Wi-Fi Direct

Portable Wi-Fi® that goes with you anywhere

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct® is a certification mark for devices supporting a technology that enables Wi-Fi devices to connect directly, making it simple and convenient to do things like print, share, sync and display. Products bearing the Wi-Fi Direct certification mark can connect to one another without joining a traditional home, office or hotspot network.

Mobile phones, cameras, printers, PCs, and gaming devices connect to each other directly to transfer content and share applications quickly and easily. Devices can make a one-to-one connection, or a group of several devices can connect simultaneously. Connecting Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices is easy and simple, with the push of a button, tapping two NFC-capable devices together, or entering a PIN. Moreover, all Wi-Fi Direct connections are protected by WPA2™, the latest Wi-Fi security technology. With Wi-Fi Direct, you do not need an access point or internet connection – your personal Wi-Fi network goes with you wherever you go.

A set of optional pre-defined services let devices send files, print documents, play media and display screens between and among devices easily, no matter the vendor. The standard enhanced services let users “discover, connect and do” in a single step to perform these common tasks. The new service platform also fosters innovative development opportunities for new applications to take advantage of direct device-to-device connections.

Use Wi-Fi Direct without an Internet connection

Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices can be used for all kinds of applications - to share content, synch data, socialize, play games, play audio and video, and more - all the things you do with your Wi-Fi devices today, only easier and without worrying about finding an internet connection. Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices can form connections with nearly all the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ devices you already have. You only need one Wi-Fi Direct device to form a group. Now, Wi-Fi isn't just about accessing the internet - but about connecting all the Wi-Fi devices you and your friends have - anytime, anywhere - to enable your connected life.

Wi-Fi Direct connections happen anywhere, anytime

Wi-Fi Direct device connections can happen anywhere, anytime - even when there is not access to a Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi Direct devices emit a signal to other devices in the area, letting them know a connection can be made. Users can view available devices and request a connection, or may receive an invitation to connect to another device. When two or more Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices connect directly, they form a Wi-Fi Direct Group using Wi-Fi Protected Setup™ and the latest Wi-Fi security.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the pre-defined services for Wi-Fi Direct?

    Optional standardized services allow users to “discover, connect and do” in a single step:

    - Wi-Fi Direct Send lets users send and receive content between one or more devices quickly and easily with minimal user interaction

    - Miracast® connections over Wi-Fi Direct give users the ability to display photos, files and video on multiple screens through updated device and service discovery mechanisms

    - Wi-Fi Direct for DLNA® lets devices discover each other before connecting to stream content on devices which support DLNA interoperability guidelines

    - Wi-Fi Direct Print gives users the ability to print documents directly from a smartphone, tablet or PC with a single command

  • What is the Wi-Fi Direct Toolkit?

    The optional Wi-Fi Direct Toolkit provides third party developers with a standardized developer interface to the platform for building applications to run on Wi-Fi Direct connections.

  • How do I communicate using the Wi-Fi Direct trademark?

    The term “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct®” designates products that have been certified by Wi-Fi Alliance, and is the commercial name for the certification program. The underlying specification or technology is called “Wi-Fi Peer-to-Peer Specification”. Only products which have completed and passed Wi-Fi certification to the Wi-Fi Peer-to-Peer test plan may use the Wi-Fi Direct name. On second instance, you may refer to “Wi-Fi Direct" products (dropping the term Wi-Fi CERTIFIED). There is no special logo or visual indicator for Wi-Fi Direct.

  • How is Miracast related to Wi-Fi Direct?

    Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to connect directly to each other, without the need for a Wi-Fi AP, and requiring just the push of a button, the entry of a PIN, or tapping two NFC-capable devices together. Wi-Fi Direct allows source and display devices to discover one another and provides the underlying device-to-device connectivity for Miracast. Miracast builds upon Wi-Fi Direct with mechanisms to negotiate video capabilities, setup content protection (if needed), stream content, and maintain the video session.

  • What is the difference between TDLS and Wi-Fi Direct?

    TDLS operates in the background of a Wi-Fi network to optimize performance, while Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices can quickly connect to one another while on the go, even when a Wi-Fi network is unavailable.  Many devices will be certified for both solutions and use them in different situations.

  • What about power management protocols? Are devices implementing the technology behind Wi-Fi Direct a power hog?

    Most Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices are power-sensitive, and in many cases, battery-powered. Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices can support the Power Save feature certified under the WMM program, and the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program also defines new power saving mechanisms.

  • How does service discovery work?

    The Wi-Fi Peer-to-Peer Services Technical Specification further defines a simplified standard for devices to advertise and discover services in nearby devices.

  • How far does a Wi-Fi Direct connection travel?

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct devices work just like any Wi-Fi device, with ranges up to 200 meters. They can connect from just a few feet away, but also across a home. This means that making a Wi-Fi Direct group connection will be convenient, even when devices aren’t in immediate proximity to one another.

  • If I make a Wi-Fi Direct group with another person, can they see all of the contents of my device?

    Not without your permission. The content available over a Wi-Fi Direct group connection is driven by the applications you are using. While there may be applications which allow an authorized use to “browse” the content on your device, most applications will have a specific focus (e.g., sharing a game application or transferring photos).

  • How does security work for Wi-Fi Direct-certified products?

    Group networks based on the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program operate in a security domain that is independent from any infrastructure network. This means that they have protection of the security features certified under the WPA2 program, but are managed separately from the security system in the AP-based network (home, enterprise, hotspot). This means both the group networks based on the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program and the infrastructure networks can be protected, but users don’t need credentials for the infrastructure network to connect to the network based on the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program.

  • Can all devices start a network based on the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program?

    All Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices can start a group, based on the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program, but it’s most likely that devices with more computing power (laptops, handsets, gaming devices) will more frequently manage the network than those with less power (digital cameras, printers, etc.).

  • Do products certified under the Wi-Fi Direct program interoperate with my other Wi-Fi devices?

    Yes. A Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct device is able to make device group connections with existing Wi-Fi CERTIFIED gear.

  • How fast is Wi-Fi Direct?

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct supports typical Wi-Fi speeds, which can be as high as 250 Mbps. Even at lower speeds, Wi-Fi provides plenty of throughput for transferring multimedia content with ease. The performance of a particular group of Wi-Fi Direct devices depends on whether the devices are 802.11a, g, or n, as well as the particular characteristics of the devices and the physical environment.

  • How many devices can connect?

    A Wi-Fi Direct-certified network can be one-to-one, or one-to-many. The number of devices in a Wi-Fi Direct-certified group network is expected to be smaller than the number supported by traditional standalone access points intended for consumer use. Connection to multiple other devices is an optional feature that will not be supported in all Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices; some devices will only make 1:1 connections.

  • Can a device simultaneously connect to a regular Wi-Fi network and a group of Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices at the same time?

    All devices certified under the Wi-Fi Direct program allow the user to connect to an infrastructure or a Wi-Fi Direct-certified network. Some devices certified under the Wi-Fi Direct program support connections to both an infrastructure network and Wi-Fi Direct-certified group at the same time (e.g. a laptop may support an infrastructure connection while also belonging to a Wi-Fi Direct-certified group). Simultaneous connection to a Wi-Fi Direct-certified group and an infrastructure network is an optional feature.

  • Can a network based on devices certified under the Wi-Fi Direct program cross connect to an infrastructure network for internet connectivity?

    Yes. A single device in a Wi-Fi Direct-certified group network may share internet connectivity with other devices in the network by creating simultaneous infrastructure and Wi-Fi Direct connections. A network of devices certified under the Wi-Fi Direct program operates in a security domain separate from the infrastructure network, even when cross-connected.

  • Does the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct certification program work on both frequency bands?

    Yes, the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct certification program supports operation in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Devices operating in the 2.4 GHz frequency band only and devices operating in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands can be certified under the Wi-Fi Direct program. Not all Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices support both frequency bands, however, so you should check which bands your devices support.

  • How does the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct certification program work?

    The underlying specification connects devices using an approach similar to the traditional AP-to-client connection used in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED infrastructure networks. One Wi-Fi Direct-certified device provides the connection to other participants in a group of Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices in lieu of an AP. A device certified under the Wi-Fi Direct program does not require special hardware compared to traditional Wi-Fi AP devices.

  • Which Wi-Fi Direct-certified device will create and manage the connection?

    Devices conduct a negotiation to determine which device is most appropriate. This may be determined by considering a number of factors including but not limited to power management, number of connections supported, richness of user interface and services being offered. The Wi-Fi Direct-certified device that offers the connection manages the creation, admission to, presence and termination of that network implementing the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program.

  • How does Wi-Fi Alliance help ensure product compatibility and a good user experience for certified products?

    This is achieved through rigorous testing of Wi-Fi products that are based on the 802.11 standards. Consumers should always look for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo to ensure the best user experience possible.