The main difference between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth lies in how these technologies connect to different devices.
While Bluetooth is designed to offer short-range wireless communication between two devices, Wi-Fi allows you to connect devices to the Internet via a wireless router.
So, what is Wi-Fi, what is Bluetooth, and when should you be using one of them?
What is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that is essentially an intermediary that allows you to connect devices such as your smartphone, laptop, and printer to the Internet. The main aspect of Wi-Fi is that it is wireless; You don’t need a cable to get an internet connection.
However, Wi-Fi relies on a wireless router to create a wireless network. In your home, you likely have a router connected to your modem via a cable. Once the connection is established, your compatible devices can connect to your home Wi-Fi network through the router to access the Internet.
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the latest generation of Wi-Fi. It is capable of speeds of up to 9.6Gbps, which is significantly faster than Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) at only 6.9Gbps. It’s worth noting, however, that not every wireless device supports Wi-Fi 6, and you need a Wi-Fi 6 router to take advantage of the speeds of the 802.11ax standard.
What is bluetooth?
Bluetooth is also wireless technology. However, it uses radio frequencies instead of the Internet to link devices together directly.
When you connect a device like your smartphone to a Wi-Fi network, you’ll be asked for the password. With Bluetooth, you have to pair devices together, some of which require a passcode or confirmation that you want to accept a connection.
The main purpose of Bluetooth is to be able to establish a secure connection between devices over short distances without the need for cables. Let’s say you want to connect your smartphone to your car to listen to music. As long as your car has Bluetooth, you can connect your phone to your car stereo without using the Internet.
Should You Use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth?
Deciding between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ultimately depends on the devices you’re using. Some devices, such as wireless keyboards, headphones, and speakers, do not require an Internet connection to function. Instead, they use Bluetooth to connect two or more devices wirelessly.
On the other hand, home technology such as smart thermostats, laptops, and smart TVs require an Internet connection to access certain features, thus requiring them to be connected to a Wi-Fi network.
In some cases, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth may work together; You can connect your smartphone to a Wi-Fi connection, then use Bluetooth to share documents and photos to other devices.
You may find yourself in a difficult situation where you need to share your Internet connection between multiple devices. Ideally, you’ll be using your iPhone’s cellular network as a personal hotspot and sharing it across your devices. However, things are a little different when it comes to sharing a Mac’s Internet connection, as there is no Personal Hotspot feature built-in.
Fortunately, there are a few different ways to share your Mac’s Internet connection, so you can use a unified Internet connection on all of your devices. Today we’ll discuss some of these methods and show you how you can make the most of them.
Why would you need Internet connection sharing?
There may be situations wherein you may have a stable Wi-Fi connection on one side of the room, but no signal coverage on the other side. Or maybe the hotel room only has one Ethernet cable and you want to share your connection with other people or devices.
Maybe you paid for airport Wi-Fi, and want to share that connection with a friend? Or maybe you just want to give the desktop computer you’re working on a temporary connection to the web?
All of these situations are easy to navigate once you know how to share your Mac’s Internet connection with other devices.
Using Internet Sharing on your Mac
The easiest way to share your Internet connection from your Mac to other devices is to use Internet Sharing. However, there is one catch—if you want to share your Internet connection over Wi-Fi, your Mac needs to be connected to the Internet via Ethernet, not Wi-Fi.