Does Bluetooth use data?

You may use it in everyday life, but have you ever stopped to think "does Bluetooth use data"? Find out what exactly Bluetooth is, how it works, and whether it can drain your mobile data in this helpful guide. 

What is mobile data?

Mobile data allows you to access the internet on your phone while not connected to Wi-Fi (like your home broadband). 

How much mobile data you have available to use depends on the restrictions set by your phone plan. 

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a wireless form of technology that supports the connection between devices without the need of cables. 

You can use Bluetooth to:

  • Pair your smartphone with wireless headphones
  • Connect your phone to a pair of speakers
  • Connect your laptop to your television 
  • Connect your phone to your car

Bluetooth also allows you to transfer files wirelessly between devices.

Access on an iPhone

Go to Settings > Bluetooth > Turn toggle on [green] to see a list of compatible devices > Turn toggle off [grey] to disable Bluetooth

Access on an Android

Go to Settings > Bluetooth > Tap to switch on (or off) > Review list of compatible devices

How does Bluetooth work?

Bluetooth works by using radio waves to connect two devices, such as your phone and computer. 

You don’t actually need a phone signal or internet connection to use Bluetooth. This means that it can work anywhere in the world, as long as the devices you’re trying to link are both Bluetooth-compatible. 

Does Bluetooth use mobile data?

In short - no. 

You don’t need to turn on your phone’s data to activate Bluetooth, nor will it consume any mobile data whilst enabled.

If you find your data depleting while you’re using Bluetooth, it’s probably an app that’s using the data. Maybe it’s Spotify or YouTube if you’re listening to music, or Netflix if you’re streaming TV while travelling. 

But Bluetooth doesn’t need mobile data, an internet connection, or even a phone signal to work. 

Should you leave Bluetooth on all the time?

You shouldn’t leave your Bluetooth on all the time. Not only will it drain your battery faster, but you could be opening up a security threat.

When you have Bluetooth turned on, your device is hunting for a compatible device to pair with it. Anyone else’s device in the vicinity with Bluetooth turned on will also appear on the list to try and connect to. 

Saying that, you can’t just easily connect to someone else’s phone or headphones - devices typically require passwords to pair. This doesn’t mean that more skilled, tech-savvy hackers won’t be able to intercept your device, though, To be on the safe side, it’s best to turn Bluetooth off when you’re not using it. 

Having Bluetooth enabled will also drain your battery faster. If you’re noticing that your smartphone’s power is draining quicker than normal, you might want to switch off any wireless technology to preserve juice. 

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