How Does Bluetooth Work? The Science Behind the Technology

How does Bluetooth work? It’s a miracle, isn’t it? Well, it’s a miracle worth explaining.

In premise, Bluetooth is yet another radio-wave technology that is designed for short-distance communication.

In this article, we will cover Bluetooth in-depth.

So keep reading to learn more.

What Is It and How Does Bluetooth Work?

As mentioned, Bluetooth is a short radio-wave technology that can communicate over distances less than 10 meters. Usually, it’s used to download photos from digital devices, to hook up wireless devices, to link hands-free headsets, so on and so forth.

Electronic gadgets that work with Bluetooth have built-in antennas (receiver/transmitter) that allows them to receive and send wireless signals simultaneously. Older gadgets can be converted for Bluetooth use via plug-in adapters, however, that’s rarely done.

The power of a transmitter determines the range applicable to the Bluetooth device, and typically there are three range classes.

  • Class 1 – up to 100m
  • Class 2 – up to 10m
  • Class 3 – up to 1m

You ever wondered how does Bluetooth work? Well, this is how.

Bluetooth receives and sends waves in a band of 79 various channels that are centered on the 2.45 GHz, which is set apart from television, radio, and cellphones reserved strictly for medical, scientific, and industrial gadgets.

But don’t worry, you cannot interfere with life-support machines, because the low power of the transmitter will not carry a signal that far. The short-range is one of the greatest benefits of Bluetooth. They use practically no power. And because of the travel distance, it’s more secure than a wireless network that operates over a longer distance.

Security and Features

Bluetooth automatically detects and connects when applicable, and 8 of them can communicate together at once. They don’t interfere with others, because each pair uses one of the various channels. If two switch to one of the other occupied channels, they will randomly switch.

To minimize interference from electrical appliances, pairs of devices are constantly changing frequency, over thousands of times in a second. When a group of several Bluetooth devices shares information together, they create a mini-network, called a piconet. Other devices can leave and join this piconet at all times.

One master device acts as the controller of the network, while the others obey its instructions. Two or more piconets can join up and share information together, which would make them a scatternet.

Who Invented Bluetooth?

Various inventors have contributed their ideas to the creation of the spread-spectrum, including the pioneer of electricity Nikola Tesla, actress Hedy Lamarr, and George Antheil. Both of which helped create a system for the US military in World War 2.

While advanced spread-spectrum systems are controlled electronically, older ones were mechanical and punched over paper-tape technology used for player pianos. The receiver and sender had identical machines with precisely synchronized motors that pulled lengths of paper through them. The two tapes were punched with patterns that matched that would indicate which of the frequencies the sender and receiver will use to communicate with at any given time.

As the tape went through the machines, communication waved through the channels, in tandem. In a way that would be unpredictable to outside entities. Since the transmissions were mostly brief signals for torpedo steering, it was very unlikely that an enemy would be able to pick it up or even know what it meant if they did.

Is It Secure?

Anything wireless will always be less secure than anything wired. Old movies showed how secret agents would tap into telephone wires to hear phone conversations. Wired communication is not that simple, and the speed at which they do it is fiction.

Eavesdropping on a wireless connection is significantly easier as the information is zapped through the air without restriction. All one must do is be in the range of the transmitter, and then the signal can be picked up. Wireless internet is usually encrypted via scrambled communication which sort of solves this problem.

So how secure it ist? Much like Wi-Fi, communication over Bluetooth is encrypted as well, including a variety of security features. One can restrict devices from joining so that only a pair can be present on the network. For instance, allowing your cellphone to be operated by your hands-free headset and nobody else’s device.

This is device-level security. However, you can also restrict the activities that a Bluetooth device can perform which is noted as service-level security.

However, criminals are getting advanced as well. So you’ve probably heard of Bluebugging, Bluejacking, and Bluesnarfing. All of which allow them to take over your Bluetooth device, send messages to other devices using yours, download information from your device, so on and so forth.

In general, however, taking some sensible and reasonable precautions when using Bluetooth devices in public places will ensure that security is not a concern of yours at all.

If your Bluetooth is not working on mac, check out this guide –

Bluetooth Explained

So now that you know “how does Bluetooth work?”, you are well on your way to make use of this information in any shape or form that you like. In any case, Bluetooth is a miracle of technology, like anything else that is wireless.

If you were to show the capabilities of today’s technology to the people who live 50 years ago, they would be astounded and confused. This means something must be working. Technology is an important part of our lives now, so we might as well know how it works.

If you’re interested in learning more about similar topics, check out our categorical pages on the top of the website.