Difference Between WiFi and Bluetooth (With Table)

The world has digitalized and the means of communication have switched to wireless forms. Every device that we use is equipped with wireless capabilities. The two most important wireless forms in every device are WiFi and Bluetooth. Both forms have different functions and capabilities.

WiFi vs Bluetooth

The main difference between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is that Wi-Fi is built for larger range wireless communication between electronic devices while Bluetooth is built for shorter range wireless communication between connected devices in a network. The job of Wi-Fi is to connect the devices to the Internet while the job of Bluetooth is to transfer data or provide a hand-free experience among the devices.

Wi-Fi works on radio waves for the transfer of high-speed data. It usually breaks the signal into pieces and transmits the fragments. The technique used helps in transmitting the signal at a lower power per frequency and allows multiple devices to be connected simultaneously.

On the other hand, Bluetooth operates on radio signals. Bluetooth doesn’t provide web access or the Internet but mainly is used for sharing information. For functioning Bluetooth requires only an adapter and the connectivity of the device is. It consumes low power. Bluetooth can provide a range of radio signals of about 10 meters. Hence all the devices need to be in close contact with each other.

Comparison Table Between WiFi and Bluetooth

Parameters of ComparisonWiFiBluetooth
Year of origin 21st September 19977th May 1998
Range of connection Larger range Shorter range
Function It connects the devices to the Internet It allows data transfer between the connected devices or enables a hands-free experience in the devices
Mode of transfer It works on radio frequenciesIt works on radio waves
ApplicationAt home, officers, coffee shops, schools, libraries, hotels, airports, and other public and personal spacesIn personal computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, audio devices, and several other smart devices to transfer

What is WiFi?

Wi-Fi stands for wireless fidelity. It is a wireless networking technology that connects different types of devices to the Internet. It is based on the IEEE 802.11.WiFi is commonly used within a specific local area for connecting the devices across the Internet. The exchange of data within the connected devices occurs by radio waves.

The most common application of Wi-Fi is in the home, officers, coffee shops, schools, libraries, hotels, airports, and other public and personal spaces. The devices are connected to a wireless router which connects them to the Internet. The devices network through wireless access points.

Wi-Fi was first introduced on 21st September 1997. The term WiFi was coined by a brand consulting firm Interbrand. There are various versions of WiFi available depending upon the radio technology, radio band, maximum range, protocol standards that each type uses. The two most common radio bands used by Wi-Fi are 2.4 GHz that is 120 mm UHF and 5 GHz which is 60 mm SHF.

The wavebands of Wi-Fi can be obstructed through walls, appliances, or pillars which can affect the range and cause minimizations in the interference of the connected network. The maximum access offered by a WiFi indoors is about 20 meters while some modern access points even provide arrange up to 150 meters and are generally installed outdoors.

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a part of the wireless technology which is usually used for exchanging data within a short-range. The data exchange usually occurs within fixed and mobile devices by using UHF radio waves in the ISM bands. The band’s range is between 2.4 GHz to 22.48 GHz. Bluetooth formed the basis of personal area networks or PANs. Initially, Bluetooth was built as an alternative to RS-232 data cables.

Bluetooth is used to exchange files between portable devices. The transmission power is mostly 2.5 milliwatts and therefore can range only within 10 meters or 30 feet. Bluetooth was developed by Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) and introduced on 7th May 1998.

The term Bluetooth was coined by Jim Kardach who was working at Intel the name was taken as an inspiration from a historic novel by France G Bengsston. The logo of Bluetooth has a bind ruin merging with the younger food truck ruins and forming a shape which is the initials of Harald’s.

The most compatible hardware with Bluetooth is personal computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, audio devices, and several other smart devices. There are various versions of Bluetooth which are used depending upon the need of the place as the versions provide a different range of connectivity. According to a survey in 2019, over 3.6 billion Bluetooth devices were being shipped annually and the graph seemed to increase at the rate of 12% a year.

Main Differences Between WiFi and Bluetooth

  1. WiFi allows multiple devices to be connected at the same time while Bluetooth allows only a limited number of devices to be connected at a time.
  2. WiFi operates over a larger range while Bluetooth operates over a shorter range.
  3. WiFi was introduced in 1997 while Bluetooth was introduced in 1998.
  4. The term WiFi stands for wireless fidelity while the term Bluetooth is inspired by a character of a historic novel by France G Bengsston.
  5. WiFi requires higher bandwidth while Bluetooth operates on lower bandwidth.
  6. WiFi consumes higher power and provides better security while Bluetooth consumes lower power and provides less security.

Conclusion

Wireless communication has become the standard of the modern world. It enables people to connect to information and even socialize among themselves wireless communication is the basis of the digital economy. It plays a vital role in the transmission of data and communication of information among users.

The two most common wireless connectivity types are WiFi and Bluetooth. Both types have their distinct features, versions, ranges, capabilities, and areas of application and use. The end goal of both types is to bring flexibility, accessibility and provide constant connectivity at the convenience of the users.

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6409768/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6200281/
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