File transfer over WiFi

WiFi is a technology that connects two devices wirelessly, allowing them to exchange data at speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s (in the 802.11ax specification, even higher speeds can be achieved). WiFi is mostly used to connect compatible devices to the Internet and to set up local networks. But it can also be used to transfer files between PCs or smartphones. The main advantage over Bluetooth is the tens or even hundreds of times faster connection speed. So how do you set up file transfer via WiFi, what do you need for this?

File transfer via WiFi with Android

Android smartphones (version 5.0 or higher) have a built-in WiFi Direct function for file transfer via WiFi. To use it, you need to:
  • open "Settings" on the smartphone, go to "WiFi" (or "Share");
  • open the WiFi Direct tab (sometimes it is in the drop-down or side menu, depending on the firmware version installed);
  • enable WiFi Direct on those smartphones between which you want to organize file transfer;
  • in the list of devices displayed, select the desired devices, pair them (confirm the connection on each smartphone)
  • in any file manager, select the file to send, select "Share" and specify the "WiFi Direct" (sometimes this is referred to as "Sharing with the Environment")
  • confirm the file on the other device, wait for the transfer to complete.
In practice, the average connection speed in this case: 5-10 Mbytes/sec. But often WiFi Direct does not work correctly, especially if the phones are from different manufacturers. In such cases, it is recommended to use third-party programs to transfer files. The most popular ones:

WiFi File Transfer from PC

If you want to transfer files between multiple computers, you can do it by creating a "Homegroup".
  • open "Network and Internet"
  • select "Homegroup", click "Create"
  • select the list of folders you want to share files with
  • select the password, click "Save".
After that all PCs in your local network can see the folders from the other PC in "My PC Network Connections" and copy any files from there.

And in order to transfer the data from PC with Windows to Android smartphone it's recommended to use the third-party programs:
  • Share Me;
  • ES Explorer.
These applications create FTP connection between the devices. That is, the internal drive from the smartphone can be opened as a folder in Windows Explorer, to exchange any data.
  • Please open "Share Me" on your smartphone
  • Select "Connect to PC" from the side menu
  • Select the drive (external or internal)
  • Select "Activate" (enter access password, if necessary)
  • On your laptop or PC, open File Explorer, type in the address bar the IP address that appears in Share Me, and press Enter.
The same way data transfer is performed via ES Explorer (in the side menu the section "WiFi-Transfer").

We have to consider that the file transfer between the PC and the smartphone only works if both devices are connected to the same WiFi network. If there is no possibility to use a router, you can create a mobile hotspot from a smartphone and connect to it from a PC or laptop. And then - using Share Me or ES Explorer to organize an FTP connection between the devices.

Буздалов Максим Викторович
Author of the site

- PhD in Technology, Associate Professor of "Computer Technologies" department, expert in the field of computer networks, more than 12 years of experience.
Author of all our information articles, happy to answer your questions in comments.

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