How People Talked About Wifi 20 Years Ago


In 1991 the internet officially went public to the world; however, it didn’t get the fanfare you may have expected. In fact, by the late 1990s, many people still didn’t even know what the internet was or why it was so useful. So, to reminisce on a bygone era, here is how people used to talk about Wifi just 20 years ago.

It was an inconvenience

Those who did have access to the internet, or who’s children forced them to get it, were not particularly impressed by it. In fact, it was viewed by many as more of an inconvenience. Most notably because, if someone in the household was using the internet, no one else would be able to use the landline.

Secondly, even if you did want to use the internet it was incredibly slow to download anything and was hard to find what you needed. Remember, this was back before Google had been around for very long. Lastly, if you did want to store anything, then you’d need to download it to floppy disks which themselves held very little space and easily clogged up the desk.

They were scared of it

20 years ago, many people were actually afraid of the internet. Though this is still true in today’s society, it could be argued that fearing the internet 20 years ago was very melodramatic. Hackers were not even close to achieving the level of sophistication they have today. Furthermore, hardly anyone even stored any valuable personal information online. The 1995 Sandra Bullock film, The Net, went some way to fuelling this overdramatised fear.

It was limited to the wealthier classes

In the late 1990s, Wifi was not nearly as accessible as it is today. Nobody had Smartphone’s, and the only real way to get use out of the internet was by owning a computer. These were incredibly expensive and something that only people with too much money would actually buy. Instead, if anyone else wanted to use the internet they’d have to pay-by-the-hour in an internet cafe.

It was just a passing fad

When you look back on how people viewed the internet 20 years ago, perhaps the funniest point is that most believed it to be a fad. Rather than seeing it for the potential it held, the internet just seemed like another gimmick of the time that allowed you to send an email or two or read a funny article online. There was no Facebook, Twitter or YouTube that people could make use of to drown away the day.

It’s clear that a lot has changed in the last 20 years. Wifi is now an integral part of our society and something that has revolutionised the way that both consumers and businesses go about their days. It certainly was not just a passing fad.


South West Business Awards logo.
Excalibur is thrilled to have been named as Employer of the Year […]
Excalibur Communications, Swindon - Best Companies UK Top 50 Small Companies to Work For logo.
Excalibur Named as Telecoms Top 3 Best Companies to Work For, UK […]
Four members of Excalibur Communications (Swindon) at the Wiltshire Techies Awards 2023. Winners of Best Tech Support Service and Tech Team of the Year.
Excalibur is delighted to have been named as both Best Tech Support […]