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Disable WiFi Direct on Printers

September 28, 2020
Marco Fabiani

Have you recently purchased a new printer? Excited that it has WiFi direct, even though you're not really sure what it is?

Don't be. It's useless. Here's why.

WiFi direct is a technology which allows your printer to create it's own WiFi network, and it ships with many new printers. Once done, your computer or phone or tablet can connect to that wifi network and print.

Sounds neat, right? Wrong.

The problem with this scenario is that when you connect to the WiFi being offered by the printer, you're no longer connected to the internet. So, unless you don't want to connect to the internet, or are on the road with a physical tether to your phone's 4G or 5G, it's pretty useless. Even in this case a WiFi-enabled printer can connect to your phone's WiFi hotspot, making WiFi direct even less useful

Yet, bizarrely, most printers manufacturers turn this feature on by default, and many people make the mistake of connecting to the printer's wifi, only to realise subsequently that they suddenly can't get emails, search Google, view Netflix, or any of the millions of other things available via the internet.

The solution is simple: turn WiFi Direct OFF.

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