WiFi is the short form for Wireless Fidility. Wi-Fi is the name for a collection of standards defined by the Wi-Fi alliance . The standards are defined for use in a local area network (LAN), commonly used by personal computers. It is based on the IEEE 802.11 specifications, which is the only specification used for Wi-Fi for now, although new ones are under development.
A Wireless LAN ( WLAN or WiFi ) is a data transmission system designed to provide location independent network access between computing devices by using radio waves rather than a cable infrastructure. In the corporate enterprise, wireless LANs are usually implemented as the final link between the existing wired network and a group of client computers, giving these users wireless access to the full resources and services of the corporate network across a building or campus setting.
The widespread acceptance of WLANs depends on industry standardization to ensure product compatibility and reliability among the various manufacturers. The 802.11 specification [ IEEE Std 802.11 (ISO/IEC 8802-11: 1999) ] as a standard for wireless LANS was ratified by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in the year 1997. This version of 802.11 provides for 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps data rates and a set of fundamental signaling methods and other services. Like all IEEE 802 standards, the 802.11 standards focus on the bottom two levels the ISO model, the physical layer and link layer (see figure below). Any LAN application, network operating system, protocol, including TCP/IP and Novell NetWare, will run on an 802.11-compliant WLAN as easily as they run over Ethernet.