What is WiFi?

Document created by shaw-fraser on Dec 12, 2013Last modified by shaw-jody on Oct 24, 2017
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Have questions about WiFi? Not sure where to start? Learn more about WiFi and wireless networks with this article where you will find basic information about WiFi and the devices that allow you to get WiFi in your home.
 

This article will provide insight into:

 

What is WiFi?

WiFi (also referred to as wireless Internet) is the service by which you are able to connect to the Internet without actually having to plug your device directly into anything. This means that your laptop can be free of cables while you surf the web. In home WiFi uses a device called a wireless router to spread the wireless Internet signal throughout your home so that you can connect to it with your devices.
 
To use WiFi, you need to be sure that your device is WiFi compliant. Most laptops, smartphones, tablets, eBooks and other devices you might take outside of the house come ready to connect to WiFi, but desktop computers are often not set up to connect to WiFi by default.
 
For a technical description of how WiFi works, click here!

 

What is Shaw Go WiFi?Shaw WiFi logo
Shaw Go WiFi provides you with a Shaw Internet experience beyond the home. As a Shaw Internet customer, you can access a huge network of super-fast WiFi locations all over your city for no additional cost. So you can stay connected, whether you're sipping a latte, waiting for a train, or even working out at the gym.
 
Shaw Go WiFi App Finder
How to connect to a Shaw Go WiFi Hotspot
Get the WiFi Finder App

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What is a wireless router?

A wireless router is a device that broadcasts the WiFi signal in your household. Wireless routers come in all different shapes and sizes. Some have one or more antenna connected to them, and some have their antennas hidden within the machine itself. The router that Shaw provides is often referred to as a Wireless Modem because it functions as both a modem (the device that processes your Internet signal) and a router (the device that shares the Internet wireless throughout your home).
 
Below, you can find a few example images of Shaw and third-party wireless routers.

 

Example of Shaw Wireless DevicesExample of Third Party Routers
Shaw Wireless RoutersThird Party Routers

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WiFi interference explained
WiFi Interference occurs in every home, to a varying degree. It is the result of your WiFi signal being lessened or interrupted by other signals using the same, or similar method of communication.
 
WiFi Internet speeds will not be the same as the Internet speed you receive while connected to your modem directly with a cable. This is because the wireless signal is degraded by local interference and distance. The more interference there is in your home, and the farther your wireless device is away from your wireless router, the more your wireless signal will be degraded. WiFi Internet speeds can also be lessened based on the number of WiFi connections there are in your household.
 
What's an easy way to reduce WiFi interference in my home?
The easiest thing you can do is make sure that your wireless router is in a central location within your home. Wireless routers use a signal which has a limited range to distribute WiFi throughout your home. The strength of this signal can be reduced by various sources of interference such as household electronics, and even a neighbour's home WiFi setup.  The more central the WiFi router is in your household, the more evenly your WiFi signal is distributed, and the less you will be affected by WiFi interference.
 
For a more information on how WiFi works and why WiFi interference exists please see our document all about WiFi Interference

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