What is Wi-Fi direct and how it works

You may not even realize it, but your phone can most likely communicate with a number of other electronic devices over Wi-Fi without a wireless router due to a little-known technology called Wi-Fi Direct.

Nowadays more and more new devices are using Wi-Fi Direct. Wi-Fi Direct allows two devices to establish a direct, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection without the help of a wireless router. By using this technology, Wi-Fi becomes a way of communicating wirelessly, like Bluetooth.

You can say that Wi-Fi Direct is similar in concept to “ad-hoc” Wi-Fi mode. However, unlike an ad-hoc Wi-Fi connection, Wi-Fi Direct includes a much easy way to automatically discover nearby devices.

Therefore in this article, we will describe what Wi-Fi Direct is and how does this technology works and moreover, we will also show you how to set up Wi-Fi Direct on your Android device.

What is Wi-Fi Direct and how does it works

What is Wi-Fi Direct

So before moving into the main section of the article where we will show you how does a Wi-Fi Direct works, we would like to explain to you what Wi-Fi Direct actually is. Once you understand the actual meaning of Wi-Fi Direct, you can move into the next section of the article.

Nowadays even the smallest electronic device supports Wi-Fi connectivity. This has increased the need for ad-hoc networking with the ability to connect two devices to each other without a wireless router and at speeds fast enough to transmit multimedia files.

So the need for faster data transfer meant that existing wireless technology standards such as Bluetooth were insufficient. In order to replace Bluetooth technology, a new wireless technology standard is developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes Wi-Fi technology and certifies Wi-Fi products.

They developed the Wi-Fi Direct standard, enabling devices to easily connect with each other without requiring a wireless router. With the help of Wi-Fi Direct, devices can easily communicate with each other using standard Wi-Fi protocols.

This is the main concept of Wi-Fi Direct which we have described in this section to go through this section thoroughly.

Wifi direct

How does Wi-Fi Direct Works

In this section, we will show you the main functioning of Wi-Fi Direct. So follow the bullet points which are given below. Wi-Fi Direct uses various standards to accomplish its functions.

  • Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi Direct uses the same wireless technology that Wi-Fi-enabled devices use to communicate with wireless routers. A Wi-Fi Direct device mainly functions as an access point, and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices connect directly to it.

Although this is already possible with ad-hoc networking, Wi-Fi Direct extends this feature with easy setup and discovery features.

  • Wi-Fi Direct Device and Service Discovery: This protocol helps the Wi-Fi Direct devices to discover each other and the services they support before connecting.

For example, a Wi-Fi Direct device can generally see all compatible devices in the area and then narrow down the list to only those devices that allow printing before displaying a list of nearby Wi-Fi Direct-enabled printers.

  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup: When two devices connect to each other, they automatically connect through the Wi-Fi Protected Setup or WPS. It is advisable for the device makers to use a secure connection method for this WPS connection, rather than the extremely insecure WPS PIN method.
  • WPA2: Wi-Fi Direct devices always use WPA2 encryption, which is the most secure way of encrypting a Wi-Fi.

As we have promised at the beginning of the article, we have discussed in depth about the main functioning of Wi-Fi Direct technology.

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How to set up Wi-Fi Direct on your Smartphone

  1. First and foremost you have to tap on “Applications” then go to “Settings” and finally go to the “More” option.
  2. Once you enter the “More” option, you have to tap on the slider next to Wi-Fi Direct to turn the feature on or off. As you tap on the slider, you will see a prompt to turn off Wi-Fi client/hotspot operation. Finally, tap on “OK” to continue.
  3. After tapping on “OK,” you have to tap on “Wi-Fi Direct” to connect to other Wi-Fi Direct devices.
  4. Once you tap on “Wi-Fi Direct” option, your device will automatically scan for other Wi-Fi Direct devices.
Note: If the device you want to connect with is not listed, ensure that the Wi-Fi Direct is turned on in both the devices and tap on “Scan” again.
  1. Tap on the name of the device you would like to connect with from within the list shown on the screen after the scanning is done.
  2. The other device will receive an invitation to connect, and you will only have two minutes to Accept, in order to make the connection between those two devices.
  3. Once connected, the other device will be displayed as Connected in your list of Wi-Fi Direct devices, and a Wifi icon will be visible at the top of your Smartphone’s screen.


If you go through this article, you will understand that Wi-Fi Direct is an extremely promising technology that allows many WiFi-enabled devices to seamlessly connect to each other and exchange data without using a central wireless router to organize the traffic and relay data packets.

You can even easily use this technology as it is very easy to set up Wi-Fi Direct on your device. So go through this article thoroughly to avail all the advantages of Wi-Fi Direct.

About Mayank Sachdeva

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