What is Wi Fi?
A way to get Internet access, the term Wi Fi is a play upon the decades-old term HiFi that describes the type of output generated by quality musical hardware, Wi Fi stands for Wireless Fidelity and is used to define any of the wireless technology in the IEEE 802.11 specification – including (but not necessarily limited to) the wireless protocols 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. The Wi-Fi Alliance is the body responsible for promoting the term and its association with various wireless technology standards.
What is a Wi Fi Hotspot?
A Wi Fi hotspot is defined as any location in which 802.11 (wireless) technology both exists and is available for use to consumers. In some cases the wireless access is free, and in others, wireless carriers charge for Wi Fi usage. Generally, the most common usage of Wi Fi technology is for laptop users to gain Internet access in locations such as airports, coffee shops, and so on, where Wi Fi technology can be used to help consumers in their pursuit of work-based or recreational Internet usage.
How Can I Use Wi Fi?
You must be using a computer or PDA that has Wi Fi connectivity already working. Most portable computers can add Wi Fi using an adapter that plugs into a PC card slot or USB port.
Will I need to have an account with a Wi Fi service provider?
Generally, no. You should be able to sign up with the provider at the location. Many providers will display instructions when browser software opens on a WiFi-enabled computer. If you don’t have an account, simply start your computer and make sure your Wi Fi card is plugged on. Then, open a browser.
Is Wi Fi the same as Bluetooth?
No. While both are wireless technology terms, Bluetooth technology lives under the IEEE protocol 802.15.1, while Wi Fi falls under the 802.11 specification. What this means for consumers is that appliances using Wi Fi technology and those using Bluetooth technology are not interoperable. Bluetooth and Wi Fi are different in several ways, and are not necessarily in competition. Wi Fi technology boasts faster data transfer speeds and range, making it a good replacement for Ethernet (802.3) systems, while Bluetooth requires less power and is therefore more prominent in small appliances, such as PDAs.
Wi-Fi is supported by many applications and devices including video game consoles, home networks, PDAs, mobile phones, major operating systems, and other types of consumer electronics. Any products that are tested and approved as “Wi-Fi Certified” (a registered trademark) by the Wi-Fi Alliance are certified as interoperable with each other, even if they are from different manufacturers.
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