What is wifi

What does an actress from Hollywood's golden age have to do with wifi? Find out in our blog, as well as other curiosities about this technology.

qué es el wifi
Communication Team

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Reading time: 3 min

Wi-Fi is a “wireless connection system, within a given area, between electronic devices, often for internet access”, according to the definition of the Royal Spanish Academy.

A word included in the Dictionary of the Spanish language but whose origin lies in a brand name: Wi-Fi.

Origin of Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi trademark was launched at the end of the 20th century by the WECA consortium, founded in 1999 but known since 2002 as the Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit organisation made up of different technology companies that promotes the use of this technology and certifies that products comply with certain interoperability standards.

The WECA commissioned an advertising company to create an easy-to-remember logo and name, hence the name, inspired by Hi-Fi (high fidelity), which stands for high-capacity audio systems.

With an advertising slogan that read The Standard for Wireless Fidelity, the acronym Wi-Fi came from these two words: wireless fidelity.

Hedy Lammar: a history of technology before wifi

What does a Hollywood star, who had also made history by being the first actress to appear naked in a film, the Czechoslovakian film ‘Ecstasy’ from 1933, look like? Very much so.

The fact is that the Austrian-born, later naturalised American Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000), not only had a career linked to the seventh art, but also devoted herself to engineering and science.

In particular, Lamarr invented the first version of the spread spectrum, which enabled long-distance wireless communications later used for everyday technologies in our lives such as GPS, Bluetooth… and Wi-Fi.

The Austrian actress, together with pianist and composer George Antheil, developed a patent for a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes using spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to overcome the threat of interference from Axis countries.

What is wifi and how does it work?

Wi-Fi technology allows electronic devices to seamlessly connect to each other on a network via radio frequencies.

The network (WLAN) allows certain devices to connect to the internet and communicate with each other without physical wiring, as in other cases, such as Ethernet.

The simplicity of its use, as well as the ease of access, has led to the proliferation of this technology in different places, including public spaces, which can lead to security problems due to the lack of protocols on this matter on some occasions, with the consequent risks of theft of personal information.

How wifi works

Wi-Fi networks work as a two-way communication mechanism between the router and a device, using IEEE 802.11 protocols to provide reliable and efficient connections.

The transmission of radio waves of various frequencies through which wifi networks operate provide the wireless connectivity we have been talking about at different speeds.

Advantages and disadvantages of wifi

We have mentioned possible security issues, so let’s list the main advantages and disadvantages of wifi.


  • Cost and maintenance savings as no cables are needed.
  • Allows the use of several users at the same time.
  • It has a long range even when the user is far away from the device emitting the signal.
  • Easy to install.


  • Speed may be slower than with wired connection.
  • The previously mentioned advantage of being able to present concurrent users can turn into a disadvantage as interference or saturation can occur.
  • From the perspective of computer security, as we have already mentioned, vulnerabilities can occur, with special incidence in public wifi networks.


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