‘What is Bluetooth?’: A beginner’s guide to the wireless technology

  • Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables data transfer between devices.
  • While Bluetooth uses wavelengths to transport data, it normally only works within a short distance.

You’ve probably used Bluetooth to sync your iPhone with your AirPods or your favorite music app with a speaker.

Bluetooth is a technology that allows data exchange between devices across short distances.

The fact that Bluetooth radio waves are short-range and continuously changing frequencies sets them apart from your favorite music station.

This distance is reduced when impediments (like a wall) are present.

The continuous frequency change? That’s a different story.

Bluetooth is a safe wireless communication.

Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter
Hardware wi-fi starting from headphone wi-fi mouse, or the sound system in an automobile can all use Bluetooth expertise. Apple

Bluetooth-connected devices are generally safe against hacking.

Because they function on multiple frequencies, they switch between them hundreds of times every second.

It’s called “frequency hopping spread spectrum” and it almost prevents Bluetooth device hacking — at least not over the Bluetooth signal.

Uses of Bluetooth

Bluetooth is frequently used to connect mobile devices to other mobile or stationary devices. This includes earbuds, cars, and smart fridges. It also works in less obvious ways, such connecting a printer or mouse to a computer.

Because Bluetooth and Wi-Fi typically work together, you may not always know which hardware is paired with which. Just be aware that previously associated Bluetooth devices will try to connect automatically.

mac bluetooth headphones
Most smartphones, tablets, and computer systems solely enable pairing with one Bluetooth-enabled system at a time. Shutterstock

For this reason, it’s a good idea to open your phone’s settings app (or any other device with Bluetooth connectivity), go to the Bluetooth tab, and look at all the devices that could potentially connect.

You can “Forget this device” in your Settings app if you ever lose or don’t use a Bluetooth device for a long time.

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