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(WIFI) A logo from the Wi-Fi Alliance that certifies network devices comply with the IEEE 802.11 wireless Ethernet standard. In the early 2000s, Wi-Fi/802.11 became widely used, and within a short time, all laptops and other handheld devices came with Wi-Fi built in. Earlier laptops could be Wi-Fi enabled by plugging in a Wi-Fi PC Card.

Wi-Fi Alliance

(Wi-Fi Alliance, Austin, TX, A membership organization founded in 1999 devoted to certifying 802.11 wireless Ethernet devices for interoperability. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo on a wireless radio (PC card, access point, etc.) means that it has passed a thorough interoperability test and will work with any other Wi-Fi CERTIFIED product. A Wi-Fi ZONE logo means that a hotspot, whether offered at no charge or for a fee, uses Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment.

Originally founded as the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Association (WECA), Wi-Fi stands for “wireless fidelity,” a play on “high fidelity” (hi-fi).

Wi-Fi bridge

A device based on the 802.11 protocol that is used to add desktop computers and printers in remote locations to the network without having to string cables and without having to equip each one with a Wi-Fi adapter. The Wi-Fi bridge has a built-in LAN switch for plugging in several devices, and like all Wi-Fi hotspots, does not require line-of-site. It can be set up almost anywhere and transmit over the air to another Wi-Fi bridge or access point that is wired to the main network.

Some Wi-Fi bridges are designed to connect to only one device. In addition, long-distance bridges may require line-of-site.

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