What is Wi-Fi Sharing? – Know More

With rapid technological advancements come many innovations and extensions to the existing services. Simultaneous access to the internet on multiple devices has required the aid of a router, but with Wi-Fi sharing, the need for a router is eliminated. So, what is Wi-Fi sharing?

What is Wi-Fi Sharing?

Wi-Fi sharing is a technological advancement that allows users to share Wi-Fi connections from one device to other devices. The Wi-Fi sharing concept may sound new but has been there for a considerable period and, in most cases, has been confused with hotspot, which is referred to as Wi-Fi hotspot. There exists a difference between the two; a mobile hotspot uses the data of one device to allow the other to connect to the internet, and while the hotspot is on, other Wi-Fi services are inaccessible. On the other hand, Wi-Fi sharing shares the Wi-Fi connection of one device to another, and therefore the first user doesn’t incur any data charges.

What is the difference between Wi-Fi sharing and Wi-Fi direct?

The two concepts are mistakenly used as if they were the same thing. However, they are not the same though they may seem to serve the same purpose: connecting two or more devices to a shared internet. Wi-Fi Direct is a technology that allows two devices to connect wirelessly and communicate without a physical connection. Wi-Fi direct is much more like a file-sharing app, the likes of Bluetooth, Zapya, Xender, and Flashare, to mention a few. The major work is sharing files between the two connected devices. Examples of situations where Wi-Fi direct is used are; printing documents from a phone or laptop wirelessly using a WI-FI direct enabled printer, a wireless keyboard, and even a wireless mouse. In all the above cases, none of them needs the internet service in both the connected devices, which brings the difference between Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi sharing. Wi-Fi sharing allows devices to share a common internet. Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to exchange files wirelessly.

How does one turn Wi-Fi share on?

On Android device

This feature is only available for Android devices running Android 10 and later. The steps to turn it on are here below;

  • With the device connected to the Wi-Fi network, go to settings >network and internet, then Wi-Fi
  • Tap on the cog next to your Wi-Fi network 
  • Tap the share icon on the right, and a QR code appears on the screen 
  • On the device you want to share Wi-Fi with, go to settings, network, internet, Wi-Fi, and then add network next to it. You should see a QR code icon, tap on it and start scanning.
  • The end of scanning allows the devices to share the Wi-Fi

On apple device

This feature is also available to iPhones running iOS 11or newer Macs on macOS High Sierra or later for Apple devices. Sharing Wi-Fi is then done by sharing the Wi-Fi password, and for this to go through, the contacts of the participating devices have to be mutually listed. Here’s how to share it.

  • Ensure that the host device is connected to Wi-Fi which you want to share
  • Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on both devices while ensuring that the personal hotspot is off; both the devices should be unlocked and nearby 
  • On the second device,  select the host’s Wi-Fi from the list of available networks 
  • A prompt should appear on the host’s phone  confirming the action
  • Tap share password and all is set.

When does one use Wi-Fi sharing?

Wi-Fi sharing, as is evident, is an important feature that has, though not been fully exploited. Hotspots and tethering may be sufficient in some cases, but some scenarios will call for Wi-Fi sharing. Examples are;

  • When using public Wi-Fi, it sometimes may not be possible to log into several devices at once, especially if passwords are given out. Wi-Fi sharing, therefore, comes in handy when you have more devices to connect to the internet
  • In hotel rooms. Hotel rooms are often too limited to a few connections, which may not serve every individual in a family of 4 or 5. Using Wi-Fi sharing, therefore, becomes a lifesaver

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Wi-Fi sharing is desirable in many ways 

  • It saves on personal data since it makes maximum use of the Wi-Fi available
  • It is cheaper as compared to installing a router or a Mi-Fi device
  • It saves one the hustle of feeding in a password which may at times be complicated
  • Helps to log several devices on the Wi-Fi In places and situations which would otherwise be difficult

There are two sides to every coin. Thus Wi-Fi sharing has its advantages and shortcomings as well, and here below are some shortcomings;

  • It drains more battery  power in the device sharing the connection and at times causes overheating on the device
  • The connections so established may not be as fast as regular Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot

To conclude, WI-FI sharing is a relatively latest feature in laptops, Mac books, android phones, and iPhones running the latest versions of their respective OS; this feature allows a device to share its WI-FI connections with another device without the other device inputting the password for the WI-FI. WI-FI direct is another feature that is often mistaken for the former; the significant difference between the two is that whereas the former shares the internet connection, the latter allows the connected devices to exchange files between them. WI-FI sharing is an intelligent feature but cannot be overly perfect; it has its shortcomings, too, which, however, cannot out way the pros.

What is Wi-Fi Sharing? – Know More

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