WiFi Through the Years

Many of us can’t imagine our lives without Wi-Fi. It has become so embedded in society and our way of life that it is hard to remember what life was like before it existed. The Wi-Fi Alliance states that with 71% of mobile communications via wireless internet, Wi-Fi is now the biggest transmitter of communications around the world.

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Since its inception, Wi-Fi has made leaps and bounds to make it what we know and love today. For those of us who have forgotten, here is the evolution of Wi-Fi over the years:

1980s

Surprisingly, the concept of Wi-Fi originated in the 80s. A Techspot infographic breaks down the evolution with its start in 1985 when the FCC released unlicensed frequency spectrum at 900 MHz, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. They made this available to the public. Then in 1985 the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) arrange a committee to help define a standard for wireless technology, so that it would be compatible across different devices.

1990s

The IEEE wasn’t able to come up with a standard for wireless technology until 1997. The standard was dubbed 802.11 and used the 900MHz band. Then in 1999 the term “Wi-Fi” is officially used is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. This year also sees an increase in wireless speeds from 2 megabits per second (Mbps) to 11 Mbps.

2000s

Wi-Fi really found its stride in the 2000’s. In 2000 the 802.11 standard was modified to use 5GHs band, further increasing speeds up to 54Mbps. Then in 2004, Wi-Fi is finally used for cell phones and personal devices.

In the 2000’s Wi-Fi is king, with a whopping 75% of people saying 1 week without Wi-Fi would leave them grumpier than 1 week without coffee according to Huffington Post. Most importantly, WiFi Map was developed in 2012! Making it even easier and accessible for people to get Wi-Fi all over the world.

Today

Wi-Fi is constantly improving, with a new version of 802.11 ax already being worked on. We can use Wi-Fi on any device, any location and even in on airplanes. It has transformed how we communicate and will only continue to get better. According to an article on Versatek, “The 802.11ax standard is set to not just increase the overall speed of a network, but to quadruple wireless speeds of individual clients.”

Wi-Fi Map has stayed at the forefront of technology and created a community for people worldwide to share Wi-Fi connections globally. For a full break down year by year, check out Techspot’s infographic on the evolution of Wi-Fi.