Skip to content
Home » What is Bluetooth?

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth definition:

Bluetooth is a wireless technology used for communication and data transmission between fixed and portable devices.  For devices to communicate and transmit data, they need to be paired first. It is also important to note that the device must have Bluetooth hardware before it can be used. Bluetooth is capable to transmit data in short distances; however, it depends on the obstacles in the transmission path and Bluetooth version. Bluetooth uses UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio waves for transmission of data in the range of 2.402GHZ to 2.480 GHZ.   Bluetooth was basically designed to replace the RS232 wireless protocol.

A short history Bluetooth

In this era of technology and modern communication, there is a good chance that you will be familiar with the Bluetooth technology and will be using it in your daily life from blue tooth speakers to Bluetooth keyboards, gaming controllers, data transfer on the go, and so on. This technology was introduced around twenty years ago when there was a limited scope at that time and it was never thought that it will become a must part of today’s digital devices.

The concept of Bluetooth was basically conceived by Jaap Haartsen at Ericsson in 1994. This technology standard was named by a well-known personality who united Denmark and Norway in the 10th century.  The basic concept of  Bluetooth technology was conceived to replace the old Rs-232 protocol which was started in 1960. The main goal of Bluetooth was to use data transfer with low power at short distances.

These days Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) takes care of the promotion of the Bluetooth standards and their revisions.  Blue tooth SIG was initially formed by few companies including IBM, Ericson, Intel, Nokia Toshiba which now has more than 30, 000 members around the globe.

In 1999 first consumer Bluetooth device was launched commercially which was basically a hands-free mobile headphone. Ericsson T36 was the first Bluetooth mobile phone which was then revised as Ericson T39 and was released in  2001. In the competition for this phone, IBM  launched the IBM ThinkPad A30 in 2001 which was the first notebook with integrated Bluetooth technology.

Bluetooth’s early implementation was between the cellular phone and a vehicle’s audio system which was done by Vosi technologies in costa mesa, California, USA.  The founding members of Vosi Technologies at that time were Bejan Amini and Tom Davidson. Voice Technologies was not able to publicly announce the intention and development of other Bluetooth devices due to the ongoing negotiation for a licensing agreement.

A legal battle was started between Vosi and Motorola in early 2000, which affected the development of Bluetooth devices. Later on, Motorola while having a large market share implemented the Bluetooth technology in its devices which made Bluetooth publically available for use of data transmission and file transfer at short distances. For further readings  please visit

How does Bluetooth work

You will be using Bluetooth technology most often by connecting your smartphone to multiple devices but do you know how does Bluetooth works?  Let us know about it. A Bluetooth device can communicate wirelessly using Bluetooth technology.  A single Bluetooth device can be paired with multiple devices at the same time which will enable you to listen to music, talk on the phone, or file transfer without using wires.

Bluetooth technology use frequencies between 2.402 GHz to  2.480 GHz or it may be 2.400 GHz to 2.4835 GHz which includes a guard band of 2GHZ at the bottom.  This band is generally known as the Industrial scientific and medical (ISM) band of 2.4 GHz short-range radio frequency which is unlicensed but not unregulated. A general phenomenon known as Frequency-hopping spread spectrum is used by the blue toothy technology in which Bluetooth divides the data into packets and sends that data into one of the 79 Bluetooth designated channels. The system is having adaptive frequency hopping  (AFH) which uses generally 1600 hopes per second.  

Initially, Gaussian frequency-shift keying (GFSK) modulation was used by Bluetooth devices, however, later on with the introduction of DQPSK (differential quadrature phase-shift keying) and 8-DPSK modulation, Bluetooth devices were shifted to these latest modulation schemes. The bit rate of Bluetooth file transfer is  3 Mbit/s, however, the maximum data transfer rate may be 2.1 Mbit/s by allowing for inter-packet time and acknowledgment handshaking.

Bluetooth technology uses  master slave architecture using data packets for file transfer.  Before transferring files or data through Bluetooth, the devices are paired first. Then one device become master and the other slaves.  One master devices  can communicate up to 7 slaves at a time.

Bluetooth versions

Bluetooth technology evolved from version 1 to version 5 since its inception which gives more and more features  with further advancements. Following is the list of Bluetooth versions along with its features.

Bluetooth 1.0 and 1.0B

Bluetooth 1.0 and 1.0B were introduced in 1999. Version 1.0 and 1.0B were having many problems specifically the interoperability issues faced by different device manufacturers.

Bluetooth version 1.1

Bluetooth version 1.1 was introduced in 2001, in which most of the problems of Bluetooth version 1.0 and Bluetooth version 1.0B were solved. It was also somehow back compatible. A received signal strength indicator was introduced in this version.

Bluetooth  version 1.2

Bluetooth version 1.2  was introduced in 2003. Bluetooth version 1.2 was the first widely used protocol. Pairing speed was improved in this version.  Adaptive frequency spread spectrum was introduced.

Bluetooth version 2

Bluetooth version 2 was introduced in 2005. This version of Bluetooth was Branded as Bluetooth 2.0 + (Enhanced Data Rate). Further, three-bit encoding was introduced which enhanced the data rate from 1 to 3 Mbps, however, practically it was   2.1 Mbps. This version was having the ability to use less power and interference handling. 

Bluetooth  version 2.1

Bluetooth version 2.1 was introduced in 2007. In this version, Secure Simple Pairing (SSP) was added to make the pairing process having more secure. Other features like external inquiry response were also introduced in this version.

Bluetooth version 3

Bluetooth version 3 was introduced in 2009. Its brand name was introduced as Branded as Bluetooth 3.0 + HS (High Speed). This version was having a unique feature that it started the connection via Bluetooth but transmit the data over Wi-Fi. This version provides a data rate of up to 24 Mbps.

Bluetooth version 4

Bluetooth version 4 was introduced in 2010. This version was having Introduced low-power and was branded as  Bluetooth Smart. Main variations in this version included were Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth high-speed data, and Bluetooth Low Energy consumption (BLE) protocols.

Bluetooth version 4.1

Bluetooth version 4.1 was introduced on December 4, 2013. This version was having better coexistence with LTE devices and efficient data exchange rate. This version was basically a software update and not a hardware one. These protocols also allow multiple roles of the same device at the same time.

Bluetooth version 4.2

Bluetooth version 4.2 was introduced in 2014. This version was basically designed for the Internet of Things (IoT). In this version, the payload size in the Bluetooth packet was increased by 10x. The version was also supported the wireless personal area network (WPAN) version of IPv6  due to which enabled billions of devices to have a unique IP address. The privacy of this version was also strong as compared to its predecessor’s.

Bluetooth version  5

Bluetooth version  5 was introduced in 2016. This version was a more robust version with extended battery life. The major breakthrough of this version was an extension in the transmission range from 50 to 200 meters. The smart devices to support Bluetooth 5 were the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 and X.

Bluetooth version 5.1

Bluetooth version 5.1 was introduced in January 2019. New features which were introduced in this version were the angle of arrival and angle of departure which are helpful for location services.

Bluetooth version 5.2

Bluetooth version 5.2 was introduced in December 2019. Low energy radio (LE) was introduced specifically meant for low battery consumption.

Health concerns of  Bluetooth

Two main points need to be considered while discussing this aspect, one is if the radiation is ionizing and how much is the power. The simple answer is that the Bluetooth signals are not hazardous for health as the radio waves in the range of 2.402 GHz to 2.480 GHz are non-ionizing radiation. Further, the transmission power is too low as compared to the low-power mobile phone.

Frequently asked questions about Bluetooth

In this section, we are going to answer some frequently asked questions regarding Bluetooth. For further details on the subject of each question provided links can be consulted for further details. 

What is Bluetooth and why do I need it?

Bluetooth is a simple application that is available nowadays in almost all digital devices especially phones, PCs laptops tablets smart watches, headphones, etc. This application allows you to easily connect the devices for file sharing, data transfer, etc. For example, if you want to connect your Bluetooth headphone to your mobile phone wirelessly, then you need this application which allows you to call and talk on your headphone which is connected wirelessly to your phone. You can transfer data between different devices which are paired and Bluetooth enabled.

Difference between Bluetooth and WiFi  (590)

The purpose of designing behind both technologies is different. Wi-Fi is high-speed internet connectivity, while on the other hand Bluetooth is used for file and data sharing over short distances.

How Bluetooth is different from other wireless transmission technologies

Other wireless transmission technologies like GPS, GSM, Radar, Wifi are meant for long-haul transmission, however, Bluetooth technology is used for small data and short distances and between device to device.

Is it free to use Bluetooth?

There is always a question that does it cost money to use Bluetooth. So the answer is No. Bluetooth does not cost any money and you can transmit the data from one device to another using Bluetooth connectivity.

Who invented Bluetooth?

Jaap Haartsen is the name of the personality who worked on wireless technologies and in 1994, he proposed the system based on which todays Bluetooth is standing.

Bluetooth working principle

Bluetooth works on a wireless technology protocol used for the transfer of data under short distances. It uses radiofrequency of range 2.402 to 2.480 GHz. Further, it converts the data into packets and transmits it using Adaptive frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology.

Uses of Bluetooth

There are many uses of Bluetooth which are included but not limited to data transfer between devices at short distances, Bluetooth tethering, headset connectivity with a mobile phone, printer connectivity with the phone, Mouse, keyboard connectivity with laptop and computers, and so on.

Is Bluetooth secure

While sharing data on Bluetooth, the users normally pair the device with the other device to whom they want to transfer data. Without pairing the connection cannot be established. However, once the connection Is established the data may become insecure in some cases if you ate not careful.

Is leaving Bluetooth on a security risk?

To make your data secure and safe, you need to keep your Bluetooth off and make it ON whenever required. So if your Bluetooth is off then you are secure, however, if you always keep your Bluetooth On, then there are chances for hackers and your data may become unsafe you are not careful.

Can my Bluetooth be hacked?

Yes, if your Phone Bluetooth is ON, then a hacker can try to hack your Bluetooth connection using his own Bluetooth connection.

is Bluetooth encrypted

Yes, after Bluetooth version 2.1 which was launched in 2007, all Bluetooth data is encrypted before transmission.

Is Bluetooth more secure than WiFi?

Though Wifi is becoming more and users due to its availability and requirements, however, Bluetooth-ready laptops and digital devices, the experts say that Bluetooth devices are more prone to security risk than Wifi.

Can my Bluetooth be hacked

Your phone can be hacked through Bluetooth, if hacker is with in 30 meter range and he is connected to your phone through Bluetooth.

Is it better to connect by WiFi or Bluetooth?

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are two different communication standards. Wi-Fi is used for high data rate and internet connectivity, while Bluetooth is used for little data transmission at low speed at low cost and  at small distances.

Is Bluetooth and WiFi the same?

No Bluetooth and wifi are not the same, though both are wireless communication technologies. Wifi is meant for high data rate and internet connectivity while Bluetooth is for low data rate, low cost and small distance.

Do you have to have WiFi to use Bluetooth?

No you don’t need to have Wifi if you want to use Bluetooth.  For using Bluetooth you need to pair your device with another device and then you can transmit and receive data. However, in case of Wifi, you need an external wifi network to which you can connect your device and can brows internet and transmit receive data.

What are the main differences between 802.11 and Bluetooth protocols?

802.11 protocol is  a LAN standard applied to wireless LAN as well. The main difference between two technologies is the speed and data rate. Bluetooth rate is 1Mbps while IEEE 802.11 rate is 11Mbps. difference in the rates lies in the Physical and Data Layers.

Which transmission technology is used in Bluetooth?

Bluetooth uses adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum technology in which data is split into packets and each packet is transmitted into one of the 79 designated channels.  

Is Bluetooth a wireless technology?

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communication technology that is used for data transfer between two devices. It has a number of applications including but is not limited to a printer, keyboard, and mouse connectivity to Pc and headphones connectivity to smartphones.

Does using Bluetooth use data?

No, using only Bluetooth will not use data. However, if you are using an app for music and then listening to that music on Bluetooth headphones then data will be used.

Can I use Bluetooth without service?

Yes, you can use Bluetooth without internet and without cellular service. You can connect your phone blue tooth with other devices and transmit data using data and cellular systems.

How much does Bluetooth cost? Bluetooth costs nothing as you are using Bluetooth just for data transfer with another device that is paired through Bluetooth.

You may also like to read

How does Bluetooth work

Bluetooth speaker working principle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *