Is the 100x Faster Li-Fi Ready to Take Over Wi-Fi?


Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is a term that you will surely hear a lot more in the coming years. Even though, it is still in its early stage, if the initial tests are to be believed, then Li-Fi is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity). While most of us are satisfied with the connectivity that Wi-Fi provides, a network connection that is 100 times faster sounds too-good-to-be-true. Are you wondering what could be faster than Wi Fi now!

While the reality will reveal itself over the time, let us try to understand what Li-Fi is and will it be able to take over Wi-Fi in the coming future based on the information that we already have.

What is Li-Fi?

Harold Haas, a professor in the University of Edinburgh was the one who invented Li-Fi in the year 2011. He has also founded a company known as ‘pureLiFi’ which is trying to bring this technology into the real world.

Li-Fi completely depends on LED lights. In simple words, while Wi-Fi transfers data over radio waves, Li-Fi does the same over light waves. This means that if you want to use Li-Fi in your laptops and smartphone, you’ll need a photosensor that can receive the incoming light signals. It is wireless and functions on Wi-Fi-like protocols like 802.11.



How does it work?

Li-Fi can be easily understood with simple understanding of the standard infrared technology. You give an input command which is transformed into a binary code that is received by the infrared sensor, which then decodes it and then performs the required action.

Similarly, the router or server of Li-Fi is attached to a cable and this cable is attached to a number of LED lights. These LED lights transmit the data as light waves and the photosensor on your device picks these waves and decodes them.

This means that you’ll need a direct line-of-sight between the photosensor and the light source. Thus, while Wi-Fi can be used across the walls, Li-Fi technology is not built for the same and this can be one of the reasons due to which people would like to stick to Wi-Fi.

Apart from this, there are some other reasons as well that gives Wi-Fi an edge over Li-Fi.

Li-Fi problems

While downloading multiple movies in a matter of few seconds sounds tempting, there are some hurdles which the Li-Fi technology isn’t able to cross. Not yet, at least.

  1. You cannot use Li-Fi in the presence of direct sunlight even if you are in the direct line-of-sight of the light source. This is because; the photosensor will not be able to distinguish between the light waves and the sunlight.
  2. The line-of-sight is another major drawback of Li-Fi. For instance, if you have an LED in your bedroom and want to move to the living room now. You’ll also need an LED in the living room as well. Moreover, you’ll never be able to switch off the LED until you want to use the connection.
  3. Apart from the router/server, a Li-Fi connection will also need investments in wiring and LED bulbs, which you’ll have to replace again and again.

While Li-Fi might be a breakthrough in the world of wireless connectivity, a lot of work is still required for it to be accepted by the masses. Until then, a good Wi-Fi connection can do a decent job for you.

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