Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are powerful wireless communication systems. Bluetooth is considered to be the better option when it comes to transferring data from one device to another, provided that these devices are close to each other, and when the data transfer speed is not essential. Basically, Bluetooth is used by phones, printers, modems and headsets. On the other hand, Wi-Fi works much better for large networks, being capable of using much faster connections and having an improved wireless security.
The newest Bluetooth standards make use of three different protocols: the classic Bluetooth, the high speed Bluetooth and the low energy Bluetooth. One of the main goals that was achieved with the new Bluetooth 4.0 standard is less power consumption. Basically, the chips will use much less power when data is not transferred. Of course, when you will want to transfer data, the Bluetooth connection will become live, but it will only stay active and use the battery while you are using it. When the two devices communicate via Bluetooth, the battery loss is considered to be minimal.
Bluetooth allows you to make payments using a digital wallet, from one device to another, without using an Internet connection. This way all your data and personal information do not get on the net, staying private. Another huge improvement is related to the connection speed. With the 4.0 standard, the data can be transferred at speeds of up to 24 Mbps.
Bluetooth’s main competitor – Wi-Fi Direct – can create wireless connections without needing a router. Also, connecting to nearby devices through Wi-Fi is done in a jiffy. The device become an access point, allowing other Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to it. Currently, Wi-Fi Direct can reach speeds of up to 250 Mbps.
The first conclusion is clear: when it comes to speed, Wi-Fi direct is ten times faster than Bluetooth. Wi-Fi direct is easily the best option when you want to transfer videos, for example.
When it comes to distance, tests run by the Data Alliance experts clearly show that Wi-Fi Direct covers an area that can easily reach 600 feet. Of course, this is the maximum theoretical range, and it may not be that big in real life situations. On the other hand, Bluetooth 4.0 has a range that is dependent on the device, but should exceed 200 feet for most devices. So here’s another win for Wi-Fi Direct.
Bluetooth 4.0 uses a special encryption system which protects the data that is being transferred, but Wi-Fi direct does exactly the same. Let’s say it’s a draw here.
When it comes to compatibility, both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi direct can connect to older devices. But when it comes to energy consumption, Bluetooth is a clear winner. If you are using a smartphone to do a lot of work, this very feature may be the decisive factor to consider when comparing Bluetooth and Wi-Fi direct.