Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Bluetooth 2.0 and Bluetooth 2.1

Bluetooth 2.0 vs Bluetooth 2.1

Most software goes from version 1, 2, 3, and so on. With Bluetooth going from version 2.0 to 2.1, some people may consider the changes to be very minor. It would be true since there is no change in speed or new capability added to Bluetooth. The changes to Bluetooth in 2.1 were merely enhancements to the features that it already has. The biggest difference between the two is the addition of Secure Simple Pairing (SSP) in Bluetooth 2.1. This addition reduces the number of steps needed in order to pair two devices while making it even more secure.

There are a number of ways to connect your devices with SSP but two stands out from the crowd. The first called ‘just works’ requires very minimal or no user interaction. The second, called OOB, makes use of NFC (Near Field Communication) requires you to touch the two devices together or put them in very close proximity in order to pair them.

Aside from enhancements to pairing, Bluetooth 2.1 introduces the Extended Inquiry Response (EIR). A feature that would help you filter the devices that would appear on your list when trying to discover a specific device. Security has also been improved in 2.1. In Bluetooth 2.0 encryption is optional and can even be disabled. With 2.1, encryption is mandatory for all connections aside from the Service Discovery Protocol. The ability to automatically refresh the encryption has also been added to ensure that the connection is always secure.

Lastly, Bluetooth 2.1 made changes to how the device transmits and receives information from other devices. These changes allow the Bluetooth transmitter to be turned off much quicker, thereby saving more power while still transmitting the same amount of information. The power needed by a 2.1 device to transmit data would be around a fifth of that needed by a 2.0 device. This may not be such major power savings with mobile phones where Bluetooth is used a few times a day at best. But in devices like keyboards and mice whose Bluetooth transmitters stay on for much longer, the power saving mean that you would not be changing batteries as often.


1. Bluetooth 2.1 introduces a faster and easier pairing method not available in Bluetooth 2.0
2. Bluetooth 2.1 introduces EIR, a feature not found on Bluetooth 2.0
3. Bluetooth 2.1 has better device security compared to Bluetooth 2.0
4. Bluetooth 2.1 devices consume a lot less power compared to Bluetooth 2.0 devices

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