Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct® enables Wi-Fi devices to connect directly to each other, making it simple and convenient to print, share, sync, play games, and display content to another device. Wi-Fi Direct devices connect to one another without joining a traditional home, office, or public network.
Connect devices without network access
Wi-Fi Direct enables mobile phones, cameras, printers, PCs, and gaming devices to create their own Wi-Fi networks without an internet connection. Connect other Wi-Fi Direct devices to each other to transfer or display content, play games, and share applications quickly and easily through device settings. Devices can make a one-to-one connection, or a group of several devices can connect simultaneously. Because there is no need for an access point or internet connection, Wi-Fi Direct networks go wherever devices go. Wi-Fi Direct connections between devices are the underlying technology for many applications, including Miracast®. Thousands of devices such as smartphones, cameras, printers, televisions, PCs, and gaming devices are already certified.
Connect anywhere, anytime
Wi-Fi Direct devices can connect anywhere, anytime—even when there is no access to a Wi-Fi network nearby. 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™.
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- How does Wi-Fi Alliance help ensure product compatibility and a good user experience for certified products?
Compatibility and quality are achieved through testing of Wi-Fi products. Consumers should always look for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo to ensure the best user experience possible.
- 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 access point (AP). It simply requires the push of a button or the entry of a PIN. 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.
- 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 device provides the connection to other participants in a group of Wi-Fi Direct 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.
- How far does a Wi-Fi Direct connection travel?
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.
- How fast is Wi-Fi Direct?
Wi-Fi Direct supports Wi-Fi speeds up to 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.
- 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.
- How many devices can connect?
A Wi-Fi Direct-certified network can be one-to-one, or one-to-many. Connection to multiple other devices is an optional feature that will not be supported in all Wi-Fi Direct devices; some devices will only make 1:1 connections.
- Does the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct certification program work on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 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.
- What about power management protocols? Are devices implementing the technology behind Wi-Fi Direct a power hog?
Most Wi-Fi Direct devices are power sensitive, and in many cases, battery powered. Wi-Fi Direct devices can support the Power Save feature certified under the WMM® program, and the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program also defines power saving mechanisms.
- Which Wi-Fi Direct 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 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.
- Can a device simultaneously connect to a regular Wi-Fi network and a group of Wi-Fi Direct 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 network. Some devices certified under the Wi-Fi Direct program support connections to both an infrastructure network and Wi-Fi Direct 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 group and an infrastructure network is an optional feature.
- 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, such as sharing a game application or transferring photos.
- 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.
- Can all devices start a network based on the specification underlying the Wi-Fi Direct program?
All Wi-Fi Direct 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.).
- How does security work for Wi-Fi Direct 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.