$20 for a $120 Gift Card with Purchase of a Dish Network Package from RadarSat ($120 Value)

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The Deal

  • $20 for $120 gift card when you sign up for a Dish Network package ($120 value)

Wi-Fi: Surfing on Radio Waves

Without Wi-Fi, your smart devices would be a little dumber. Explore the surprisingly simple principles behind this technology with Groupon’s introduction.

With its territory increasingly overtaken by the Internet, radio may seem downright old-timey. But, in fact, our experience of the Internet would be quite different without it. Wi-Fi uses two-way radio communication to transmit data, just like walkie-talkies, TVs, radios, and theatergoers trying to circumvent cell-phone bans. The process is relatively simple: a built-in wireless adapter in your computer, smartphone, or other device converts data from binary code—the language of computers that uses strings of 0s and 1s—into a radio-wave signal, which it sends into the air using an antenna. A wireless router receives the signal, converts it back into binary code, and sends it to the Internet via a wired connection with your modem. (And, of course, the process also works in reverse.) Most routers can send and receive signals within a 100-foot radius, but there are more powerful models on the market.

There are a few differences between the two-way radio communication used by radio stations and that used to power Wi-Fi. Wireless adapters and routers transmit at much higher frequencies, which allow the signal to carry more data. Radio waves sent by wireless devices can also “frequency hop” to reduce interference and allow multiple devices to use the same Wi-Fi connection.

If the Wi stands for wireless, where does the Fi come from? According to the founders of the Wi-Fi Alliance, from thin air. A branding agency coined the term to stand in for what would otherwise have been a rather cumbersome bit of technical jargon; Wi-Fi was simply a catchy and logo-friendly invention. Later, some members of The Alliance suggested the back-formation “wireless fidelity,” although it didn’t quite catch on.

In a Nutshell

Customers sign up for a Dish Network package, allowing them to enjoy cable and specialty channels, in order to receive a $120 gift card

The Fine Print

Expires Jun 14th, 2014. Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per household. Must activate by expiration date on your Groupon; subscription expires 24 months from activation date. New subscribers only. Gift with purchase is courtesy of Radar Sat Inc. and requires 24-month commitment, credit qualification and new qualifying DISH service activation which includes a Hopper system and minimum of America’s Top 120 programming package. Gift card will be provided to the customer at the time of activation with no required redemption process. Valid only within 100mi of Milwaukee. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

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