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Wi-Fi or WiFi is a technology for wireless local area networking with devices based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, which restricts the use of the term Wi-Fi Certified to products that successfully complete interoperability certification testing.

Wi-Fi
Developed by Wi-Fi Alliance
Introduced September 1999; 17 years ago (1999-09)
Compatible hardware Mobile phones, personal computers, gaming consoles, televisions

Wi-Fi or WiFi is a technology for wireless local area networking with devices based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, which restricts the use of the term Wi-Fi Certified to products that successfully complete interoperability certification testing.

Devices that can use Wi-Fi technology include personal computers, video-game consoles, smartphones, digital cameras, tablet computers, digital audio players and modern printers. Wi-Fi compatible devices can connect to the Internet via a WLAN network and a wireless access point. Such an access point (or hotspot) has a range of about 20 meters (66 feet) indoors and a greater range outdoors. Hotspot coverage can be as small as a single room with walls that block radio waves, or as large as many square kilometres achieved by using multiple overlapping access points.

Depiction of a device sending information wirelessly to another device, both connected to the local network, in order to print a document

Wi-Fi most commonly uses the 2.4 gigahertz (12 cm) UHF and 5 gigahertz (6 cm) SHF ISM radio bands. Having no physical connections, it is more vulnerable to attack than wired connections, such as Ethernet. Web pages that use Transport Layer Security (TLS) are secure, but unencrypted Internet access can easily be detected by intruders. For protection, Wi-Fi has adopted various encryption technologies. The early encryption Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) proved easy to break. Higher quality protocols, such as Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA, WPA2) were added later. An optional feature added in 2007, called Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), had a serious flaw that allowed an attacker to recover the router's password. The Wi-Fi Alliance has since updated its test plan and certification program to ensure all newly certified devices resist attacks.

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