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When transferring file using wifi between 2 devices, say between a computer and a smartphone. Does every package need to go through the wifi router?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, all the traffic flows through the router. Devices connect to the router, not to each other. The router acts like a post office, receiving the packets and delivering them to the proper address.

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Do you have a reference for this? – pauldoo Jul 4 '15 at 12:52

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