Wi-Fi Direct

What Does Wi-Fi Direct Mean?

Wi-Fi Direct is a Wi-Fi communication standard that facilitates device connections without requiring a wireless access point (WAP). The devices are connected using Wi-Fi, thus achieving Wi-Fi level connection and transfer speeds for every action, including file transfer and Internet connectivity.


Wi-Fi Direct is a vendor-neutral standard meaning devices are able to connect through it even if they are from separate manufacturers. This is a widely available feature in mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets used for sharing media.

Wi-Fi Direct was originally known as Wi-Fi P2P.

Techopedia Explains Wi-Fi Direct

To use Wi-Fi Direct, a software access point is embedded in the device, allows other devices to connect using a form of Wi-Fi protected setup (WPS) or pin-based setup.

A device can be a Wi-Fi Direct host or client, depending on the role of the device. Smartphones can serve as both host and client, allowing such devices to detect and connect with each other to share files and even Internet connections through tethering.

The basic function of Wi-Fi Direct is to enable the connection between devices and facilitate data transfer through the use of built-in wireless modules without the aid of a dedicated access point. For some devices, the function may be to receive images, such as a digital picture frame, or share or send pictures in the same manner as a digital camera.

Wi-Fi Direct uses the Wi-Fi standard, so not all connected devices need to be Wi-Fi Direct certified – only the host. However, these non-certified devices must be able to share via some type of facility, like a Web browser, or they may be limited to simple connections.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…