Does Bluetooth Use Data?

How does Bluetooth work, anyway?

Bluetooth doesn't use any of the data from your data plan. However, when you stream to a Bluetooth device, you use some of the data in your data plan.

How Does Bluetooth Work?

Bluetooth enables devices (such as smartphones) to transmit radio waves. This capability is built within devices, so there's no need for any other data transmission source (such as a mobile or Wi-Fi network) to be used. You can use Bluetooth keyboards, mice, and speakers.

You can see this for yourself by disconnecting your device from any Wi-Fi or mobile data network and then playing, for example, the music you saved onto your device through a Bluetooth-connected speaker. Even without an internet connection, the audio plays as normal.

Does Bluetooth Use Data or Wi-Fi?

Anyone concerned that they might be racing through their monthly data allowance can rest assured that Bluetooth doesn't use anything extra beyond what you're using to connect to the internet and stream media.

This last point is worth stressing. Bluetooth itself doesn't use extra mobile data, but if you use a mobile or Wi-Fi network to connect to the internet and stream, say, a TV program, you'll use up your data allowance (if you have one). Using Bluetooth to transmit what you're streaming to another device doesn't consume additional data, but it's important to keep in mind that it doesn't prevent that initial data consumption.

hands-free bluetooth phone call
ML Harris / Getty Images

Do I Need to Connect to the Internet to Use Bluetooth?

Another way of putting things here is to state that Bluetooth doesn't use an internet connection to transmit data. Each Bluetooth device talks to one another regardless of an internet connection being present.

When you use a Bluetooth keyboard, the keystrokes aren't transmitted to the internet and then back to your computer. The transmission goes from the keyboard to the computer directly.

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