What is the full form of WIFI? How WIFI Works

Easy to understand explanations of wifi -60dbm, wifi -70db, wifi -80db, wifi -90dbm and wifi -1

Various meanings of Wifi dBm are explained below but to help you understand better, we first explain the following in detail.

  • What is the full form of WIFi
  • How wifi works.
  • The WIFI Signal Strengths

What the wifi signals strengths wifi -60dbm , wifi -70db ,  wifi -80db , wifi -90dbm mean and where applied.

What is the full form of WIFI?

Many websites describe the full form of WIFI as Wireless Fidelity but as a student, please note that this form of WIFI is incorrect. Wi-Fi is a generally accepted English name. The word WI-FI is a trademark of WI-FI Alliance which certifies devices that can interoperate with WI-FI alliance devices allowing network communications.  WIFI is synonymous with WLAN with the full form of WLAN being Wireless Local Area Network. WIFI/WLAN uses the IEEE 802.11 networking standard as set forth by the ISO. The full form of IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers while the full form of ISO is International Standards Organization.

How WIFI works

WIFI is a form of wireless networking standard that uses a range of free Radio Frequency (RF) signals. RFs are oscillations in the range of 3 KHz to 300 GHz. They are sometimes referred to as radio waves.

The functionality of WIFI/WLAN network is borrowed from the way we communicate naturally.  For you to communicate to your neighbour, your sound/speech must pass through the air to reach them. This is basically the same concept that was used when developing wireless networks.

Wireless communication comprises of four main elements; 1, base stations 2, access controllers 3, application connectivity software and 4, a distribution system. The base station has a wireless NIC (full form of NIC is Network Interface Card). The NIC of base station is similar to that of the wireless NIC card installed in the device communicating to the base station. This device may be a computer, a mobile phone, a tablet etc while the base station may be a wireless access point or mobile communication towers set by the mobile service providers. The device has applications that pass data through the 7 layers OSI model or the 5 layers of the TCP/IP Model (Full form of OSI is Open Systems Interconnections while the full form of TCP/IP is Transport Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol). Data in the OSI or TCP/IP model; whichever standard is in use, passes several layers from application towards the physical layer before it is passed on to the air medium for travel.

The NIC of the base station receives light signals that moves from the mobile/laptop etc through the air to the nearest access point or base station. The base station/access point in turn passes the signals up its OSI/TCP-IP layers for processing and returns the data through the same layers for it to be transferred as light signals to either the destination or to the next access point if the destination device is not within the locality of the tower/access point.  (Access point is used for short distance and base station is used for long mobile communications). This process is repeated until the signal reaches the access point or tower where the receiver is located. The process happens so fast for you to notice any delays when communicating. This process is reversed for the devices to reply to the callers.

To understand network communications in breath, you may need to read Cisco CCNA books (the full form of CCNA is Cisco Certified Network Associate). Cisco is world’s leading network communication technology company. Cisco manufactures majority of routers, switches, IP phones, access points among other devices in use in most networks today together with their related operating systems software. (The full form of IP is Internet Protocol). It is also important to note that, for data to move across communication devices, routing protocols are used, security measures are also employed and number of other technologies implemented.

What are WIFI Signal Strengths and how are they used?

The full form of wifi dB is Decibel which is an expression of the strength of WIFI signal when compared to a reference signal calculated as 10log10 (signal/reference)

A dB is calculated in 3 units with a 3dB loss meaning the signal strength has doubled and a 3dB loss meaning the signal strength has halved. The following are the standard dB expressions.

Before the expressions, you need to understand what decibel is in details. It is also good to understand what a WATT is.

Decibel is a logarithmic way of describing a ratio, you may need to read further for a detailed understanding of how to express decibel in various units of measure.

Watt is a unit of power and is named after James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine. “It is the current flow of one ampere with voltage of one volt”, one Watt is equal to 1000 MilliWatts.

0 dBm = 1 mW (milliwatt) = 0.001 Watts. The full form of dBm is decibel milliwatts. Note that 1dBm = 1.258925mW. Always use the formula P (dBm) = 10 · log10 (P (mW) / 1mW) for this purpose.

The following are the various dBm Signals in wifi / Wireless networks

Wifi -30 dBm

This is the maximum signal that can be achieved in wireless networks.

Wifi -60 dBm

This is the minimum required signal strength for applications such as Voice WiFi and streaming video.

Wifi -70dBm

Minimum signal strength requires for reliable packet delivery for email and web based communication.

Wifi -80dBm

This is the minimum required signal strength for just a basic connectivity; this may not guarantee reliable delivery. The related protocol is UDP which is explained further in CCNA course. (The full form of UDP is User Datagram Protocol)

Wifi -90dBm

This is the poorest signal strength, the signal is very noise and unclear. Devices can only connect and communication          can barely be heard, there is a lot of noise in the background.

The following are the various dBm Signals in wifi / Bluetooth networks

  • Greater than -70dBm – Signal Strength is weak
  • Greater than -60dBm but less than -70dBm Signal Strength Fair
  • Greater than -50dBm but less than -60dBm Signal Strength is good
  • Less than -50dBm -60dBm Signal Strength is Excellent
  • Based on this argument a signal of Wifi -1 would not be achievable. The highest achieved excellent signal is -30dBm.

Did this article answer the questions you had? Share your thoughts with others by posting a comment. This will also help us improve future articles for you.

One thought on “What is the full form of WIFI? How WIFI Works

Leave a Reply