and can also detect collisions straight away. Via CSMA/CD.

With Wireless the devices cannot send and receive simultaneously, and they cannot sense collisions. Instead, they use CSMA/CA to detect usage on the frequency to see if it is safe to transmit data. There are numerous factors that can affect a wireless signal and interfere with it which results in lower throughput.

6 Blink Blink ! ! !
Your movie is downloaded, Affirmatively your 4K movie is downloaded within seconds.

WiFi-6 uses the same modulation of cellular 5G. Guess what, OFDMA is the answer to that. OFDMA is one of the key factor to reach this speed with max mod of 1024QAM.

7 Free WiFi Isn’t really free
Yes, You heard right ! Free aka public WiFi isn’t free pays a lot.

How much would you ‘pay’ for ‘free’ Wi-Fi?

Would you give away your birthday? Your travel details? Your home address? Your phone number?

The problem is, of course, that in the US at least ‘free’ Wi-Fi seems to divide into two categories.

There’s ‘free if you come into the coffee shop and buy something, here’s the password, help yourself, no need to register, and why not try the carrot cake while you’re about it, you will like it more than you think‘ (true).

And there’s the ‘free in return for a bunch of personal data that will help us market to you in a way that makes your retail/station/airport experience so much more enjoyable‘ (not-so-true).

The problem with the second sort of ‘free’ Wi-Fi is that the company that’s giving you the ‘free’ service can only really make money out of it by which we mean that they can only make you pay for it if they keep track who you are and what you do when you connect.

In an era of affordable mobile data, where pay-as-you-go SIM cards are cheap and can be bought without much fuss at just about any supermarket checkout do you even need free-as-in-paid-for-indirectly Wi-Fi at all?

Think before connecting to a public or free WiFi.

WLAN Testing Engineer, Enthusiast, Zealot. A full-time testing Engineer in a reputed company.