Bluetooth vs Wi-Fi vs Cellular: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Bluetooth: Short-range wireless technology used for connecting devices nearby, within a range of 10 meters. It is commonly used for connecting peripherals like headphones, keyboards, and speakers to smartphones, tablets, and computers.
  2. Wi-Fi: Wireless networking technology allows devices to connect to the internet and share data wirelessly over a local area network (LAN). It provides broader coverage compared to Bluetooth and supports faster data transfer speeds, within a range of up to 100 meters.
  3. Cellular: Mobile network technology enables wireless communication between devices using cellular networks. It provides wide-area coverage, allowing devices to connect to the internet and make calls over long distances. Cellular networks rely on service providers and require SIM cards or subscription plans to access data and voice services.

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is the wireless technology that stormed the tech market, allowing two different devices to connect at short distances. This technology was developed by Ericsson in 1994, it is a Swedish telecommunication company, and from that day, Bluetooth was a crucial standard for wireless communication.

Bluetooth primarily uses radio waves to transfer data from one device to another. The approximate range of Bluetooth is about 10 meters. Also, it has a frequency range of up to 2.4 GHz. It is commonly used to connect devices like – keyboards, mobile phones, wireless headphones, tablets, mice to computers, wireless speakers, etc.

What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is the abbreviation for Wireless Fidelity, another wireless technology enabling a device to connect to the internet and communicate without wire cables. It also works on transferring data through radio waves at short distances. However, the range of Wi-Fi is approximately 100 meters indoors, while outdoors, the range goes up to 500 meters.

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The frequency range of Wi-Fi is about 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz. It is commonly used for streaming, playing games, and in offices and homes.

What is Cellular?

Cellular technology, also known as cellular networks, is a wireless technology that enables smartphones, laptops, and tablets to connect with the internet and communicate through a network of cell sites or base stations. However, these base stations are located wide across different geographical areas.

It uses various standards of wireless communication like – CDMA, GSM, and LTE. All of them have their characteristics and features. The advantage of cellular technology or network is that it gives seamless connectivity to the user when they travel from one geographical area to another.

Difference Between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and Cellular

  1. The frequency range of Bluetooth is around 2.4 GHz; for Wi-Fi, the frequency range lies approximately about 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz, and for cellular, it depends upon the infrastructure and technology.
  2. The data transfer speed of Bluetooth is around 2 Mbps; for Wi-Fi, the data transfer speed is around 10 Gbps, and for cellular, it depends upon the infrastructure and technology. 
  3. The range of Bluetooth is approximately 10 meters; for Wi-Fi, it is approximately about 100 meters; and for cellular, it depends upon the infrastructure and technology. 
  4. The interference of Bluetooth is low; for Wi-Fi, the interference lies at a range of moderate to high, and the interference of cellular is also low.
  5. The battery usage for Bluetooth is low; for Wi-Fi, the battery usage is moderate to high, and the battery usage for cellular is high.
  6. The security in Bluetooth is low; for Wi-Fi, the security level is moderate, while in cellular, the security level is high.
  7. The primary uses of Bluetooth are speakers, mice, keyboards, and wireless headphones, while the primary uses of Wi-Fi are streaming, gaming, home, and office. At the same time, the primary uses of cellular are data service, voice, and mobile communication. 
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Comparison Between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and Cellular

Parameter of ComparisonBluetoothWi-FiCellular
Frequency Range2.4 GHz2.4 GHz to 5 GHzDiffers depending on the technology
Data Transfer SpeedUp to 2 MbpsUp to 10 GbpsDepending on infrastructure and technology
Range10 meters100 metersDepending on infrastructure and technology
InterferenceLowModerate to HighLow
Battery UsageLowModerate to HighHigh
SecurityLowModerateHigh
Typical UsesSpeakers, mice, keyboards, wireless headphonesStreaming, gaming, home and officeData service, voice, mobile communication
References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1404569
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4460126

Last Updated : 02 August, 2023

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