Wi-Fi Direct® in the enterprise: Evaluating peer-to-peer Wi-Fi® connectivity (2015)

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi‑Fi Direct® is a certification program for products implementing peer‑to‑peer Wi‑Fi® connections between devices, without the need to establish a link to an access point. Since Wi‑Fi Alliance® launched the Wi-Fi Direct certification program in 2010, Wi-Fi Direct has quickly grown in popularity and is supported by more than 2.4 billion devices shipped in 2014. In 2015, more than half of all Wi-Fi devices shipped will support Wi-Fi Direct.

Wi-Fi Direct’s improved device and service discovery are utilized in standardized services which streamline the overall Wi-Fi experience for users. Four pre-defined services - Wi-Fi Direct Send, Wi-Fi Direct Print, Wi-Fi Direct for DLNA® and Miracast®, a Wi‑Fi CERTIFIED solution supporting wireless display - take advantage of the simplified connection technology. The Wi-Fi Direct Toolkit provides third party developers with a standardized developer interface for building enterprise applications in the future.

Many enterprises have begun to explore the benefits of Wi‑Fi Direct and use it primarily for document distribution, printing, wireless projection, flat-screen display and white-boarding. Some enterprises actively employ Wi‑Fi Direct services within their networks, while others manage its use with regard to impact on traffic management and network security.

Wi-Fi Alliance recommends that all enterprises assess the impact of Wi‑Fi Direct connections and traffic on their networks, and develop a Wi‑Fi Direct policy addressing two main areas:

  • Security. Enterprises need to protect existing Wi‑Fi infrastructure traffic and Wi‑Fi Direct traffic across devices according to their specific security requirements, and to block any potential entry point for unauthorized devices.
  • Spectrum and network resources management. Wi‑Fi Direct shares spectrum resources with infrastructure Wi‑Fi networks, and enterprises should take into account expected Wi‑Fi Direct traffic when planning for new networks or expansions of current ones, and when managing channel allocation.

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