Remember the days when your internet was connected through the phone line? Oh, that sound of dialup! We’ve come a long way since then, and chances are that you’re watching this video through WiFi right now. So how did we get here anyway?
In the 1980s, personal computers had begun to enter our lives for good. But at that time, they were connected to the internet through the infamous Ethernet cables. Maybe scientists were getting tired of tripping over all those cables? They decided they wanted to start sending data using radio signals. However, those early attempts were unsuccessful. What scientists didn’t know at the time was that the problem had been solved a decade before PCs were even invented!
TIMESTAMPS: The important invention of one Hollywood actress 0:28 The father of WiFi 1:45 WiFi. What does it mean anyway? 3:05 This is all via radio waves 3:57 What reduces the speed of the Internet 5:34 How your photos (and other things) reach your friend 6:35 Is WiFi bad for our health? 7:48 What can block your WiFi signal 8:50
SUMMARY: The roots of WiFi go way back to the 1940. That’s when a popular Hollywood actress and inventor by the name of Hedy Lamarr came up with a way to prevent radio signals from being tampered with. Early attempts were unsuccessful since it all bounced back on walls, furniture, and pretty much anything that stood in a computer’s way. It all started back in the 1970s, with electrical engineer Dr. John O’Sullivan, a.k.a. “the father of WiFi.” At the time, he and his team were trying to detect radio signals from distant black holes in space, and they came up with complex equations called Fast Fourier transforms. After a lot of experimentation, they took their fancy Fast Fourier transforms, added them in the mixture with the data equations they’d previously tried to send over radio, and thus they formed the basis for the WiFi we all know and love today! Later in 1996, they further developed their original key patent, and by 1997 they finally cracked the code and came up with the first version of the 802.11 protocol. Wifi is a pun for the word HiFi, which means “high fidelity” – a technical term used for highquality audio technology. The frequencies WiFi routers use are 2.4 or 5 Gigahertz per second, which is why data gets transferred so quickly to your phone. If you have baby monitors, garage doors, microwaves, cordless phones, and wireless cameras, they can interfere with your WiFi. When you turn your phone or computer on and get on the internet, all the information you’d like to access is broken down into binary code. And when you access something through WiFi, then that binary code is transformed into wave frequencies. Is WiFi dangerous? Well, the short answer is no. WiFi works at extremely low voltages. Even at short distances, WiFi is just part of the household "smog" that’s generated by TV and radio signals. A typical router works at about 100 feet in every direction. As for what can block it, that’s pretty much anything that conducts electricity, like metal, water, mirrors, and even our bodies since they mainly consist of water.