How Bluetooth Works  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Bluetooth has quickly become one of the most revolutionary advances in technology in recent years and it continues to improve as more and more people use it on a daily basis. Although widely used, many people still don’t understand what it does and how it works.

The advantage of Bluetooth is that it operates in the license free 2.4 GHz frequency band which gives it worldwide availability and compatibility. The only problem with this is that there are other devices that also use the same frequency band such as security devices, other wireless devices, and other noise sources.

To overcome this problem, Bluetooth uses a fast frequency hopping scheme so that it can use shorter packets than other devices that operate in the same frequency band. This helps to reduce the interference from other devices and allows Bluetooth communication to be more robust and secure.


Frequency hopping works by jumping from frequency to frequency within the same radio band. After a Bluetooth device sends or receives a packet to another device they will both change to another frequency before the next packet is sent. So each time a Bluetooth device communicates with another device they will be using a different frequency.

This means that Bluetooth devices will only transmit from a fixed frequency for a short period of time so that it can use all of the available radio band and conform to the restrictions on the transmission quantity per frequency. Because the frequency band is constantly changing it ensures that any interference will only be temporary and it helps to improve security as other devices will find it hard to predict which frequency band will be used next.

When two or more Bluetooth devices communicate with each other they use a master and slave system and an algorithm that uses device specific information so that each device will know which frequency will be used next. The Bluetooth device that operates in master mode will send its own unique address and the value of its own internal clock to as many as seven other devices that operate in slave mode so that each device can calculate the frequency hop sequences.

Because most Bluetooth devices are battery powered they have been designed to conserve energy and operate at low power levels so that they can be used for as long as possible. This is why most Bluetooth devices have a range of between 5 and 10 meters which is far enough for wireless communication but close enough to avoid using too much power.


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