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Bluetooth vs Wi-fi

April 30, 2005

Was just talking to Sid and came up to discussing about Bluetooth vs Wi-fi. Both didn’t knew much so just thought about searching the net about the same. Before i Ctr-C Ctr-V the contents from this crisp and consise article by David Coursey from Zdnet just of couple of points worth sharing!…Firstly I should have known some thing about the differences between these technologies as I had worked on Wi-fi project for around 8 months at Infy, supposed to be my best work which I really enjoyed and was involved in full throttle!!…Just goes to show the attitude of mine or Indian IT professional in general(got an alibi!!)
Secondly for searching this comparison/difference I tried wikipedia sid’s favourite and mine too…but wasnt able to find the same…it had great contents as far as Bluetooth and Wi-fi standalone are concerned but none comparing the two technologies…or may after this blog i need to update wikipedia wid the same!!
So here’s the article:
Speed: Bluetooth operates at about 720kbps, WiFi at 11mbps–a big speed difference. Bluetooth is too slow for video transfers, and probably too slow to move a bunch of large images off a digital camera. And you wouldn’t connect a hard drive to your computer using Bluetooth–not if you’re smart.

Applications: Bluetooth is a cable replacement, designed to connect devices point-to-point. WiFi is designed to hook up an entire network; it can be used to connect one computer directly to another, but that’s not its real purpose. Yes, there will be Bluetooth access points to bridge the two networks, but they won’t be the best choice in most applications. And there are already WiFi wireless print servers–I have one from Linksys–that work just fine.

Security: Bluetooth is probably–emphasize probably–a bit more secure than WiFi. For one thing, Bluetooth is designed to cover shorter distances than 802.11b; if someone hacks your Bluetooth network, how much damage can they do? Print to your printer? Also, Bluetooth offers two levels of (optional) password protection. WiFi has all the security risks associated with other networks: Once someone has access to one part, he or she can access the rest.

Ease of use: Bluetooth devices “advertise” their capabilities to others, and a single device can be connected to up to seven other devices at the same time. This makes it easy to find and connect to the device you are looking for or to switch between devices, such as two printers. WiFi is more complex; it requires the same degree of network management as any comparable wired network.

Power: Bluetooth has a smaller power requirement than WiFi, and devices can be physically smaller, making it a good choice for consumer electronics devices.

Compatibility: Bluetooth and WiFi share the same band of frequencies and could, therefore, interfere with one another. For a variety of technical reasons, Bluetooth is more likely to interfere with WiFi than vice versa. But while I haven’t rigorously tested my own set-up for interference, so far I’ve been able to run Bluetooth and WiFi devices right next to one another without any noticeable problems. I’m going to keep looking, however.

BOTTOM LINE: Bluetooth is the choice for connecting single devices when speed isn’t a major issue; it’s best suited to low-bandwidth applications such as sharing printers, syncing PDAs, using a cell phone as a modem, and (eventually) connecting appliances to one another within a 30- to 60-foot range.

Bluetooth isn’t a good replacement for all cables, including USB and 1394/FireWire connections. It’s not a great way to connect high-bandwidth devices, such as external drives or digital video cameras and computers; nice as it would be, Bluetooth is probably not a good choice for downloading stills from your digital camera to your PC. And WiFi is the best choice for connecting your computers to one another and to the Internet.

If I could only have WiFi or Bluetooth, then Bluetooth loses. But it’s not an either/or thing. The two wireless protocols do different things. As more Bluetooth devices come to market, I believe most of us will eventually have some of both. Just be glad you don’t have to commit to one or the other right now.
And meanwhile will be posting my take on Foresh Gump the hilarious satire soon…


One Comment leave one →
  1. September 12, 2006 11:07 pm

    Without much luck, I was searching for blogs about DVDs & Movies when I happened across yours. It’s a cool blog. Evidently you like telling it like it is! I have a really great ebay website that is easy to use that you may like. If you get a chance, check it out

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