How does Bluetooth Work? (2021 Guide)

How does Bluetooth Work?: Let’s Find Out

With the evolution of technology, we have seen many mind-blowing inventions over the past decades. Some of them were a huge hit. And “Bluetooth” is one of them. It has established itself as a very big success.

It has provided us with facilities that no one could even think of. Sharing data with other devices, connecting keyboard and mouse to computer wirelessly, using printers remotely, what not have Bluetooth given us! The thing that makes Bluetooth unique is its wireless connectivity. It does not require any cable connectivity.

You must be wondering, “How does Bluetooth work?” Looking for answers right? read this blog until the end, as it will be covering everything related to Bluetooth. Our wireless trackers also work with Bluetooth inside! Check them out later, here

What is Bluetooth?

 

Before we start discussing how Bluetooth works, it is essential to understand what Bluetooth really is! In layman’s terms, it is a radio wave-based, a low-powered wireless technology used to connect devices with each other.

It is used to communicate between devices within a short range of 10m to 30ft. Devices that work with Bluetooth have built-in antennas that help them send and receive signals simultaneously. The older devices without Bluetooth support can also be made Bluetooth-ready by using different plug-in adapters.

Why is it called Bluetooth?

Well, the Bluetooth devices are not structured in the shape of blue-colored teeth. Then why is it named Bluetooth? The technology is named after a Danish Kind Harald Bluetooth, who ruled Denmark in the late 900’s.

He was able to unite the whole of Denmark and some parts of Norway under one flag. And the technology also does the same. It connects two separate devices. That is why it is named Bluetooth, which makes sense, right?

How does Bluetooth Work?

How does Bluetooth Work

As we have already discussed, Bluetooth devices use radio-waves to communicate together. The frequency of these radio waves is of different bands. These frequencies are measured in Gigahertz. The Bluetooth antenna or transceiver frequency is 2.4GHz.

Although, this frequency is the same as the frequency for WIFI device and its modem. But Bluetooth changes frequency around 1600 times per second which prevents it from causing trouble with other devices. It can be used to connect up to eight devices at a time without any distortion or problem.

Basically, when two Bluetooth-enabled devices are brought near within each other’s range, they automatically start an electronic conversation. This conversation is totally implicit, and the user gives no explicit instructions.

During this conversation, both the devices determine their roles, and if they finally agree on each other terms, they form a small network.

This small network is called Piconet. This piconet network works on master and slave topology.

(Before we move ahead: Topology is the layout of a network) 

As I mentioned earlier, eight devices can be connected to a Bluetooth network. In a piconet, one device gets the role of master, and the other seven act as slaves (this is why it is called master and slave topology).

The master device has all the authority to start the communication process. Moreover, it is the master’s responsibility to regulate and manage the communication path and link. Slave devices are stick to the instructions given by the master, so they can only send or receive the data as allowed by the master device.

For example, if you are using your keyboard, mouse, printer, and microphone with your laptop through Bluetooth, your laptop will act as the Master device in the network, whereas other devices will be slaves. The same goes while using mobile with other Bluetooth devices.

Two or more Piconet can also join each other, forming a bigger network called Scatternet.

So this is how Bluetooth works in general!

Is Bluetooth Secure Enough?

           Wireless technologies have always been much more secure than wired ones. There have always been threats like overhearing while using wired mediums. Bluetooth offers numerous security features to overcome these troubles. In the following, I have mentioned its several security functions.

  • Pairing is required in order to connect two devices. Without pairing, communication is not possible. There are certain security keys for devices to pair with each other. These keys provide an end-to-end encrypted data transfer. For instance, you cannot share any file with your colleague or friend without pairing it with his device.
  • Usually, one device can pair with only one device at a moment. For example, a microphone is connected only to one computer. It works only on one computer instead of multiple machines at a time, keeping in mind that this feature depends on the device manufacturer. A Bluetooth device with this feature is highly reliable and secure.
  • Bluetooth also offers authentication to make sure that you connect to the device you intended to.
  • Another security feature is the ability to make your device visible. No one can find and connect with your device unless its status is set to visible.

While using Bluetooth, there are certain security threats like someone controlling your device without your permission or downloading data using your device. But looking at all the provided security functions, it is safe to say that the risk is very low.

Range of Bluetooth:

range-of-bluetooth

Usually, a typical Bluetooth device’s range falls between 10m to 30ft. Although it is meant to be used within short distances, it can still connect to a device located at more than 1 kilometer. Manufactures can also manipulate the specifications to achieve their requirements.

What are Bluetooth Applications?

Nowadays, Bluetooth is being used in different devices. From mobile devices to printers and cars to wristwatches, I feel free to say that it has not spared anything. As we have already seen how does Bluetooth work, now let’s take a look at some popular Bluetooth devices.

– Wireless Keyboard and Mouse:

     Gadgets like keyboard, mouse, microphone, speakers, and headsets can be connected to a computer without using any cables.

Connect Mobile with your Car:

     You no longer need to listen to those boring radio shows. Make your commute enjoyable by listening to your favorite audiobooks and podcasts. All you need to do is to connect your mobile phone with your car’s Bluetooth.

Bluetooth vs Wi-Fi:

bluetooth-vs-wifi

Well, people tend to think that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are the same things. But the reality is, they are not. This is nothing more than a misconception. Although they may sound similar, comparing them is like comparing a basketball and a football. Both look quite the same, but their functionality is very different.

The same goes for both these technologies. Bluetooth is used to connect two devices within a specific yet short-range, whereas Wi-Fi is used to transmit and receive a large amount of data between multiple computers and to connect devices to the internet. So, both are used for different purposes.

Future of Bluetooth:

future-of-bluetooth

    What is the future of Bluetooth? Well, at this point in time, it is tough to predict its future. Some technology Gurus say that it will be an integral part of augmented reality, whereas others say it will help to evolve the Internet of Things (IoT).

But it is safe to say that enhancements are yet to be made to make Bluetooth more reliable, easy to set up, and less range-dependent. For now, it can be used to share data, connecting headsets, and using computer peripherals. Looking at all the factors, the future of the Bluetooth looks very safe!

Other questions you probably have:

In the case you are having some Bluetooth-related questions popping in your mind. Let’s answer some of them.

– Is it safe to use?

When we talk about any technology, security constraints are indeed there. But with features like pairing keys and end-to-end encryption, it is safe to use!

– Does it require a driver?

Yep! In order to enable Bluetooth communication, a driver is required. For example, you cannot use a cordless keyboard or mouse with a computer without installing its drivers.

– What if my computer does not have Bluetooth?

Most of the computers and laptops come with built-in Bluetooth. But if you are using some old device, you need not panic, as you can purchase an external Bluetooth USB and start enjoying Bluetooth on your device!

– Who controls the Bluetooth?

Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is the regulating body that sets the standards for manufacturing these devices.

– What is Bluetooth’s latest version?

In January 2020, the latest version of Bluetooth was released, called Bluetooth 5.2. No newer version ahead of it is announced at the moment.

Conclusion:

Technology has certainly impacted our lives. Some have benefitted us whereas some had disadvantages. But talking about Bluetooth, it won’t be wrong if it is declared as the most revolutionary modern-day invention.

This article was all about Bluetooth. We talked about Bluetooth, from where did it got its name, we answered your questions like how does Bluetooth work, what is its range. We also discussed some short yet commonly asked questions.

Long story short, we talked “Bluetooth.” I hope that this comprehensive guide cleared all your doubts about this technology and now you can confidently give a presentation about it (actually a great college presentation idea). Thank you for sticking with me till the end!

References and Citations:

https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/bluetooth.htm

https://www.explainthatstuff.com/howbluetoothworks.html

https://parameter.io/how-does-bluetooth-work/

https://www.elprocus.com/how-does-bluetooth-work/

https://www.businessinsider.com/does-bluetooth-use-data