As Cory Doctorow writes today in BoingBoing, there is a common misconception that the term WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity. It doesn’t. In fact, WiFi doesn’t actually stand for anything. It was a brand name that was developed because “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence” was harder to remember. Seriously. See Cory’s article for a more wordy explination from one of the founders of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

“Wireless Fidelity” – what does that mean? Nothing. It was a clumsy attempt to come up with two words that matched Wi and Fi. That’s it.

So we were smart to hire Interbrand to come up with the name and logo. We were dumb to confuse and water down their efforts by adding the meaningless tag line. Please help reinforce the good work that we did and forget the tag line.

Phil Belanger, a founding member of the Wi-Fi Alliance

* This post was originally published on November 8, 2005 at