Amidst all the talk about advancement in the field of technology we often forget to talk about Wifi Direct. Wifi Direct allows users to have device-to-device or peer-to-peer communication. It has been there for almost a decade, serving the customers without ever being in the limelight.
In this article, we are going to do an in-depth analysis of Wifi Direct.
What is Wifi Direct? 🤔
After its invention in the early 2000s. Wifi Direct was found in a lot of devices. It enables the user to have a peer-to-peer communication, without the need for any common network point. One of the devices will transform into an access point and the other will get connected to it.
What is the working of Wifi Direct:-
Wifi Direct enables Pear-to-Pear connection, that’s why it was also named as Wi-Fi P2P. You don’t need a common access point to connect two devices over Wifi Direct.
You need a sender and a receiver to communicate over Wifi Direct. The sender will first try to make a connection between him and the receiver. It will do this by sending a request to the receiver. The connection will be established after the receiver has accepted the request.
Afterward, you can send files and folders over the Wifi Direct. You can terminate the connection after receiving the file.
Uses of wifi Direct are not monotonous. They can be also used for many different purposes, which we will discuss in detail later on in this article. But the method of making a connection will always be the same.
What are the uses of Wifi Direct?
Wifi Direct was made with the aim to allow all sorts of devices to communicate with each other. These devices may or may not be of the same type but all of them must support Wifi Direct.
But because of the advancement in technology, Wifi Direct is now used for various things such as:-
1. For Express File Sharing
If you are in an office setting and you have to transfer files with your colleague, Wifi Direct allows you to transfer files very quickly. It is quicker than the internet as well. As it allows you to transfer enormous files as well.
2. For Printing purposes
Wifi Direct has the aptness to connect to a printer over the wifi direct and then you can print from your device itself. That’s why most of the wireless printer comes with Wifi Direct.
3. To cast screen
One of the coolest features of Wifi Direct is that allows you to cast screen. So, if you don’t want to watch a movie on a bigger screen, you can do that with the help of Wifi Direct’s cast screen feature.
4. To Synch Quickly
Wifi Direct allows the users to sync files, settings, photos, etc very quickly. Which makes the wifi Direct better equipped than the normal wifi.
5. To enable Near Field Communication(NFC)
You might have heard of this term before, NFC or Near Field Communication is used to communicate over a very small distance, approximately between 1 to 1.5 inches. It is a set of protocols that allows pear to pear communication. But guess what, even they use Wifi Direct to communicate.
What kind of devices supports Wifi Direct?
As I said earlier Wifi Direct has been there in the market for almost a decade now. This feature was included after the introduction of the Digital Living Network Alliance(DLNA).
Right now, there would hardly be any device lacking this feature. If you are an android user then you need to have an android version over 4. In case you are someone with an iPhone, then you must have upgraded to iOS7 or above.
Smartphones are not the only electronic devices which provide its users with the luxury to use wifi direct. Devices such as laptops, Xbox, PlayStations, etc has also added the wifi direct to their arsenal.
There are tons of Smart Televisions who have Wifi Direct, because of which you can connect them to your Laptop for watching movies on a bigger screen.
Is my Wifi Direct Safe?
One of the biggest advantages of using Wifi Direct over other peer-to-peer devices apart from it being faster and more accurate is that it offers you extra security.
But if you have connected a device to another device and at the same time you are using it with another device then it becomes a little insecure.
That’s because if you have granted someone permission to connect to your device over Wifi Direct then this also means that you have given them permission to access other devices connected to the same network as well. Therefore, it makes your privacy vulnerable.
How to keep your Wifi Direct Safe?
One of the first things that you should do in order to make his/her device secure is making sure that they have enabled the right security protocol. You should try and enable WPA2 as it provides the best security in the market.
You should keep checking the number of devices connected to your Wifi Direct to make sure that no attacker has access to your security.
Types of Wifi Direct connections:-
There are two types of wifi Direct connections, Temporary and persistent:-
Persistent connections, as the name would suggest allows the users to keep connecting to the network again and again. As it extracts the data and stores it in its database which allows the users to keep connecting to the network again and again.
Even though it enables easier and faster connectivity, it also becomes less secure. In my opinion, they should be restricted to your house’s appliances only.
Temporary connections, as the name would suggest allows the users to connect to the network only after entering the correct pin or password.
Even though building up connections will not be as quick as it was in the case of persistent connection but your data will remain safe. Therefore, it is recommended to use Temporary Connections for an office setting.
Wifi Direct in Windows 10:-
If you want to send files from your computer with Windows 10 installed in it over Wifi Direct then this section is for you.
Check if your Windows 10 support Wifi Direct or not:-
To check the compatibility of your Windows 10 just follow the prescribed steps.
Step 1: Launch the Command Prompt as an administrator by either searching it out from the start menu or from the RUN box(Windows + R) and type “cmd” there and hit Ctrl + Shift + enter.
Step 2: From the appeared screen type “ipconfig/all” and hit enter.
As you can see in the screenshot above, “Microsoft Wifi Direct Visual Adapter” is written there, which means my device supports Wifi Direct and I can move on to the next step.
Send files from your Windows PC To android device:-
After knowing that your PC supports Wifi Direct it’s time to send some files to confirm the connectivity.
There are tons of third-party apps in the market which will allow you to sen files over Wifi Direct. But we present to you the fastest and the easiest one. The Feem, which you can download from here.
Now follow the steps written below to check to send files over Wifi Direct:-
Step 1: Either connect both the Android device and the PC to the same network or make a mobile hotspot.
Step 2: Now, open Feem application on both of your devices. Enable the Wifi Direct on both of your devices by clicking on the toggle.
Step 3: You will see the name of your device, click on that to enter a chat box where you can send files from your computer to your android mobile phones.
Wifi Direct Vs Bluetooth:-
Well if there is a battle between Wifi Direct and Bluetooth then Wifi Direct will win with a pronounced margin. Wifi Direct is a successor of Bluetooth and is way faster than it.
Bluetooth offers a speed of 50-50mbps which is no way near to the express pace offered by Wifi Direct which is 2-2.5gbps. Therefore, Wifi Direct will always be my first option to send an offline file.
But if you are low on battery but still you want to send files, then you might want to use Bluetooth as it eats less battery as compared to its faster alternative Wifi Direct.
Bluetooth consumes energy approximately 0.01 to 0.02 watts and at the same time, Wifi Directs required 19-20 watts of energy.
If you are thinking which one is better and which one is here to stay? Wifi Direct would be hand down winner. As it is going to be used more and more on TVs, smartphones, Printers, etc.
Wifi Direct relation with IoT:-
IoT or Internet of Things has submerged us in the pool of its giant network. It influences our lives from the way we write to the way we fight.
We can control every electronic device like ACs, smartwatches, etc with our mobile phones because of IoT. IoT is a giant network with which all our devices our connected and share data accordingly.
After the description of IoT and Wifi Direct, you might be thinking. Does IoT run on Wifi Direct? This thought was first entertained in the early 2010s. But apart from a few devices, Wifi Direct is not found in many IoT setups. Let’s see why?
IoT devices are interlinked with each other to do many complex tasks, these tasks can not be accomplished without Wifi Network and Wifi Direct abandon the concept of pre-formed network.
To connect devices via Wifi Direct, they should not be a part of a wireless network. That’s why wifi direct isn’t the best choice here.
Not only that, but Wifi Direct also isn’t suitable for devices with brains(smart devices). Because of the security issue that comes with it. Trust me you wouldn’t like hackers controlling your automatic car.
How far does a Wifi Direct connect? 🤔
Wifi Direct operates like the usual Wifi. Its range varies but for the most part, it is logical to say that its range can’t succeed 200 meters. Wifi Directs are best for the home settings or for a small office.
If you are imitating Steve Jobs by opening your first venture inside a garage then you should transfer a file over Wifi Direct as it will cover the distance and at the same time, be as fast as possible.
Can a device simultaneously connect to a group of Wifi Direct appliances and a Wifi network at the same time?
There are a lot of devices which does allow you to connect to a wifi network and a group of Wifi Direct at the same time.
If your device is certified under the Wifi Direct program then you can connect to both the Wifi network and Wifi Direct appliances at the same time.
For example, your laptop can be connected to a group of Wifi Direct appliances and a Wifi network at the same time as you might not want to disturb your downloading/uploading while share files with your colleague.
- Wifi Direct enables the user to have a peer-to-peer communication, without the need for any common network point.
- In this one of the devices will become an access point and the other will get connected to it.
- To send files over wifi direct you need first build a connection, and then send file.
- There are two types of wifi connection, temporary wifi direct connection(slower, insecure) and permanent wifi direct connection(faster, secure).
- Any android device with android 4(above) and apple device with iOS 7(above) supports Wifi Direct.
- Wifi Direct is way faster than Bluetooth. As it gives the speed of 2gbps which is express as compared to Bluetooth’s 40mbps.