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What is WiFi Direct in Windows 10?

Don't have a wireless Access Point? No worries. You can use WiFi Direct to provide device-to-device connectivity without a wireless AP. Learn how to do it here.

Let's get started!

wifi direct in WIndows 10
Today, more new devices are using WiFi Direct than ever. The WiFi Direct feature lets two devices establish a direct, peer-to-peer WiFi connection without requiring a wireless router. Think of it like a better version of Bluetooth — accessible, easy to use, and provides new unique functions to your devices.

WiFi Direct is similar in concept to the "ad-hoc" WiFi mode. The difference is that unlike an ad-hoc connection, WiFi Direct offers an easier way to find nearby devices and establish a connection with them. If you regularly find yourself needing to connect to another device, you definitely need to start taking advantage of this groundbreaking feature.

There are different WiFi Direct applications. Before we can get into that, let's learn what exactly is WiFi Direct in Windows 10, how does it work, and how do you connect it? Read on to find out more.

What Is Wifi Direct?

WiFi Direct is a standard that makes it possible for WiFi radio frequencies (most commonly 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) to make a direct, peer-to-peer connection with other devices. The connection doesn't require an existing WiFi network since the connection is established directly between the two devices.

wifi direct connection in WIndows 10
The WiFi Direct feature in Windows 10 works by facilitating a software-generated temporary WiFi access point. To keep the connection secure, WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) is used for authentication. Users can either use a push button or a PIN code to establish secure connections.

While WiFi Direct is different from Bluetooth, the two share some resemblance to one another. Just like with Bluetooth connections, you can seamlessly transfer files between devices, and share one device's screen onto the other device. However, WiFi Direct also allows you to directly play games or even share internet connection.

Wi-Fi direct connection in Windows 10
WiFi Direct may already be present in your life without you even noticing it. Services such as Miracast, which allow users to cast Android device screens to TV screens, use this technology already. However, you can explore even more possibilities than Miracast if you utilize WiFi Direct on Windows 10.

Is WiFi Direct Supported on My Windows 10 PC?

WiFi Direct is supported on Windows 10 IoT Core devices through the use of a WiFi Direct enabled USB WiFi adapter. To make sure that WiFi Direct is enabled two things need to happen:

  1. The hardware of the USB WiFi adapter has to support WiFi Direct, and
  2. The corresponding driver of the USB WiFi adapter needs to support WiFi Direct.

WiFi Direct offers a service for WiFi device-to-device connection that doesn’t require a Wireless Access Point (cordless AP) to set up the connection.

pairing devices using wifi direct
WiFi Direct on Windows 10 lets users experience the same WiFi connectivity that many other devices are using. With it, you can connect your computer to the TV, or use it for internet connectivity with much better security. In fact, WiFi Direct lets you connect to any other device with your PC much better and easier than even Bluetooth.

How To Check if My PC Is Compatible With WiFi Direct

Not sure if your device meets the requirements for WiFi Direct? Don't worry. There's a quick method to test if you're able to establish these connections. Let's get to the step-by-step instructions.

  1. Open the search bar in your taskbar by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. You can also bring it up with the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type PowerShell in the search box. When you see it in the results, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. If you need help, check out our How to make a local user an administrator in Windows 10 guide.
    Windows powershell
  3. When prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to allow the app to launch with administrative permissions.
  4. Once the PowerShell window is open, type in the following command and press Enter to execute it: ipconfig /all
    windows powershell: ip/configall
  5. A list of all your network adapters and connections should appear in the PowerShell window. If Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter is in the list, then your PC supports WiFi Direct connections.
    windows powershell wifi direct configuraiton

If you don't see the WiFi Direct adapter in your list, then you’ll need to acquire and attach a USB device that's capable of WiFi Direct. This process may be familiar if you've used Miracast in the past. We recommend TP-Link TL-WN725N WIRELESS N Nano USB Adapter is one of the Microsoft certified Wi-Fi adapters that supports Wi-Fi Direct.

How To Set Up WiFi Direct on Windows 10

Using WiFi Direct has many advantages. It is easier and more efficient than Bluetooth and can easily handle transferring large amounts of data. With WiFi Direct, you will be able to connect your PC to any device you want and enjoy faster wireless connectivity and more productivity.

Let's take a look at the steps needed to use WiFi Direct on your Windows 10 computer.

  1. Turn on the device you want to connect to your PC. Navigate to SettingsNetwork & Internet →  and select Manage WiFi Settings.
  2. Browse through the menu to discover the Wi-Fi Direct alternative. Enable Wi-Fi Direct following the specific instructions for your device.
  3. Note the Network name (SSID) and the passcode. You’ll need them to be able to connect to your PC.
  4. On Windows 10, open the Search feature and type in wireless. Pick Manage Wireless Networks from the search results.
  5. Click Add, and then choose the Wi-Fi network of your Wi-Fi Direct device and enter the passcode. Your PC is now connected to the Wi-Fi Direct network.

How To Transfer and Send Files With WiFi Direct

While you can use Bluetooth for file transfer, it becomes quite the hassle to transfer large amounts of files. WiFi Direct removes this factor from the equation, drastically reducing the time taken to send files between devices even if the file size is large.

windows wifi direct
If you have an Android device, we recommend using the
Feem app to handle file transfers using WiFi Direct. Feem has built-in Windows 10 and Android support and has an alternative transfer method for Apple products without native WiFi Direct support.

Final Thoughts

That wraps up everything you need to know about the WiFi Direct feature in Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 10. We hope that learning about this feature helped you create a wireless experience that's convenient for you and your daily tasks.

Our Help Center offers hundreds of guides to assist you if you’re in need of further help. Return to us for more informative articles, or get in touch with our experts for immediate assistance.

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