Blue­tooth or Wi-Fi?

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

Q Which is bet­ter for teth­er­ing my iPad to my iPhone: Wi-Fi or Blue­tooth? Is there any dif­fer­ence in speed or bat­tery life? Ben­jamin Frost A There are def­i­nitely dif­fer­ences in both speed and bat­tery us­age. But de­cid­ing which one is best isn’t so clear cut. Wi-Fi has the best speed – the­o­ret­i­cally 150Mbs on an iPhone 5, al­though nor­mally it’s quite a bit lower than this. But un­less your data con­nec­tion is 4G, it won’t make any dif­fer­ence. Even Blue­tooth’s band­width of 3Mbs is still bet­ter than typ­i­cal 3G data rates.

Wi-Fi is also a lit­tle more cum­ber­some. You might need to fid­dle with the set­tings each time you con­nect and it times out if the con­nec­tion isn’t made in 90 sec­onds.

Blue­tooth gen­er­ally re­con­nects au­to­mat­i­cally with a pre­vi­ously paired de­vice and is shorter range, so it uses less power. But it can only tether to one de­vice at a time. If you’re brows­ing over 3G, Blue­tooth is bet­ter for you. But if you’re down­load­ing a large app, the faster speed of Wi-Fi might ac­tu­ally save you power be­cause it can com­plete the down­load and close the con­nec­tion sooner.

The best op­tion of all would be to use a USB con­nec­tion, but un­til Ap­ple pro­vides a dou­ble-ended Light­ning ca­ble, this isn’t pos­si­ble be­tween an iPhone and an iPad.

Blue­tooth was de­signed for low­power, short­range tasks just like teth­er­ing.

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