WLAN vs. WiFi: What’s the difference?

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In everyday life, WLAN and WiFi are often used interchangeably, but some differences are not obvious at first glance.

According to an article in Techbook, the two terms are closely linked but have different origins and meanings.

WLAN is a “Wireless Local Area Network” and refers to a wireless local network connecting devices such as computers and smartphones.

It is a general term that describes the type of network. WLAN is the German term for this technology and is often used in Europe.

On the other hand, WiFi is a brand name introduced by the WiFi Alliance. It stands for “Wireless Fidelity” and refers to the technology that enables devices to communicate via radio waves in a WLAN.

WiFi is a certification standard that ensures that devices from different manufacturers are compatible with each other. WiFi is the more commonly used term in the USA and other English-speaking countries.

Another important distinction is that WiFi encompasses specific standards, such as IEEE 802.11, that ensure devices can communicate seamlessly with each other.

WLAN is a more general term encompassing all types of wireless local area networks, regardless of the standards used.

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