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What the — is wi-fi?

Do you ever just wonder, what the heck is wi-fiwi-fiwi-fi?

Wi-fi is pulsating light that creates radio waves to transmit massive amounts of data through the air.

Fun fact: your wi-fi and internet are two different things. wi-fi is used to access the internet. It sends data to all your devices so you can stay connected to the web. Whereas the internet is a global network of computers.

Let’s get a little technical

wi-fi is a type of electromagnetic radiation. What sets wi-fi apart from other electromagnetic radiation, such as gamma rays and x-rays, is its wavelengths.

Gamma-ray waves (say that three times fast) have high frequency and short waves, whereas wi-fi is more akin to your microwave. It has a low frequency with a wavelength of about 12.5cm. Keep that fact tucked away for your next trivia night.

How can you harness this power?

You’ll be accessing the power of wi-fi using your modem.

Typically, your modem is connected to the internet with either an ethernet cable or phone cable. The type of cable you use depends on what nbn™ technology is set up at your home.

Once you’re all set up, your wi-fi will use radio waves — the same as your mobile phone and TV — to chat across a wireless network.

Should we get a little technical again? Awesome, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

Once your devices are connected to the wi-fi they’ll be able to have a good-old-fashion yarn with your modem, sending data back and forth via radio waves (or pulsating light). Your modem will gather information from the internet, decode it, and then using an antenna, send that data to your wi-fi enabled devices using radio waves.

This process also works the other way around, allowing your devices to send information back to the modem, through the fixed cable, and into the vast, wonderful world of the internet.

someone holding an iPhone

Does wi-fi have a kryptonite?

Yes. Anti wi-fi paint. Yep, that’s actually a thing, but there are other things to consider, like distance.

Distance does not make the wi-fi grow fonder. The further you are from your modem the weaker your wi-fi signal. This is why when you’re in the backyard you might not able to upload your latest dance video or stream your fave show.

The centre of your home is the most ideal home for your modem, allowing your wi-fi to reach around your property. Sadly, this isn’t always practical. Often you’ll be restricted by the location of where your nbn device or phone socket is installed.

Wi-fi also has a few additional arch enemies. Take your friendly neighbourhood microwave for example. Operating on the same wavelength (2.4GHz), your microwave and wi-fi will often compete for the best signal. Find out what other seemingly innocent household items are affecting your wi-fi.

Combatting slow wi-fi speeds?

Hold up! We already have an awesome blog about this. !

Still here? Alright, let’s go over some of the basics:

  • Try switching up your wi-fi frequencies.

  • 2.4GHz = a slower but more powerful signal that can penetrate walls.

  • 5GHz = a faster signal, but one that can’t travel as far. So, you’ll need to sacrifice range for speed. (P.S. 5GHz isn’t the same as 5G ).

  • Disconnect a few devices or to upgrade your plan.

  • Manually change your to help your little buddy along.


Wi-fi is what allows you to stay connected without been hooked up to a phone socket or nbn device. It’s how we get information from the web to our phones, tablets, computers and smart home devices. Just think how different our lives would be without it.

If you’re stuck on what kind of internet plan to get, check out our nbn plans. Or if you’re already a Belong customer that needs help, you can call us on .