What is WiFi?

We only know WiFi as that “thing” you connect to when you reach home. Your device automatically connects to a familiar WiFi network or scans around for one all the time.

Google translates WiFi as — a facility allowing computers, smartphones, or other devices to connect to the Internet or communicate with one another wirelessly within a particular area.

But what IS WiFi? How does it all work to give you this magical drug the human race can no longer live without? To simplify the understanding of WiFi, we’ve put together a short story to give you a visual.

WiFi is a conversation between at least two participants, spoken in the same language and at the same rate.

Technical translation: WiFi is a data exchange between an access point (AP) and a client (device).

As all conversations go, it will take longer if one person takes longer to understand another.

Technical translation: If there is a lot of interference in the area, your device will struggle to understand what the router is saying and vice versa. The router or the client will then retransmit the data.

Imagine the person you’re having a conversation with is your gran. You can still have a conversation with them, but their hearing might not be great.

If you move further away from your gran, they might still be able to hear you but you might not be able to hear what they’re saying.

Technical translation: Your device has a smaller antenna than the one in the AP. Whilst it may be able to receive the signal the AP is sending, it will not be able to connect with the AP because the power output of the device is not as high as the AP.

I can only have a conversation with one person at a time.

Technical translation: Other than the mu-mimo in the latest WAV2 AC devices, APs can only send data to one device at a time.

It’s a common mistake to assume the AP is sending data to your device at the same rate as another device — it’s actually sending data one device at a time.

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