It’s hard to believe that until the 2000s, the only way that most people could get online was by hooking up their computers to a phone line or Ethernet cable. Ironically, the first portable computers were released way before we learned how to unchain ourselves from all those cables.
Despite these inauspicious beginnings, the 1990s saw a rise in the popularity of laptops as the technology to create lighter, more portable computers improved, and the devices became much more affordable. However, if you wanted to go online, they weren’t very portable at all.
Today, Wi-Fi is an integral part of our lives. It’s ubiquitous in our homes, and hotspots in hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, and stores. Thanks to modern laptops, and the rise of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, we now use Wi-fi more than ever. Mobile Internet traffic has now exceeded desktop traffic, and there are now more mobile devices on the planet than there are human beings. Half of United States citizens now own tablets or e-readers, and over half own a smartphone. And 75% of people would rather go without coffee for a week than go without Wi-Fi.