What is Actually Wi-Fi Direct?

More and more modern devices use Wi-Fi Direct. But what exactly is that? We will clarify.

As good as any Smartphone, this function has, nowadays, Wi-Fi Direct or Wi-Fi P2P. If you have never heard of it and don’t know what it is, read our post.

What is Wi-Fi Direct?

Wi-Fi Direct is a connection that enables device-to-device communication and connects devices without a nearby Central network. One device acts as an access point, the other connects to it via the security protocols WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) and WPA / WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access).

But doesn’t that sound just like Bluetooth? Although the technologies are similar at first glance, there are some important differences. One of the most important is that Wi-Fi Direct can process more information at higher speeds than Bluetooth – at optimal conditions about ten times the speed. This makes Wi-Fi P2P a good choice when a Peer-to-Peer connection needs to transmit data-rich content such as a high-resolution image or Video.

However, Wi-Fi Direct is particularly helpful when there is no Wi-Fi network available as an intermediary for devices. Multiple devices can connect to each other in casual or difficult circumstances and share important files without the security concerns that can arise when connecting to a Hub or central network.

Which devices support Wi-Fi Direct?
Windows 10 supports Wi-Fi Direct as well as Smartphones. Android-based devices support Wi-Fi Direct since the release of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in October 2011. Although Android Wi-Fi offers P2P, it depends on the functionality of the respective Smartphone or Tablet model and manufacturer. The iPhone officially discontinued support for Wi-Fi Direct in March 2016. Instead, Apple uses proprietary technology AirDrop or AirPlay.

There are also many entertainment devices that use WiFi Direct to stream content or Screencasts of a mobile device. Chromecast, Roku and Xbox all have it, and many Smart TVs offer Wi-Fi Direct connections. There are also peripherals that offer wireless connections that can use Wi-Fi P2P instead of Bluetooth. These include wireless Headsets with HiFi Audio, wireless printers and even accessories such as keyboards.

What is Wi-Fi Direct used for?
Some of the most common applications of Wi-Fi Direct today :

Fast file transfer: Wi-Fi P2P is a great way to quickly share large files with friends and acquaintances without having to set up a wired connection.
Printing with wireless printers: Wi-Fi Direct can easily process large amounts of wireless information, making it ideal for demanding wireless print jobs.
Screencasting and screen sharing, From Playing mobile Games on a large screen to share family photos or videos on your TV, Wi-Fi Direct is used for all types of screen sharing tasks.
Playing together: for example, if you have the same game on your Smartphone as your friends, you can connect your Smartphones to Wi-Fi Direct and play together if such an option is available.
Fast Sync: some devices use Wi-Fi Direct to sync information and update media. This can significantly speed up the process, especially if new media have to be added at the same time.
Enabling NFC: NFC, or Near Field Communication, is usually considered as a separate radio technology. However, this fast connection actually uses Wi-Fi Direct to transmit information.

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