What Is Wi-Fi? Definition and Examples

"W-Fi" and "wireless" are often used interchangeably, but they're not the same

Wi-fi sculpture
Wi-Fi" (CC BY 2.0) by chrisoakley

"Wi-Fi" is a type of wireless networking protocol that allows devices to communicate without cords or cables. Wi-Fi is technically an industry term that represents a type of wireless local area network (LAN) protocol based on the 802.11 IEEE network standard. It's the most popular means of communicating data wirelessly, within a fixed location, today.

"Wi-Fi" is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, an international association of companies involved with wireless LAN technologies and products.

Wi-fi is commonly mistaken as an acronym for "wireless fidelity" and often you may also see it spelled without the hyphen (wifi).

Learn How to Use and Setup Wi-Fi

Also Known As: wireless, though the term wireless is actually much broader

Alternate Spellings: wifi, WIFI, WiFi

Examples: There are many wi-fi hotspots available to the public today, including airports, hotels, Starbucks, Panera Bread, and other free wi-fi hotspots