LiFi vs WiFi - Understanding the Difference

The world is getting more interconnected every day. The foundation of all the connectivity is the internet. Reliable and high-speed internet access has become an essential utility for almost everyone. This dependability started the quest for faster and more reliable internet connectivity. It led to the development of two significant technologies, LiFi and WiFi. 

WiFi has been the leading wireless internet technology for decades. However, LiFi is also emerging as a cutting-edge solution that can shape the future of wireless connectivity.

However, what is the difference between LiFi and WiFi, and which one reigns supreme? That is what we are going to discuss in this blog. We will break down the basics of LiFi and WiFi, highlighting the key differences. It will help you choose the technology that best fits your needs.

Table of Contents

Key Differences Between LiFi vs WiFi

WiFi and LiFi provide wireless connectivity, yet the fundamental principles behind their workings are very different. If you plan to invest in any of these technologies, then it is crucial to know the differences between them. 

Attribute WiFi LiFi
Technology Radio Frequency (RF) waves Light signals (LED)
Data Transfer Speed Up to 9.6 Gbps (theoretical) Up to 224 Gbps (theoretical)
Range Up to 50 meters (outdoor) Up to 10 meters
Security Susceptible to interference and hacking Highly secure
Latency Around 20 ms Lower latency around 0.5 ms
Scalability Limited by radio frequency spectrum availability High potential for scalability
Interference Prone to interference Not affected by interference
Cost Relatively inexpensive infrastructure More expensive upfront cost
Environmental Impact Low power consumption Very low power consumption
Applications Homes, offices, public spaces, mobile devices Hospitals, airplanes, factories, underwater communication

What is WiFi and How Does It Work?

Today, WiFi is everywhere, from homes to offices and even bus stops. We as a civilization have an inseparable bond with this revolutionary tech and cannot imagine our lives without it. Despite being so widespread, many do not know what it is and how it works.  

To explain, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to provide network connectivity. The WiFi device creates a network space using radio waves. The router is connected to the internet, transmitting data to and from the network to the devices, enabling users to access the internet wirelessly. Let’s dive into WiFi’s core workings and unique features.

Technology and Operation

As stated above, the WiFi works using radio waves. For an analogy, they work using the same principles as walkie-talkies. These invisible waves travel at the speed of light, allowing for wireless connection between devices.

Most WiFi devices work in a frequency range of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This frequency range is derived from the wireless network protocols, which in turn are derived from the standards of IEEE 802.11. 

The 2.4 GHz band offers a wider range but is more susceptible to interference from other devices like Bluetooth. On the other hand, the 5 GHz provides much faster speed. However, its coverage area is also relatively less.  

Performance and Security

The speeds provided by WiFi devices have increased significantly over the years. Yet they vary greatly depending on the version of standards and the location. Earlier standards like 802.11b offered speeds of 1 to 11 Mbps, while the latest standard 802.11ax or WiFi 6 boasts speeds of up to 9.6 Gbps

The range of WiFi is another factor that determines its performance. If you have ever felt slow internet speeds and constant video buffering while loading videos, it is because you are not in range of the WiFi device. The typical range of a WiFi signal can vary from 20 to 50 meters indoors depending on walls, interference, and the WiFi standard used.

If you have ever tried hacking or logging into someone else’s WiFi, you might know it is not easy. WiFi networks use encryption techniques like WPA2 to scramble data transmitted over the network. However, WiFi remains susceptible to interference from other devices on the same frequency and potential security exploits.

What is LiFi and How Does It Work?

Light Fidelity, or LiFi is a next-generation wireless connectivity technology (still in the works) that will replace WiFi in the future. The LiFi uses small LEDs to transmit data through the modulation of light waves. Although the tech is very complicated, the working principle behind it can be understood easily. 

The basic principle behind LiFi involves encoding data into light signals by rapidly varying the intensity of LED lights. The light modulation of the signals is so fast that it is undetectable to the human eye. 

The signals are received by a photodetector, such as a photodiode or a smartphone camera, which converts the light signals back into data for communication. LiFi operates within the visible light spectrum, the wavelength of which ranges from 80 nanometers (violet) to 780 nanometers (red).

Performance and Security of LiFi

One of the factors that make LiFi potentially more beneficial is the blazing-fast data transfer speeds. Tests have shown that the LiFi data transfer speeds can reach up to a staggering 224 Gbps. However, in real-life situations, this speed can be relatively low. 

When it comes to comparison between WiFi and LiFi in terms of availability and coverage area, LiFi is at a clear disadvantage. Unlike the radio waves in WiFi, light waves cannot penetrate walls and travel long distances. It makes LiFi very confined and a much less practical alternative to WiFi. 

However, this characteristic of LiFi also provides some added security benefits. Due to its limited coverage area, the LiFi networks offer an extra layer of security, making it ideal for secure communication in sensitive areas like hospitals, government buildings, or conference rooms. 

Is LiFi Better than WiFi?

There is no simple answer to this question. We have discussed  LiFi and WiFi in detail, and both these technologies have their merits and demerits. Both are good, depending on their intended use. 

WiFi is best suited for applications that require uninterrupted internet over vast areas, like homes, offices, and public spaces, thanks to the radio waves that can easily penetrate walls. In addition to this, WiFi has established infrastructure, widespread compatibility, and robust performance, making it a versatile solution for various use cases.

If your applications demand ultra-high bandwidth, such as real-time data transfer in factories or high-definition video streaming, LiFi’s speeds outperform WiFi. Plus, if you work in areas where data is of high importance, such as conference halls, aviation, and hospitals, getting LiFi might be a better choice. 

The ideal scenario might involve a future where LiFi and WiFi coexist, complementing each other’s strengths.



  • Faster speed than WiFi
  • Adds a layer of security
  • Energy efficient
  • Broad availability


  • Challenges for widespread adoption.
  • Limited range where the light is shone

How Does it Work?

LiFi’s operation is a beautiful symphony of light and technology. It turns the simple act of illumination into a sophisticated method of communication. This isn’t just any ordinary bulb; it’s equipped with a special chip to modulate light at high speeds.

  1. Data Transmission: The data to be transmitted is fed into the LED light source. The LED then flickers on and off at a rate so rapid that it’s imperceptible to the human eye. These on-off patterns represent binary data, with the ‘on’ state representing a binary ‘1’ and the ‘off’ state representing a binary ‘0’.
  2. Light Reception: On the receiving end, a photodiode or optical sensor detects the rapid flickering of the LED light. This sensor is sensitive to changes in light intensity and translates these fluctuations into an electrical signal.
  3. Signal Conversion: The electrical signal is then converted back into binary data by the receiving device. This binary data is the same as the original information sent from the transmitting end.
  4. Data Interpretation: Finally, the binary data is interpreted by the receiving device, translating it into the information or content that was originally transmitted, such as a webpage, video, or document.
  5. Two-Way Communication: While the above steps describe the transmission from the light source to the receiver, LiFi also allows for two-way communication. This means that the receiving device can also send data back to the light source, enabling a full duplex communication system.


What is WiFi?

Wi-Fi is a technology that enables devices to exchange data wirelessly over a network using radio waves. It’s a standard protocol that operates on the IEEE 802.11 family of standards, allowing computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices to connect to the Internet or a local area network without physical cables.

The term “Wi-Fi” is often used to describe both the technology itself and the wireless connection a device has to a network. Wi-Fi networks can be found in homes, businesses, airports, and many public places. They are typically created using a wireless router that transmits data to and from a wired Internet connection.

Wi-Fi operates on various frequency bands, such as 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, which determine the range and speed of the connection. Security is an essential aspect of Wi-Fi, and various encryption methods, such as WPA2 and WPA3, are used to protect the data transmitted over the network.



  • Wide Accessibility
  • User Mobility
  • Easy Implementation


  • Security Risks
  • Signal Interference
  • Variable Speed

How Does it work?

WiFi, the technology for wireless internet connection, operates through a series of steps that enable devices to communicate without physical cables. Here’s how it works:

  1. Internet Connection: It starts with an Internet connection provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This connection is typically brought into a building via a physical cable.
  2. Modem and Router: The modem translates the internet signal from the ISP into a form that can be used by digital devices. The router then takes this signal and broadcasts it wirelessly as a WiFi network using radio waves.
  3. Frequency Bands: WiFi commonly operates on two frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. These frequencies allow the data to be transmitted over the air.
  4. Connecting Devices: Devices with wireless capabilities (smartphones, laptops, or tablets) can detect the WiFi network and connect to it using a network name (SSID) and password.
  5. Data Transmission: Once connected, data is sent and received over the radio waves in small packets. The router and the device communicate back and forth, exchanging information.
  6. Encryption: To keep the data secure, WiFi networks often use encryption protocols like WPA2. This ensures that the data being transmitted is scrambled and can only be read by devices with the correct password.
  7. Multiple Devices: A single WiFi network can support multiple devices, allowing them all to access the internet. The router manages the data for each device.
  8. Interference Handling: WiFi must navigate potential interferences from other electronic devices, walls, or other obstacles. Modern routers often have technologies to minimize this interference and provide a stable connection.



Both LiFi and WiFi stand as remarkable technologies, each with its unique attributes, capabilities, and applications. They represent two different paths to the same destination: efficient internet connectivity.

WiFi has become the backbone of modern connectivity. Its widespread availability, ease of use, and adaptability have made it a staple in homes, businesses, and public spaces. LiFi, on the other hand, is a newer entrant, dazzling with its innovative use of light for data transmission.

The comparison between LiFi and WiFi is not a battle of supremacy but a harmonious coexistence. They are not competitors but collaborators in the vast orchestra of digital communication. While WiFi continues to be the familiar tune, LiFi adds a new melody, enriching the symphony of connectivity.

As we move forward in the future, the exploration and integration of both technologies will shape wireless communication.

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