Bluetooth technology has become a staple in modern society. The majority of devices that you can purchase come with Bluetooth already installed, and as a result, it would be difficult to imagine a world in which Bluetooth did not exist. Although we are all familiar with the concept of Bluetooth and what it is able to do for us, the concept behind how it works may be confusing for many. So, how does Bluetooth work? Luckily, we discuss everything that you need to know in this article.
How It Works
Bluetooth transmits data between electronic devices over short distances using radio waves rather than wires or cables. Unlike your cellphone, which communicates with a mobile tower hundreds of miles away using radio waves, Bluetooth products use radio waves that are 1000 times weaker and only travel short distances between two communication devices, typically 10 feet or less.
If you have a wireless Bluetooth keyboard for your computer and take it to a friend's house but leave the computer at home, the keyboard would be unable to communicate with the computer over such a long distance. Nothing would appear on your home computer screen if you type on it.
When Bluetooth-enabled devices are near enough together, a tiny computer chip within them emits the special Bluetooth radio waves that allow them to communicate. However, you must first turn on this chip, which is typically accomplished by pressing a particular button or flipping a marked switch.
The contact between the two Bluetooth devices then takes place over a piconet, which is a short-range network (pico means really small in the metric system). This piconet is basically a Bluetooth-enabled computer network. If you have a Bluetooth keyboard, monitor, mouse, and speakers connected to your screen, they can form their own Bluetooth piconet.They cannot, however, speak to each other individually. One device — in this case, the computer — would serve as the central hub to which all other devices would be linked.
How are Piconets Established?
Piconets are automatically created. This should automatically attach once you have a computer, such as a keyboard, enabled and in range of the piconet. However, if it is not within range, the keyboard may exit the piconet automatically. When you return home and the keyboard is in range again, it should automatically reconnect.
Is Bluetooth Secure?
Bluetooth's security is debatable. Communications, including Wi-Fi, are encrypted, and there are several other protection features. You can prevent some devices from communicating with others, such as allowing your cellphone to only be controlled by your Bluetooth hands-free headset and no one else's. Device-level protection is the term for this. You can also use what's known as service-level protection to limit what different Bluetooth gadgets can do with other devices.
The Bottom Line
After reading this article, you should have a much better understanding regarding Bluetooth and the way in which it works. Now the next time you link your cellphone to your car via Bluetooth so that you can listen to all your favorite songs, you have a better understanding of what is actually taking place between the two devices.