Connecting devices can be a challenge, but a solution is here that can help smaller businesses. Wi-Fi Direct is able to connect devices without joining a traditional office or hotspot network.

The technology is enabling a multitude of applications, including printing from mobile phones, and connecting PCs and gaming devices. Using Wi-Fi Direct, devices can make a one-to-one connection, or a group can link up simultaneously.

How does it work?

Like Bluetooth but faster, Wi-Fi Direct devices establish their own ad-hoc networks, allowing you see which hardware is available and choose which one you want to connect to.

A device can be either a Wi-Fi Direct host or client. For example, smartphones can serve as both host and client.

Wi-Fi Direct devices emit a signal to other hardware in the area, letting them know a connection can be made. Users can view available devices and request a connection, or can receive an invitation to link to another device. When two or more Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices connect directly, they form a Wi-Fi Direct Group.

Staying secure

Although open, it's also very secure. All Wi-Fi Direct connections are protected by WPA2, the latest Wi-Fi security technology. A software access point is embedded in the device which allows others to connect using a form of Wi-Fi protected setup or pin-based setup.

Many Dell Windows 8 devices include the technology, making them the ideal tool for small businesses both in the office and on the move. For example, you can use Windows 8 Dell devices to connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software, forming a peer-to-peer network between the device and the printer.

And you don't have to upgrade all your hardware to use it with Wi-Fi Direct: certified devices can also form connections with nearly all the Wi-Fi certified hardware.