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Difference between LiFi and WiFi

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Wi-Fi(wireless fidelity) and Li-Fi(light fidelity) are two different technologies that are used to send and receive data wirelessly. In the case of Wi-Fi, we use Routers and Radio Frequency (RF) waves to transmit data, whereas in Li-Fi we use LED bulbs and Light signals to transmit and receive data. 

The basic difference between LiFi and WiFi are as follows: 

Comparison Li-Fi Wi-Fi
Full form  It stands for Light Fidelity.  It stands for Wireless Fidelity.
Invented/Coined   Coined by Prof. Harald Haas in 2011. By NCR corporation in 1991.
Operation  It transmits data using light by the help of LED bulbs.  It transmits data using radio waves using wifi router.
Technology   Present IrDA compliant devices WLAN 802.11/b/g/n/ac/d standard compliant devices
Data Transfer Speed   About 1 Gbps Ranges from 150Mbps to maximum of 2Gbps
Standard IEEE 802.15.7 IEEE 802.11
Privacy   Light is blocked by the walls hence provide more secure data transfer. Walls cannot block radio waves so we need to employ more techniques to achieve secure data transfer.
Bandwidth Availability of unlimited bandwidth. Availability of limited bandwidth.
Frequency of operation   10, 000 times frequency spectrum of the radio 2.4Ghz, 4.9Ghz and 5Ghz
Coverage Distance   About 10 meters About 32 meters(vary based on transmit power and antenna type)
Power Consumption Power Consumption is Low. Power Consumption is High.
Data density   Work with the high dense environment Work in a less dense environment due to interference-related issues.
Cost Low High
Bare minimum Components used  LED bulb, LED driver and photo detector Routers, Modems and access points
  • Low cost because of VLC technology used which in turn uses highly efficient LED bulbs.
  • Faster transmission speed as light travels at fast speed.
  • Less interference, ability to travel across salt water, and ability to operate in dense areas.
  • Prevents unauthorized access because of the no penetration feature of visible light from the opaque walls.
  • WiFi eliminated the need for direct physical connections to access local networks and the internet without requiring direct physical connections to servers. Users are granted access from anywhere within range because WiFi connections are wireless.
  • Easy to implement as you need to contact only an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to provide an internet connection and a WiFi Router to give an access point.
  • The infrastructure required to implement LiFi technology on a large enough scale is still essentially nonexistent because it is still an emerging concept.
  • To enable network access, the light source must always be on.
  • It becomes extremely vulnerable to outside interference because it uses light to communicate data.
  • Users are made stationary when using LiFi devices because of the short signal range emitted by light bulbs.
  • WiFi networks are notoriously insecure. Its lack of security is primarily due to its large signal range.
  • More interference, inability to travel over salt water, and preference for less populated areas.
  • Signals are highly unreliable. This is because of the fact that radio frequencies are still susceptible to numerous external interferences. Due to this much range of connection issues, including weak signals, poor reception, and even connection loss can occur.
Applications   Used in airlines, undersea exploration etc. Used for internet browsing with the help of Wifi hotspot.
Broadcast Li-Fi uses visible light with special chips and sensors to broadcast its signal WIFI uses radio waves to broadcast its signal.
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Last Updated : 11 Jul, 2022
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