MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From our homes and offices to coffee shops and stores, Wi-Fi is practically everywhere. Our phones and devices seem to simply link up to the Internet through the air.
So how does Wi-Fi work? Good Question.
Fairbanks is a business to business technician with Computer Revolution in Roseville.
“It’s an old standard that has been around for a while but it’s still kind of a mysterious thing,” he said.
Fairbanks says your internet comes into your home through Ethernet cables. Your modem or router has an antenna that can then push out a Wi-Fi signal through radio frequencies, giving you a wireless internet connection.
Fairbanks says there are different types of Wi-Fi standards that run off the frequencies.
“It’s B, G, N, and AC,” he said.
B is the oldest and slowest. It was the beginning of Wi-Fi. It uses 11 megabytes per second. If you’re transferring a picture from your iPad to your desktop computer, it would take five seconds on B.
“On AC it would take .05 seconds. Big jump in speed,” Fairbanks said.
AC is the standard, and it uses 1,000 megabytes per second. The name Wi-Fi was created in 1999, but founders say it does not stand for “wireless fidelity.”
“I think they picked it because it sounded nice. It’s a nice buzz word,” Fairbanks said.
Fairbanks says Wi-Fi will get even faster in the future. He said the best Wi-Fi security to use is WPA2 — older security methods can now be cracked in about 20 seconds by hackers who know what to do.