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A common misconception is that the term Wi-Fi is short for “wireless fidelity.” This is not the case. Wi-Fi is simply a trademarked term meaning IEEE 802.11x. The false notion that the brand name “Wi-Fi” is short for “wireless fidelity” has spread to such an extent that even industry leaders have included the phrase wireless fidelity in a press release. You’ll also find references to Wi-Fi being short for wireless fidelity on a number of well-known and respected technology-focused publications and websites. The truth is, Wi-Fi isn’t short for anything — and it never was.
The current confusion seems to stem from a brief period early in the days of the Wi-Fi Alliance when a regrettable tag line was added that stated, ‘The Standard for Wireless Fidelity.’ This was not part of the original name and was not created by Interbrand, but it was added as an afterthought in an attempt to help users make sense of the new and somewhat nonsensical word, Wi-Fi.
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