WiFi, also known as Wireless Fidelity, is everywhere. Many cities now even have it in their streets! But what is it, and how does it work?

To fully understand how WiFi works it would be good to understand the Electromagnetic Spectrum of which radio waves are a part of.


WiFi uses radio waves to transmit information. In short, radio waves are part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. They are electromagnetic waves that are low-medium energy and our devices can pick up these vibrating waves and turn the vibrations into information.

Router To Device

Your router recieves information from the internet via your broadband connection and from there it generates radio waves with the information your device is asking for. The waves sent out have a specific address attached to them (MAC address which is assigned to devices) however the waves go everywhere and all devices can potentially pick them up, just like a radio recieving radio broadcasts.

Once these radio waves are sent out and your device detects them, it translates them in to what you see. Your device can then send back radio waves with requests such as view a web page.

Radio Wave Bands

Below shows the bands of radio waves. WiFi ranges from Ultra High Frequency to Super High Frequency due to more information being able to be attached as there are more waves due to the higher frequency.

Band Frequency range Wavelength range
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) <3 kHz >100 km
Very Low Frequency (VLF) 3 to 30 kHz 10 to 100 km
Low Frequency (LF) 30 to 300 kHz 1 m to 10 km
Medium Frequency (MF) 300 kHz to 3 MHz 100 m to 1 km
High Frequency (HF) 3 to 30 MHz 10 to 100 m
Very High Frequency (VHF) 30 to 300 MHz 1 to 10 m
Ultra High Frequency (UHF) 300 MHz to 3 GHz 10 cm to 1 m
Super High Frequency (SHF) 3 to 30 GHz 1 to 1 cm
Extremely High Frequency (EHF) 30 to 300 GHz 1 mm to 1 cm

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