Bluetooth is a standard that wirelessly connects computer peripherals to a host device. The most commonly used connections are speakers, head units, keyboards, printers, and headsets to a phone, tablet, or computer. WiFi is a standard that provides wireless Internet access to devices on a local area network (LAN). Depending on modems, Wi-Fi networks use wireless routers instead of cables ethernet to connect devices to the Internet. We will delve into the similarities and differences between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Bluetooth vs WiFi

General conclusions

  • Basically for connecting devices to each other.

  • Less power, less range and less data rate.

  • Operates on the radio frequency (radio frequency) spectrum.

  • Mainly for connecting devices to the internet.

  • Higher power, wider range and higher data rates.

  • Operates on the radio frequency (radio frequency) spectrum.

Bluetooth is a wireless network protocol that allows two devices to communicate with each other using radio frequency (RF). With Bluetooth, you can wirelessly control the speaker through an app on your phone, or print documents on a printer that isn’t physically connected to your computer. Bluetooth is also used with hands-free headsets, wireless navigation systems, and remote mouse and keyboard.

wifi network is a wireless extension of a wired modem connection. Wi-Fi is a wireless communication protocol used instead of a wired connection such as Ethernet. This requires a wireless router through which all Wi-Fi devices on the network are routed.

The term Wi-Fi is sometimes used interchangeably with the Internet. Wi-Fi is not the same as internet. The modem is connected to the Internet.

Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth operate over radio frequency, although the range of a Wi-Fi network is usually greater than a Bluetooth connection. While many Wi-Fi networks use the same 2.4GHz band as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi consumes more power.

WiFi bluetooth
Availability Since 1994 Since 1991
frequency 2.4, 3.6 and 5 GHz 2.4 GHz
Bandwidth 11 Mbps 800 kbps
Spectrum Up to 92 meters From 1 to 100 meters depending on the class
Delay 150ms 200ms
Speed ​​Bits 2.1 Mbps 600 Mbps
Typical devices Computers, game consoles, phones, smart TVs and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Computers, phones, input devices such as mice and keyboards, fitness trackers, headsets and smart speakers.
Required Equipment A Wi-Fi adapter is connected to each device, as well as a wireless router or wireless access points. Built-in Bluetooth radio or Bluetooth adapter connected to each device.
Typical use networks Connecting devices

Speed: Higher power provides faster speed

  • Slow down.

  • In most cases, ultra-fast data transfer rates are not required.

  • Faster.

  • Fast data transfer capability for high bandwidth media streaming.

Bluetooth is generally slower and provides less bandwidth than Wi-Fi. This is one of the reasons why Bluetooth sound quality is considered the worst. Wi-Fi can be used to stream high-quality music, video content, and other large data streams.

Bluetooth 4.0 offers more speed than previous versions of the technology. However, it is limited to 25Mbps and the effective speed is lower. Wi-Fi network speeds vary by protocol, but the slowest valid connections are faster than Bluetooth 4.0’s theoretical limit.

Use Cases: Peripherals vs Whole Home Internet Access

  • Mainly for connecting peripherals such as speakers, printers, keyboards and headphones.

  • Shorter operating range than Wi-Fi.

  • Mainly for internet connection.

  • Sets up a wireless LAN (LAN) accessible to any device with login credentials.

Bluetooth is mainly used to connect two devices over a short distance using low energy. This makes it ideal for streaming audio from your phone or tablet to your speaker system, or for turning on the speakerphone in your car. Bluetooth also provides an easy way listening to music while driving functioning as a wireless auxiliary cable .

In these situations, Wi-Fi is not used because the main purpose is to create a network for other devices to access the Internet. Accordingly, it is more useful in home and office environments than in cars.

Network: all route to the modem

  • Wirelessly connect speakers, head units, keyboards, printers, and headsets to control devices—typically a phone, tablet, or computer.

  • Wireless connection of a device with a modem that connects to the Internet. You can also connect to other devices on the local network.

Both wired and wireless devices must be routed through the modem, which is the actual portal to the Internet. As long as the modem is connected to the Internet, any device connected to the modem is (or can be) connected to the Internet.

Bluetooth connections can originate from an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. A successful Bluetooth connection will reach 30 feet. However, in most situations the effective range is shorter. Bluetooth consumes relatively little power and is suitable for a Personal Area Network or PAN. PANs are used for communication between personal devices and contrast with the local area network.

wifi network is a local area network, through which the device can connect to the modem and, in turn, the Internet. For this reason, you can use a wireless router to set up a Wi-Fi network without any Internet connection. This allows devices on the network to communicate with each other, although these devices will not be able to connect to the Internet without a modem.

Final verdict

Comparing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is like comparing apples and oranges. Wi-Fi is superior to Bluetooth in terms of range and speed. Bluetooth is preferred due to its low power consumption and narrow RF range that Wi-Fi lacks.

Wi-Fi is the preferred standard for wireless home networks. Bluetooth is the preferred standard for wireless connection of computer peripherals. Bluetooth is also increasingly found in head units, speakers and home theater receivers. It is difficult to imagine strong competition, but the closest would be WiFi Direct .

Wi-Fi Direct is a new approach to the device-to-device standard that Bluetooth has dominated for the last couple of decades. Like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to find each other without setting up a dedicated network. The biggest difference between traditional ad hoc Wi-Fi connections and Wi-Fi Direct is that the latter includes a discovery tool. Another problem with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct is the power consumption, which is very high and always connected to mobile devices.

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