Bluetooth and wi-fi may seem like the same but technically these both are different to a larger extent. In the article below we will discuss the key differences between Bluetooth and wi-fi. Before proceeding to the differences let us know a little bit about both these networks.
Bluetooth is a type of wireless Personal area network (WPAN). It was invented in the year 1994. A joint project called Special Internet Group (SIG) consisting of Nokia, Ericson, Toshiba, and intel was behind the invention of Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a standard wire replacement technology which can be transmitted and received with the help of cheap microchips. Bluetooth technology uses standard radio technology so the communication doesn’t need sender and receivers to be visible to each other. Bluetooth falls under the standard 802.15.1 of Institution of electrical and electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Wi-Fi belongs to the family of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). It was invented in the year 1998. There are multiple technologies which makes the wi-fi working properly. The patent of most of these technologies was held by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) Australia’s national science agency. In the year 2009 some companies paid 1 billion USD to settle the patent of wi-fi technology. The credit for invention of wi-fi has always been a controversy. However, at the present time Wi-Fi is a trademark of Wi-Fi-Alliance a non-profit organisation.
Wi-Fi is categorized under the standard 802.11 by Institution of electrical and electronics Engineers (IEEE). Wi-fi is the wireless of version of ethernet and works in similar way like ethernet.
Now we have discussed both the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi it’s time to discuss the difference between these two.
This is the main difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth operates at the radio waves frequency ranging between 2.400 to 2.485GHz whereas for Wi-Fi this range is between 900Mhz to 5.9GHz. Both the frequencies are short radio waves but Wi-Fi has a wider network coverage.
Usually the coverage area of Bluetooth is 10 meters which barely covers a room of standard size. Whereas Wi-Fi range depends upon the hardware being used, usually the range is of about 20 meters but some modern routers can create a wi-fi range of about 150 meters. Wi-Fi networks can also be connected to each other to create a wider wireless network.
Data Transfer Speed.
This is another difference between Bluetooth and Wi-fi and Bluetooth lacks much behind than Wi-fi in terms of speed.
Most advance Bluetooth connection has a speed of maximum 2.0Mbps which is far less than even a 4G cellular network.
Latest version of Wi-Fi is Wi-fi 6 and the maximum speed it can go through is 9.5Gbps. The earlier version of Bluetooth i.e. Wi-fi 5 had a data transfer speed of about 6.0Gbps which was also very much fast than a standard Bluetooth connection.
In terms of portability power consumption makes a big difference. Bluetooth is a clear winner here. Due to lower power consumption Bluetooth is used in most of the portable devices like earphones and Bluetooth speakers.
Wi-Fi no doubt has the larger coverage and better data transfer speed but due to its high-power demand it is difficult to use Wi-Fi in portable devices. However, Wi-Fi is an ideal choice to use in devices that operate directly on electricity an doesn’t need battery like Smart TVs, PCs and some wireless speakers and home theatres etc.
No network can be as secured as traditional optical fibre connection as anyone in the range can connect to wireless network if he has the SSID and password of a particular network.
Generally, the security feature is better on Wi-Fi networks as compared to Bluetooth. Wi-Fi has passwords and ASIN which a user needs in order to connect to that particular network. In Bluetooth connection a pin can be set to pair to a particular network.
Both Bluetooth and wi-fi are the technology of future and we can expect to see a lot of enhancement in future. Bluetooth is a all in one solution for portable devices and on other hand Wi-fi is a great alternative to the traditional optical fibre cables. Wi-fi is capable to deliver the high speed internet and secure connectivity options.