What is WiFi Direct? We’ll explain it to you

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It is possible to connect different devices to each other via radio. The technology for this is called WiFi Direct.

What is WiFi Direct?

There are now many generations of WiFi Direct. They all have some things in common:

  • WiFi-Direct is a certificate from the Wi-Fi Alliance.
  • The Wi-Fi Alliance has over 600 members, including Intel, Apple, DELL, Microsoft and LG. You can find an extensive list of members here.
  • WiFi-Direct makes it possible to establish a mutual connection with compatible devices without an internet connection. This is how you can set up a wireless network between two or more devices.
  • The principle is similar to the well-known Bluetooth or the multiplayer mode of the Nintendo DS.
  • The range of such a connection is up to 200 meters.


Which devices are supported?

Many laptops, digital cameras, smartphones, BluRay players, tablets and WLAN sticks are WiFi Direct certified. Apple also makes use of it, but calls it “Airplay” and “AirDrop”.

In addition, printers, headphones and keyboards can be connected via it. Entertainment devices are also included. A list of devices with a Wi-Fi certificate can be found here.

  • This technology connects devices directly with each other via radio.
  • In the “Advanced Search” you can search specifically for products with a WiFi Direct certificate. Just check the box next to “Wi-Fi Direct®”.
  • Use the  Windows command prompt to determine whether your computer’s network connections support this technology. To do this, enter the command ” ipconfig / all “.
  • If the WiFi Direct entry appears in the Wireless Lan Adapter section, you can turn your PC into an access point, for example to establish a connection to the smartphone.
  • Under Linux enter the command “iw list” in the shell. The terms P2P-client and P2P-GO should appear in the output.


The purpose of WiFi-Direct

With the number of technical devices available on the market today, the areas of application also grow.

  • Near Field Communication (NFC) is used to transfer information quickly and easily. Practically all WLAN-enabled devices can use this technology, even without a WiFi Direct certificate.
  • In combination with Miracast, you can also use WiFi Direct to transfer the image from one device directly to the screen of another device.
  • Photos that are on your smartphone can be printed out on the wireless printer using a suitable app.
  • If every player has the same game installed on their smartphone, they can play in a team or against each other without the need for WiFi.
  • Data can be transferred from the smartphone to the computer using file sharing. The setup is usually done quickly.

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