In 1999, before connecting to the internet wirelessly was commonplace, a handful of industry leaders formed the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA). Their goal: drive the adoption of a single worldwide standard for high-speed wireless networks. However, before they could push for the adoption of this new technology, it needed a name. IEEE 802.11 was the technical designation, but it had to be memorable—something universal you could equally expect to find in your home, the office, a coffee shop, or on public transit.
The name they chose, Wi-Fi, was inspired by the word “hi-fi”, short for “high fidelity”. The name reflects that, even without cables, Wi-Fi delivers a high-quality, lossless connection wherever you go.
Since its launch, Wi-Fi has become globally synonymous with wireless accessibility anywhere. It’s seamlessly entered the lexicon—whenever you need wireless internet, you ask for Wi-Fi. From IEEE 802.11 to global recognition, and untethered access.