Bluetooth or Wi-Fi?
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.