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Difference Between WiFi and Bluetooth

wifiWiFi vs Bluetooth

Two wireless connection options that are very common in portable devices are WiFi and Bluetooth. WiFi is a wireless networking solution that allows computers to connect to the network via an access point. It was developed as an alternative to wired networking which is restrictive. Bluetooth, on the other hand, is a standard that was developed largely for the mobile phone market. It was created to supersede Infrared which had a lot of limitations. Bluetooth is used to send small files from one device to another and to connect other devices like headsets and other peripherals.

Since Bluetooth was developed mainly for the mobile phone industry, it has become fairly common in mobile phones. Its ability to connect peripherals like keyboards and headsets is not possible with WiFi and it is a lot easier and faster to send pictures and other small files via Bluetooth than ‘¬®WiFi. Though WiFi has already begun to appear in a few mobile phones, you are more likely to find it in laptops, PDAs, and smartphones where it is often used to connect to the internet via a hotspot. Though it is possible to connect two devices via WiFi, it is a lot more technical and tedious since you would need to define one as an access point so that the other can connect.

Because WiFi is meant to provide mobility to its users while staying connected, its radios transmit at high power levels to achieve a long range that can extend up to 300ft. Bluetooth does not require this much distance between two devices, that’s why it uses a much weaker radio to achieve 30ft of separation. Bandwidth is essential for WiFi since it provides a connection to the internet or intranet and manufacturers are always trying to find ways to improve the bandwidth even further. Most Bluetooth devices do not require a lot of bandwidth and greater bandwidth would usually result to greater cost. That’s why Bluetooth still has a very small bandwidth making it unsuitable for transferring larger files.

Summary:
1. WiFi is used to wirelessly connect computers to a network while Bluetooth is used to wirelessly connect two devices to each other
2. WiFi is used largely in computers and PDAs while Bluetooth is widely used in mobile phones
3. WiFi radios are more powerful than it Bluetooth counterparts
4. WiFi has a lot more bandwidth than Bluetooth


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