Difference between Bluetooth and WiFi

We all familiar with the two technologies known as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This both of them are wireless technologies which make uses radio waves and free open atmosphere as a communication channel. The main difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is the purpose behind its designing. Bluetooth is essentially used to connect short-range devices for sharing data and Wi-Fi provides high-speed internet access. 

Wi-Fi officially launched in the year 1997 was set in the year of 1990 which was head by, victor hayes who is also known a father of WiFi while Bluetooth technology invention has been credited to Ericsson, which in the year of 1994 launched it as a wireless communication alternative to  RS232. 

So now let us check it out the difference between Bluetooth and WiFi to know more understanding about Bluetooth and WiFi.


Difference : 

  • Bluetooth was initially defined under IEEE 802.15.1 standard but is now taken care by a special interest group SIG, on the other hand, Wi-Fi is defined under 802.11X where X is a, b, c etc series of protocols and is currently maintained under the same. 
  • Bluetooth update several versions such as Bluetooth 2.0, 2.1, and Bluetooth 3.0 and latest Bluetooth 4.0 added technologies such as Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), alternate MAC/PHY, low energy protocols have been implemented in these updates whereas Wi-Fi updates is quite different such as IEEE 802.11 standard such as IEEE 802.11a, b, c etc. These versions vary in terms of security protocols, radio frequency used for data exchange, maximum speed for data exchange, the bandwidth occupied etc. 
  • Bluetooth works at the frequency range of 2.400 GHz and 2.483 GHz while Wi-Fi works at the range of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 
  • The latest updates of Bluetooth promises data transfer rates up to 25 Mbps while the latest Wi-Fi updates can reach up to 250 Mbps of data transfer rates. 
  • Bluetooth based wireless connections maximum range is 30m while for Wi-Fi, it can extend well up to 100m. In Wi-Fi, range depends on the version of Wi-Fi protocol and antennas in the wireless communication system. 
  • In Bluetooth, up to 7 devices can be connected to each other while in Wi-Fi maximum connections depend on Wi-Fi router which can accommodate several connections at a time. 
  • Bluetooth is fairly simple as there is just a simple key matching process for connecting two devices while Wi-Fi needs expertise in configuration and security passcode matching process so Wi-Fi connection process is much more complex than Bluetooth.
  • New versions of Bluetooth were encryption and even now Bluetooth security is limited to key matching whereas Wi-Fi security standards have been raised with the inclusion of new versions. Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) are the two most used security accesses used in Wi-Fi. 
  • Wi-Fi able to works at longer distances and loaded with high-quality security protocols makes them more power consuming than Bluetooth. 
  • Wi-Fi more used in connecting computers to routers or internet gateways also used to connect with each other while Bluetooth used to connect peripherals to a computer such as keyboards, mouse, headsets etc. 
  • Bluetooth used low bandwidth 800 Kbps while Wi-Fi used high bandwidth range around 11 Mbps.
  • Bluetooth is less secure and Wi-Fi security issue already being debated. 
  • The latency of Bluetooth is 200ms and Bit-rate is 2.1 Mbps and Wi-Fi latency is 150 ms and Bit-rate is 600 Mbps. 
  • Bluetooth use modulation technique is GFSK (Gaussian frequency shift keying) and OFDM (Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) and QAM (Quadrature amplitude modulation) used by Wi-Fi.