Today is World Wi-Fi Day. This year we’re feeling more grateful than ever for Wi-Fi, as it’s played a huge part in helping us live and work through ‘lockdown’ these past few months.
By connecting the devices from our homes to the internet, we’ve been able to keep in touch with friends, family, colleagues and customers and adjust to a new virtual world. It’s safe to say that 2020 is the year of Wi-Fi.
But how much do we really know about this industry-defining technology? Here are our five favorite (and fun) facts about Wi-Fi.
1. Wi-Fi originates from Hawaii
While the UK can stake some claim to the birth of the internet — thanks to English computer scientist, Tim Berners-Lee — the use of Wi-Fi dates back to 1971, and the tropics of Hawaii. The pioneering ALOHAnet, which connected the Hawaiian islands, was the world's first wireless packet data network. From this small corner of the world, ALOHAnet and the ALOHA protocol went on to inspire the creation of Ethernet and Wi-Fi technology.
2. “Wi-Fi” doesn't mean what you think it means
Wi-Fi is short for "Wireless Fidelity", right? Think again. This is actually a widely circulated, false piece of information. Wi-Fi was simply designed as a name and logo by Wi-Fi Alliance back in 1999 and the term has no real meaning.
3. Over 432 Million Wi-Fi hotspots
According to Cisco Visual Networking Index – globally, total public Wi-Fi hotspots will grow sevenfold from 2015 to 2020, from 64.2 million in 2015 to 432.5 million by the end of 2020.
4. Your home is a Wi-Fi blocker
Weak Wi-Fi signal at home? Blocker materials in your home are the most likely cause of obstructions to your Wi-Fi signal; including metal, brick and wood – basically your home itself! Often the ‘problem’ isn’t your internet connection to the home, but the signal within your home because of this. So, the best thing you can do is to contact your service provider to find out what solutions they can offer to improve the distribution of your Wi-Fi signal into those hard to reach places the signal from your router doesn't quite hit.
5. Over 7 billion devices are connected to Wi-Fi
Take a minute to count the different smart devices you have in your home. The use of Wi-Fi in the UK is staggering, with 94% of adults stating they have a wireless internet connection. Across the world, this totals close to 7 billion internet-connected devices and by World Wi-Fi Day 2021, that number will be a lot higher.