What is Bluetooth ?
Is a question that gets asked a lot. Bluetooth is a standardized short-distance wireless protocol used to connect computers and other devices without the need for cables and wires including entertainment centers, computer desktops, smartphones, cameras, tablets, and mp3 players. Equipped with Bluetooth, these devices can easily talk to each other while giving you a user-friendly experience second to none.
What is Bluetooth Technology?
It also has become a very common feature in most consumer electronic devices. You may already have a Bluetooth in your home and not even realize it. Bluetooth lets you add music to your iPod. It lets you talk on your mobile hands-free while driving. It connects your wireless video game controllers to your consoles. It is the technology behind the mobile-to-mobile data transmission features you see advertised by smartphone manufacturers. With some many Bluetooth devices on the market today, you may be wondering what is Bluetooth and how does it work.
Invented by SONY Ericson and currently overseen by the non-profit Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) of technology companies, Bluetooth fixed a problem associated with another wireless standard, IrDA. IrDA is the familiar infrared signal found in many consumer devices such as television and car remotes. These devices use infrared, a type of non-visible light, to transmit signals. IrDA works decently well, but it has a few downsides. One downside is that IrDA needs a direct line of sight in order to work. You may have noticed this when you try to change your television’s channel. The other disadvantage is that IrDA can only connect two devices at a time. You cannot change your television’s volume while you tell your DVD player to play the next episode.
Bluetooth gets rid of these problems. It uses low-powered radio waves to transmit its signals which can go through walls and around corners. Then, it uses data pulses, as opposed to a continuous stream, to communicate to any and every compatible device in range creating hassle-free connections between all your devices and gadgets.
How Does Bluetooth Work?
Because of how Bluetooth works, it is a continuous, always-on connection. All your Bluetooth devices talk to each other constantly as soon as you turn them on sending signals to each other even if you are not using them. This is the key to Bluetooth’s power and speed. Your devices wait patiently until they see signals directed at them. You basically have your own personal-area network without having to do much of anything.
These little intranets, called piconets, form the backbone of Bluetooth technology. Each piconet consisting of one master device and about seven slaves randomly hop between seventy-nine different radio frequencies to ensure no outside interference. It is this spread-spectrum hopping allows Bluetooth to enable your devices to communicate between each other without the need for direct lines of sight. It also allows multiple piconets to serve the same room such as your local café or library without any conflicts.
Types of Bluetooth and Bluetooth Security?
These Bluetooth piconets transmit there two-bit data packets at a maximum of rate of one megabyte per second per channel and come in three different flavors depending on range and signal strength. Class One Bluetooth is the most common with a signal strength of just one milliwatt for a range of just under thirty-three feet. Class Two offers the same range but with ten times the strength. Reserved for special interests, Class Three covers all decides within a range of just under three hundred and thirty feet at over one hundred times the power of Class One Bluetooth devices.
These Bluetooth classes come with varying degrees of security with three different levels in each class. However, the Bluetooth protocol was not designed for security and mostly relies on its short range to reduce the threat to hackers and other intruders. As the technology develops and new versions of Bluetooth come to light, the security issues may get fixed in the future, but right now most expert recommend not using it where confidentiality is important.
Even with these issues, Bluetooth is your go to choice for short range networking in your home. It will not replace traditional wireless LAN technology, but then again it was not designed to do so. Bluetooth exists solely to improve the short-range connections between your entertainment and mobile devices in your home or office without relying on cabling.