At Cutrona Electric, we install Wi-Fi routers, smart plugs, and just about any other wireless device you can think of.
Devices that can use Wi-Fi technologies include desktops and laptops, smartphones and tablets, smart TVs, printers, digital audio players, digital cameras, cars and drones.
Compatible devices can connect to each other over Wi-Fi through a wireless access point as well as to connected Ethernet devices and may use it to access the Internet. Such an access point (or hotspot) has a range of about 66 feet indoors and a greater range outdoors. Hotspot coverage can be as small as a single room with walls that block radio waves, or as large as many square miles achieved by using multiple overlapping access points.
The different versions of Wi-Fi are specified by various IEEE 802.11 protocol standards, with the different radio technologies determining the ranges, radio bands, and speeds that may be achieved.
Wi-Fi most commonly uses the 2.4 gigahertz (12 cm) UHF and 5 gigahertz (6 cm) SHF ISM radio bands; these bands are subdivided into multiple channels. Each channel can be time-shared by multiple networks. These wavelengths work best for line-of-sight. Many common materials absorb or reflect them, which further restricts range, but can tend to help minimize interference between different networks in crowded environments.
At close range, some versions of Wi-Fi, running on suitable hardware, can achieve speeds of over 1 Gbit/s.