What does WLAN

Internet WiFi or WLAN - what's the difference?


In everyday parlance you have certainly come across the terms WiFi and WLAN - often even as a synonym. But there is actually a difference. In our tipps + tricks article, we first explain the main difference between the terms and how you as the end user benefit from the technologies.

What is the difference between WiFi and WLAN?

Even if the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. WLAN is the abbreviation for "Wireless local area network"and stands for a wireless, local network. With this technology, you can connect your devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops to the Internet without cables. WLAN is the Umbrella term for this wireless technology. In contrast to this, labeled WiFi a Kind of wifithat for an issued certificate after the IEEE 802.11 standard stands. In conclusion, every WiFi is a WiFi, but not every WiFi is necessarily WiFi-certified.

In detail, WiFi is ("Wireless fidelity"), one of the most common WiFi technologies in use today. WiFi is not the only WiFi technology in use on the market, but it is the one you will come across most often. The term WiFi was created by an organization called Wi-Fi Alliance that monitors tests that certify the seamless exchange between products. A product that passes the tests is given the "Wi-Fi certified" label after IEEE 802.11 standard.

In Germany, the generic term "WLAN" is usually used to describe a wireless network, but "WiFi" is used in many other countries.

At this point we summarize the definition of both terms for you:

  • WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: A local radio network. The radio standard is not specified here in more detail.
  • WiFi: A radio network based on the IEEE 802.11 standard that is compatible with other WiFi devices. Each WiFi is a WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS.

What are the properties of WiFi?

  • You can easily manage all of your devices such as B. Connect your smartphone to the Internet without an Ethernet cable connection.
  • You can easily expand an existing network using so-called access points. You no longer need to rewiring your household, which is usually more costly than purchasing any repeaters.
  • The transmission speed can vary with WLAN. If, for example, several neighbors share a channel or a radio cell, the transmission speed is lower. The use of Ethernet cables is sometimes better here compared to a router.
  • Radio interference can disrupt the WLAN or even cause it to crash, but this is rarely the case.