GS Mains Model Question & Answer: What is Wifi ? Differentiate between Wifi and Lifi

GS Mains Model Question & Answer: What is Wifi ? Differentiate between Wifi and Lifi

Q. What is Wifi ? Differentiate between Wifi and Lifi. (12.5 Marks)

(General Studies Mains Paper III- Science and Technology: Awareness in the fields of IT)

Model Answer :


Wifi is one of the most preferred ways to access the internet in today’s world. This connection type can be accessed with the use of a wireless adapter which is inside the computer. According to the amount of data on the network that is to be transferred, Wifi uses certain frequencies in between 2.4 GHz and 5GHz to create the connection. An area which is able to provide Wifi facilities is known as a Hot Spot.These days Wifi is available in many places like home, libraries, hotels, and airports. The job of the wireless adapter is to convert the data into a radio signal. In technical terms, Wi-Fi is known in a few ways like 802.11 networking and IEEE 802.11. In fact, Wi-Fi is short for wireless fidelity.

One of the main advantages of Wifi is its ability to operate regardless of the operating system device; this is very useful in connectivity.


For many decades, light has been produced for a basic purpose of illumination of our homes, offices, etc., but now, LEDs are paving the way for a new use, not only providing us with light but also in the form of communication. Recently research has been able to reveal that LEDs can be used for wireless communication, which will be able to link a computer or a smart device to the World Wide Web and it is named Lifi that stands for light fidelity.

The main advantage of Lifi is that it is ultra-fast compared with Wifi. This can be considered the latest wireless technology to be developed to date. From a speed point of view, it will be the best alternative to Wifi.

Difference between Wifi and Lifi

Lifi is not the replacement of Wifi technology. It can be considered as incredible companion of the Wifi technology. It operates between 380 nm to 780 nm optical range. Lifi is used to exchange data incredibly rapidly and securely at much lower power level compare to Wifi.

The main difference between Wifi and Lifi is that Lifi uses light in order to communicate data whereas Wifi uses radio signals. Recent tests have shown that Lifi is capable of providing the speed of 1GB, which is incredible. This is almost hundred times faster when compared to Wifi.

Following table mentions feature comparison between both.

Feature LiFi WiFi
Full form Light Fidelity Wireless Fidelity
Operation LiFi transmits data using light with the help of LED bulbs. WiFi transmits data using radio waves with the help of WiFi router.
Interference Do not have any intereference issues similar to radio frequency waves. Will have intereference issues from nearby access points(routers)
Technology Present IrDA compliant devices WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad standard compliant devices
Applications Used in airlines, undersea explorations, operation theaters in the hospitals, office and home premises for data transfer and internet browsing Used for internet browsing with the help of wifi kiosks or wifi hotspots
Merits(advantages) Interference is less, can pass through salty sea water, works in densy region Interference is more, can not pass through sea water, works in less densy region
Privacy In LiFi, light is blocked by the walls and hence will provide more secure data transfer In WiFi, RF signal can not be blocked by the walls and hence need to employ techniques to achieve secure data transfer.
Data transfer speed About 1 Gbps WLAN-11n offers 150Mbps, About 1-2 Gbps can be achieved using WiGig/Giga-IR
Frequency of operation 10 thousand times frequency spectrum of the radio 2.4GHz, 4.9GHz and 5GHz
Data density Works in high dense environment Works in less dense environment due to interference related issues
Coverage distance About 10 meters About 32 meters (WLAN 802.11b/11g), vary based on transmit power and antenna type
System components Lamp driver, LED bulb(lamp) and photo detector will make up complete LiFi system. requires routers to be installed, subscriber devices(laptops,PDAs,desktops) are referred as stations


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