Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi

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Technology is making new advancements, and we remain unaware of what goes in the background. It is especially true when it comes to our wireless devices. We barely know anything about the way devices use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to convey data.

It is important to know the difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi because they have become a part of our daily lives.

What is Bluetooth?

black bluetooth headphones between keyboard and mouse on table

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows two devices to exchange data. Originally Bluetooth was made to connect devices without cables. However, it is now found in almost every wireless device.

Bluetooth, like Wi-Fi, sends data between devices using radio transmissions. Bluetooth uses some of the same frequencies as Wi-Fi. Because of this, Wi-Fi devices might face some conflict or hindrance in the vicinity of Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Unlike Wi-Fi, though, Bluetooth does not require a password to connect to a device. It connects many devices such as headphones, speakers, printers, laptops, and smartphones.

These devices operate across 79 different frequencies available on the 2.45 GHz radio wave spectrum. A channel is chosen at random from the 79 channels available to establish a connection between two devices.  If that channel is already taken, a new channel is given a try. This process continues until a successful connection is established.

You will be amazed to know that Bluetooth devices are divided into three categories. Class one items can broadcast up to 330 feet away. On the other hand, class two products can only transmit up to 33 feet away. Lastly, class three products can only broadcast up to three feet away.

Our mobile phones fall in the class two power range.  The range of Bluetooth devices is usually short, and this acts as a plus point. Why? In a way, it will ensure security because the signal can only be altered or tampered with from a short distance.

What is Wi-Fi?

black smartphone using speed test application on wifi

Wi-Fi is a type of wireless technology that transmits data via radio waves. We use Wi-Fi to link gadgets to the internet, which surely helped establish a new era of internet access.

In order to connect to a local area network (LAN) via a router, you must input a Wi-Fi password on your device.

Wi-Fi works in much the same way as most other wireless devices. It also transmits signals using radio frequencies. The Wi-Fi radio waves transmit at frequencies between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

As you can see, this frequency is much higher than the ones used by cell phones, televisions, and other wireless devices. It is because of these high frequencies that the Wi-Fi signal can carry more data.

The entire connection procedure is straightforward. Firstly, a computer’s wireless adapter converts data into a radio signal, then transmitted via an antenna. The signal is then received and decoded by a wireless router. Finally, a connection is established.

Wi-Fi is a convenient way of connection, and it is quite reliable. However, You might face a problem if many people are using high-bandwidth applications at the same time. Moreover, if the router fails, You will lose the connection.

Pros and Cons of Bluetooth

Bluetooth-enabled devices are quite common. Therefore, we need to know both sides of the coin. We have listed down both the pros and cons of a Bluetooth connection.

Pros

  • The obvious advantage of Bluetooth is that it is wireless. You do not need a set of cables to transfer data from one device to another.
  • It is being used in various ways and different fields. One of the important applications is in locating the devices.
  • It is readily available and affordable. We can find Bluetooth in almost all portable devices – from the cheapest to the most expensive ones.
  • It is very easy to use and doesn’t require technical knowledge.
  • Bluetooth has low power signals; hence it does not drain your battery.

Cons

  • The data transmission via Bluetooth is very slow. You cannot expect to transfer big or even small files with ease. You will end up losing a lot of time if you do so.
  • The connection uses radio frequencies which can be easily tampered with by hackers. Therefore, you should never share critical information via Bluetooth.
  • The range of communication is very compact.

Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi has made our lives a lot easier, and we now have better access to the internet. It has equipped us with an efficient way of data transfer. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to a Wi-Fi connection.

Pros

  • Wi-Fi allows multiple users to connect at the same time to the same network.
  • The range of signals makes the movement within a considerable radius possible. You can connect your device from anywhere as long as you are in the range.
  • Wi-Fi connection is fairly easy to deploy in comparison to other wired networks.
  • Wi-Fi is an expandable network, i.e., adding new users is not a hassle.
  • A Wi-Fi connection saves the cost of labor and maintenance.

Cons

  • Public networks are pretty easy to hack.
  • The range of a Wi-Fi network is limited to 150 feet maximum. If you have a multi-story office, you will face issues.
  • The bandwidth suffers if more devices are added.

Final Verdict

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are both wireless connections, but they have different standards. There is no doubt that Wi-Fi is better than Bluetooth in terms of speed, range, connection, and security.

However, Bluetooth has made its place, and it is not replaceable as of now. Wi-Fi is better suited for certain jobs and Bluetooth for some others.

Hence, we cannot call one better than the other in general. It is completely dependent on the job.

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