From invention to contention: The origins of Bluetooth, and the continuing debate of wired vs. wireless

From invention to contention: The origins of Bluetooth, and the continuing debate of wired vs. wireless

In some ways, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and all other wireless capabilities are what God was supposed to be. They’re everywhere at once, they practically have unrestricted access to your very soul, and there’s nothing you can’t accomplish with them in your corner.

But, for the average person (and even some tech-junkies), there’s a lot of mystery shrouding this technology. And, in the modern world, not understanding what you’re using is like smoking cigarettes and being oblivious to the health ramifications.

Maybe you’re interested in the fundamental difference between wired and wireless networks. Or maybe you’re more interested in the rudiments of the latest Bluetooth version in 2020 or 2021. Whatever you need to know, we’ve got you covered.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it. Here’s the rundown on Bluetooth and the pros and cons of wired vs. wireless networks and devices.

What is Bluetooth?

I suppose there’s no better place to start than what is Bluetooth. In fact, its origins span back nearly a century. In 1937, Hedy Lamarr left her marriage to an arms dealer with close affiliations to Benito Mussolini and the Nazi party.

Fleeing to Hollywood, she had aspirations of lights, cameras, glitz, and glamour. Eventually, she was touted by Metro-Gold Mayer Studio as being “the world’s most beautiful woman.” Which must have done wonders for her self-esteem.

Ultimately, she managed to land roles in films like “Boom Town” alongside Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, the smash hit “Samson and Delilah,” and more. But she wasn’t all looks. Because, while acting, she took to inventing as a hobby.

It took a while to find her niche. From reworking stoplight designs to creating instant fizzy drink tablets, she threw plenty at the wall to see what stuck. But, ultimately, the marriage to the arms trafficker she escaped influenced her most. Which is a lesson: everyone is a resource. 

Basically, they used to use paper piano roles to generate radio frequencies harder for enemies to jam. This was the genesis of Bluetooth. And, reluctantly, the US Navy eventually adopted this spread-spectrum radio technology that birthed both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

So, to answer the question, Bluetooth is a way to let devices connect wirelessly. Interestingly, the name is the anglicized version of Danish Keng Harold Blåtand, famous for uniting Denmark and Norway. Similarly, Bluetooth unified cellular and PC industries.

Now, to understand what Bluetooth is, it’s important to answer another question: What is the purpose of Bluetooth? So let’s get started...  

What is the purpose of Bluetooth

Pretty much everyone has a general understanding of what Bluetooth does. If you’ve “paired” devices, that probably gives it away. Whether you’re dealing with the latest Bluetooth version in 2021 or 2020 or an older one, it’s essentially the same.

In 1989, a Swedish telecommunications enterprise called Eriksson began efforts to design an optimal short-link radio technology standard for transmitting signals between computers and headsets. So, basically, its purpose was to enable devices to communicate wirelessly.

By 1990, they were popping champagne and raking in the European Inventor Award given out by the European Patent Office. So, when asking the purpose of Bluetooth, the answer’s simple in the most complicated way: it’s to connect devices.

Think of Bluetooth as being similar to the invention of language. Finally, after decades of silence, devices could finally talk to each other. Just imagine what they had to say. So, now let’s get into how it works.

How does Bluetooth work?

What Bluetooth does so amazingly is it enables multiple devices to be paired through short-range radio signals that form a singular network. Essentially, each device functions as a part of a larger system.

Devices need to communicate via network protocols under a uniform specification. Basically, by utilizing radio waves and a tiny chip installed in the device in lieu of wires or cables to connect, manifold processes are streamlined.

When in range, devices emit Bluetooth radio waves to activate this functionality. Bluetooth uses short-wavelength UHF radio waves with frequencies ranging between 2.4 and 2.485 GHz. And, while there’s plenty more we could get into, that’s all the average Joe needs to know!

And, now that you understand everything there is to know about Bluetooth, here’s the fun part...  

Wireless vs. wired networks: advantages and disadvantages

Before considering devices, let’s get into the fundamental difference between wired and wireless networks. Because this is the scaffolding your life is built on. And, when considering networks, there are some key areas of emphasis.

Firstly, let’s talk mobility. Basically, wired networks require Ethernet cables to connect computers to a router and enable Internet access. If you elect to use this method, you need to understand they typically cost and strain laptop batteries significantly less.

Wi-Fi adapters in wireless devices often require more power, but they also enable you to move around freely within range and you’re not anchored in place. It also enables more devices to connect, and it makes connecting easier.

There’s also dependability to consider. Wired networks are often way more dependable than wireless networks. The most common issue that arises with wired networks is loose cables (and damaged cables). But these are generally easier for the average user to resolve.

And, if you do opt for a wired network, just understand disentangling them is a pain, and when they do get tied up in bundles, there’s a chance they’ll be damaged and need to be replaced. This could be an unanticipated added expense.

OMOTON HACK: Use zip-ties to preserve and keep cables organized and disentangled.

Don’t get us wrong: for the most part, wireless technology is reliable. However, there’s always the potential of interference from some household appliances. But, to prevent this, routers often supply an array of channels to reduce such concerns significantly.

And, of course, connection speed is a huge point of concern for most. Just know wired networks are usually faster. But, as technology advances, this gap is definitely narrowing.

And, lastly, let’s talk about security and wireless vs. wired network advantages and disadvantages. With wired technology, it comes down to having a firewall. And, while most broadband routers include this, software can be installed individually for this.

Generally, however, wired networks are more secured. Data is broadcast through the air in wireless networks, but when networks are wired, they’re trafficked securely through cables. With wireless networks, there’s often lower security.

While wireless networks are more vulnerable and easily compromised by hackers and identity thieves on the prowl to intercept data and information, as long as they’re properly installed and you take reasonable precautions, this risk is minimal.

Pros and cons of wired vs. wireless devices

Finally, we’ve made our way down to the goods. Because these are debates at the heart of practically everything pertaining to technology. If you’re wondering the difference between wired vs. wireless keyboards for gaming or even wired vs. wireless printers, we’re here for you.

And, instead of simply searching wired vs. wireless keyboard Reddit in Google, continue reading and you’ll discover a whole treasure trove of information. So, to finally settle this, from which one is better: a wireless or wired keyboard and beyond, let’s get into it.

R/F vs. Bluetooth

Firstly, you’re going to encounter two different kinds of wireless technology. Bluetooth (which we’ve covered) and Radio Frequency (R/F). Simply put, R/F devices come with a component that needs to be inserted into a USB port. The trade off is, while you do lose a port, R/F devices offer a broader operating range.

Wireless vs. wired mouse and keyboard

This depends entirely on what you use these tools for. For example, when considering a wired vs. wireless keyboard and mouse for gaming, wireless functionality isn’t often a priority. This is mostly because it doesn’t make much of a difference.

Still, when considering which is better, a wireless or wired keyboard and mouse, there is a difference. A wireless keyboard like the OMOTON Bluetooth keyboard offers unparalleled convenience and comfort.

Especially when you’re in the zone, the kind of limitless freedom wireless technology offers simply cannot and should not be understated. And, again, there’s a tradeoff. No entangled wires mean battery replacements and charges. So weigh your options. 

Printers

Going wireless here is great if you have multiple devices or computers printing on a single printer. Ultimately, there’s little difference in functionality. But, still, with wireless setups, there’s always the possibility of A disruption. So beware. That can get annoying to say the least. 

Headphones 

There’s a general principle to consider when debating between wired and wireless headphones. Generally, wired headphones and speakers simply have better quality as audio gets compromised through wireless connectivity. 

But, still, wireless is great, and to the average person, there won’t be a noticeable difference in quality. Plus, if you travel a lot or use headphones when exercising, wireless headphones can enhance every facet of both.

Chargers

Depending on what you have, this can be super convenient. For example, if you have MagSafe technology, not capitalizing on it is like refusing to cash a check for no real reason. But, still, wireless chargers are often more expensive and take longer to generate a full charge. But, if you can afford it, this convenience can be a game-changer!

Hard drives

Now, the difference is simple: utility vs. convenience. If you want to maximize storage, going wired is your best solution. But, if you want convenient storing capabilities, wireless solutions are good. Though they often cost a lot more and require more configuration.

Now that you know everything you need to know about wireless vs. wired networks, devices, and Bluetooth, we’re confident you’re a little more fluent in your devices language. Consider this your Rosetta stone. Just try not to take it personally if you hear your devices talking about you. That happens when you’re head honcho.

So until next time! Whether you come back wired or wireless, we can’t wait to see what you accomplish. Because we know you’re going to do great things regardless.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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