Wireless data exchange has made rapid advances in recent years. Thanks to WLAN, Bluetooth and NFC, data can be transferred from one device to another with little effort.

But Windows 10 has one more feature that most people aren't familiar with: Wi-Fi Direct, a wireless connectivity system that allows you to easily connect devices and transfer huge amounts of data.

This guide explains what exactly Wi-Fi Direct is, how it works, and how you can use it on Windows 10 to transfer your files wirelessly.

What is Wi-Fi Direct?

Wi-Fi Direct is a wireless peer-to-peer technology that allows your computers or smartphones to be connected without a common public network.

You can think of Wi-Fi Direct as a type of Bluetooth over Wi-Fi. That means it has the same "Discover and Send" functionality as Bluetooth, but the data is sent over a wireless network. And, as you may have guessed, this gives you faster file transfer speeds.

Bluetooth has been around since 1994, and while it's useful for transferring audio and connecting devices, it's not ideal for transferring larger files. Wi-Fi Direct has covered this problem and is set to completely supplant Bluetooth in the next few years.

At this point, however, Wi-Fi Direct isn't as universal as Bluetooth.

However, it is a very useful feature for transferring data between Windows 10 and other suitable hardware.

How does Wi-Fi Direct work?

For Wi-Fi Direct technology to work, you need at least a single device that is compatible with its protocols. You can then seamlessly use it for things ranging from file transfer to intercommunication.

When you connect two devices in Wi-Fi Direct, one of the devices acts as an access point to which the other device connects. All of this is an automated process so you don't have to worry about getting your hands dirty.

Wi-Fi Direct builds on Wi-Fi. The only difference to normal WiFi is that while you need a router to connect your devices to the internet, there are no restrictions on Wi-Fi Direct.

In fact, the sole purpose of Wi-Fi Direct is to enable a connection between local devices instead of accessing the internet.

But then you might be wondering, how is this different from Wi-Fi Direct from Bluetooth? We already had bluetooth to connect devices locally, so why invent a new technology for the same thing?

The reason is the speed.

As you can see, Bluetooth works great, but it's really not fast enough to keep up with our fast paced lives. If you've used bluetooth you know what we're talking about. Transferring files can take forever. However, there is no such problem with Wi-Fi Direct. Instead, it's as fast as a WiFi network, and in some cases even outperforms it.

Where can you use Wi-Fi Direct?

Because of its blazing high speed (with a maximum speed of up to 250 Mbit / s) made possible by peer-to-peer wireless technology, Wi-Fi Direct can be used wherever you have previously used Bluetooth. This makes it perfect for:

  1. Sharing multimedia files: It can be used to transfer large multimedia files from one device to another. For example, if you have a large video file, e.g. For example, a movie, Wi-Fi Direct should be your preferred tool because of the size of the file.
  2. Play: Most high-quality multiplayer games on smartphones require fast connectivity for a lag-free experience. Direct can be helpful in such cases.
  3. External devices: Computer devices such as keyboards, mice, printers, etc. can also be connected using Wi-Fi Direct.

Check that your Windows 10 PC is Wi-Fi Direct compatible

Using Wi-Fi Direct to send a file is faster and easier than Bluetooth.

But first, you need to check that your device is Wi-Fi Direct compatible. You can do this by pressing Windows Key + R, enter CMD to open the command prompt and then enter ipconfig / all.

If Wi-Fi Direct is available, you should see an entry labeled. see Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter.

Next, you need to start transferring data using Wi-Fi Direct. However, this is not as obvious as you'd expect …

How to transfer files from Android to Windows using Wi-Fi Direct

Since you need a third-party app to use Wi-Fi Direct, choosing the right option is important.

Feem is software that has provided Wi-Fi Direct support to Windows PC and laptop users since the days of Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Feem is free to use but offers several premium options. Wi-Fi Direct in Feem is free, as is live chat. However, you can pay for iOS support, unlimited file transfers, and ads removal.

Using Feem to transfer data from Android to a PC or laptop is straightforward.

  1. Set your Android device as a mobile hotspot via mobile Settings> Network & Internet> Hotspot & tethering. Connect your Windows computer to this network.

  2. Start Feem on Android and Windows. You will notice that both devices are given unusual names (e.g. Junior Raccoon) and a password from the app. Make a note of the password as you will need it to make the first connection.

  3. Send a file from Android to Windows via Wi-Fi Direct, select the target device and tap send file. Find the file or files, then tap Send.

Moments later, the data will be sent to your PC. It's that simple – and it works backwards too.

Download: Fee (for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

Don't have Wi-Fi Direct? Transfer files with bluetooth!

If your devices don't support Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth is a smart solution (if you don't have a USB cable). This is especially useful when you are trying to use Wi-Fi Direct on Windows 7 or 8 and find that the feature does not exist or does not work.

First, make sure your computer is paired with an appropriate Bluetooth device (phone, tablet, computer, etc.) before sending a file to it. The method used for this is largely the same for all devices and requires that both are set to "discoverable".

Both devices then search for each other and, if successful, connect after entering a confirmation code.

For more information, here is a list of how to transfer data between a PC and Android.

If you're not sure where the Bluetooth controls are on your Windows 10 computer, open Settings> Devices. After you're in the Bluetooth and other devices Section, turn on bluetooth and pair your device with the computer. To do this, click on Add bluetooth or another device and proceed with pairing.

Then click on Send or receive files using Bluetooth> Send Files. Next, choose a device you want to share files with, select the file to send and click Next to proceed with the transfer.

When the file is sent, the device receiving your data file will ask you to confirm that you want to save the data. Agree and wait for the transfer to finish.

Note that because of the shorter Bluetooth range, the best results are achieved if you keep both devices close together.

No direct Wi-Fi? Transfer files from Android to Windows PC using FTP

FTP is another handy file transfer option for Android users trying to transfer files to their Windows 10 PC (or other operating system).

ES File Explorer is a popular third-party file manager for Android. This comes with several file management functions for local and network use. This includes FTP, which provides a direct network connection between two devices.

Use ES File Explorer Network> FTP Function to display the IP address of your Android device.

Paste this into a file transfer program such as FileZilla to browse the content. You can then easily transfer files between the two devices.

So try ES File Explorer if you want to transfer data from a mobile device to your laptop over Wi-Fi and you don't have Wi-Fi Direct.

Data transfer speeds: which is the best?

If you try these two methods, you will likely find that Wi-Fi Direct is significantly faster than Bluetooth. In fact, recent tests have shown that the bluetooth speed is like a turtle by comparison.

While Wi-Fi Direct is no faster than any wired data transfer (like USB 2.0 or USB 3.0), it can transfer a 1.5 GB file in 10 minutes; Bluetooth, on the other hand, takes almost 125 minutes to transfer the same data.

Start using Wi-Fi Direct in Windows 10 today

Which option you choose depends on the data you want to move. A USB 3.0 cable with compatible hardware is the fastest option. Wi-Fi Direct is close behind, Bluetooth comes third. Wi-Fi Direct is a good middle ground option, but since it's not as widely (or known) as Bluetooth, you can opt for a cable instead.

Perhaps the most important aspect of using Wi-Fi Direct in Windows 10 is ease of use today. After all, early implementations of any technology were somewhat difficult to use. Hopefully that will change over time.

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About the author

Shaant Minhas
(39 published articles)

Shaant is a staff writer at MUO. As a graduate in computer applications, he uses his passion for writing to explain complex things in plain English. When he's not researching or writing, he can enjoy a good book, run, or hang out with friends.

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