What Is Wi-Fi?

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Wi-Fi stands for wireless fidelity. It is also referred to as 802.11 networking. The 802.11 designation comes from the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE), which sets standards for a range of technological protocols and uses a numbering system to classify these standards.

It is a wireless technology used to connect computers, home networks, mobile phones, video games and other electronic devices to each other or the Internet. The wireless network uses radio waves, just like cell phones, televisions and radios do. Communication across network is a lot like two-way radio communication. 
- A computer's wireless adapter translates data into a radio signal and transmits it using an antenna.
- A wireless router receives the signal and decodes it. The router sends the information to the Internet using a physical, wired ethernet connection.
- The process also works in reverse, with the router receiving information from the Internet, translating it into a radio signal and sending it to the computer's wireless adapter.
- As long as they all have wireless adapters, several devices can use one router to connect to the Internet. This connection is convenient, virtually invisible and fairly reliable. However, if the router fails or if too many people try to use high-bandwidth applications at the same time, users can experience interference or lose their connections.

If you want to take advantage of public Wi-Fi hotspots or start a wireless network in your home, the first thing you'll need to do is make sure your computer has the right gear. Most new laptops and many new desktop computers come with built-in wireless transmitters. If your laptop doesn't, you can buy a wireless adapter that plugs into the PC card slot or USB port. Desktop computers can use USB adapters or you can buy an adapter that plugs into the PCI slot inside the computer's case. Many of these adapters can use more than one 802.11 standard.
Any user within 200ft or so (about 61mts) of the access point can then connect to the Internet, though for good transfer rates, distances of 100ft (30.5mts) or less are more common. Retailers also sell wireless signal boosters that extend the range of a wireless network. New Wi-Fi technologies will extend the range from 300ft (91.5mts) to 600ft (183mts) and beyond, while boosting data transfer rates.

Electrolux is testing a Wi-Fi washing basket that would do laundry work on its own. It is being claimed that the see-through basket would automatically start when the dirty clothes placed in the basket hit a certain weight. Further, those who forget to start the device before leaving for office can do so remotely from their office itself.