Does Bluetooth work without WiFi or does Bluetooth require WiFi? Most people use Bluetooth and WiFi on their phones all the time without thinking twice. Bluetooth is commonly used for sharing files and connecting for audio streaming and media, whereas WiFi allows you to connect to the internet remotely.
Almost any smart device with a WiFi receiver can connect to the Internet if the signals are present in a particular area. However, you need to understand that both of these are very different technologies and they are separate from each other.
To put it simply, both WiFi and Bluetooth are methods that provide wireless communication to the user. However, they have quite a few differences; they are both designed for different purposes and are used in a different manner.
The primary difference between the two is that Bluetooth is designed to establish a connection between two devices without the use of cables. On the other hand, WiFi provides high-speed internet access.
Does Bluetooth Work Without WiFi? (Does Bluetooth Require WiFi?)
Bluetooth usually works over short distances, usually under 30 feet, and is most commonly used for connecting two mobile devices with each other.
Simply put, what this means is that a Bluetooth enabled device, such as a smartphone, can communicate with a wireless printer or a headset to send and receive information.
It acts similar to a cord, creating a secure and wireless network through which the two devices are able to communicate with each other. Bluetooth is commonly used in a variety of different applications.
It has significantly improved the functionality and the portability of different devices, giving them a simple way to communicate with each other. It’s considered by many to be a proprietary protocol, as device manufacturers are required to license a series of different patents to make and then promote a Bluetooth device.
WiFi is actually quite different, though the two share similar applications. Transferring files or setting up a network is quite easy, and transferring files is a breeze as well through WiFi.
However, while it is also a wireless standard, you need to understand that instead of being designed to communicate with other devices, WiFi allows devices to connect wirelessly to the Ethernet or the internet directly.
Local area networks can be connected directly through WiFi. The range is also considerably higher; you can connect to a WiFi network up to 300 feet away now thanks to modern WiFi devices and standards. If there is a router or a device giving off WiFi signals, you can connect to it if you are in a WiFi hotspot.
The overall perimeter of the hotspot usually varies; ranging from a small room or spread over an entire building. It can also range for miles using hotspot extenders.
Keep in mind that WiFi is a trademark that primarily refers to devices that make use of the IEEE 802.11 standards. This is a certification test that is conducted by the WiFi alliance to label devices as WiFi powered.
If you pick up the box of your smartphone, you might notice a white and black logo that says “WiFi certified” on the back. That shows that the device has been tested and passes the certification.
A Common Foundation
Now that you understand the basic differences between the two wireless communication platforms, it’s important to focus on the similarities.
For starters, both of these share a common foundation in the family of wireless electronics: radio waves. Radio waves are one of the many different types of waves that run through the electromagnetic spectrum.
These waves can easily pass through physical barriers and can transmit data, video, and audio at the speed of light, even through the vacuum of space. Both WiFi and Bluetooth lie in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF), and usually run between 300 MHz to 3 GHz.
WiFi is now available on the Super High Frequency (SHF) band as well, which ranges between 3 GHz and 30 GHz. Most smartphones and devices such as laptops usually have two adapters: one for WiFi and one for Bluetooth.
These adapters function both as adapters and receivers. As you can understand, these are both distinct adapters, so if you want, you can turn off one and use the other.
Because both of them serve different purposes, you don’t need to worry about one affecting the other. For instance, you can turn off WiFi and still continue to listen to your favorite songs over a Bluetooth connection, or vice versa.
WiFi is prone to a lot of interference from other devices. To prevent this problem, most WiFi signals usually use separate channels, thus allowing devices to make the jump whenever interference is detected. There are 11 channels in the United States, 13 in Europe, and 14 in Japan.
Unlike WiFi, which is used for connecting devices to the Internet, you should know that Bluetooth is more concerned with smaller area networks and for establishing a connection without internet.
The signal sent by Bluetooth is much weaker than the WiFi signals, and you should know that Bluetooth also makes use of an interesting piece of technology known as spread-spectrum frequency.
This allows the Bluetooth radio adaptor to jump between 79 different frequency channels as much as 1,600 times in a second. So, even if you have different Bluetooth devices within the same area, it won’t make any difference at all, because the devices will be able to switch frequencies within a few nanoseconds.
Bluetooth has improved dramatically in the past couple of decades. Bluetooth 4.0 is able to transfer data up to 25 MBPS, on the other hand, WiFi is capable of transferring up to 250 MBPS. While the difference between the two is huge, you need to understand that they both serve a very different purpose.
Because it is capable of transferring more data, WiFi also requires more power. If you need a device that consumes lower power, you should consider opting for Bluetooth instead. These are just some major things that you should know about Bluetooth and WiFi, and why they work without each other.