No Bluetooth does not use data, well Bluetooth itself does not use data. However, some Bluetooth-enabled apps do use data. In other words, while using Bluetooth itself does not in any way count as data usage, if you are using an app that in any way uses data as well as Bluetooth, then you will use data through the app.
Let me explain:
There are several occasions wherein just before you turn on your Bluetooth, you pause, and a gush of anxiety rushes over you as you wonder will this use my data?
You wonder to yourself, does Bluetooth use data?
If someone asks this question, what they are really casing is ‘Does Bluetooth Use Data that contributes to my monthly data bill? or when I use Bluetooth, will this usage be recorded and charged on my phone bill?
Well, let us put your fears to rest because Bluetooth itself does not use data. However, if you’re using an app that accesses data while using Bluetooth, you will use data through that app. Here’s an example.
Let’s say you’re listening to music on Spotify with Bluetooth headphones; since Spotify is accessing data, you’ll, of course, be using data to access the Spotify app.
However, as you can agree, it is the app that is using the data and not Bluetooth. Bluetooth does not use data.
Nevertheless, you may want a specific explanation as to why Bluetooth will not use your data. In that case, we have got you covered, read on to find out why.
What Is Bluetooth and Mobile Data Anyway?
To answer the question ‘does Bluetooth use data’ effectively, we need to understand what Bluetooth, as well as mobile data, are.
What Is Bluetooth?
To answer the question of whether or not Bluetooth will use your data, we should first clarify what Bluetooth is.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows devices to exchange data over short distances using radio waves at 2.4 GHz. Additionally, here’s an explanation of Bluetooth and how it works.
What Is Mobile Data?
While we are at it, let’s also define mobile data (mobile broadband). Mobile data is simply a marketing term for wireless access to the internet on mobile devices.
Mobile broadband uses the spectrum of 225 MHz to 3700 MHz.
Now, as we can see, Bluetooth and mobile data are two very separate things. Bluetooth allows connection between two devices while mobile data allows connection between your mobile device and the internet.
Therefore, there is no way that by the action of enabling your Bluetooth, you could use up your data as that is a separate connection to a network (the internet).
Why Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are Different?
From our explanations above, you may have come to the conclusion that Bluetooth and Wifi are different; and you would be correct. Bluetooth and WiFi are definitely not the same.
Remember, Wifi signals are distributed from access points including routers however Bluetooth communications are always device to device. This means that WiFi and Bluetooth will never interfere with each other.
Does Bluetooth Affect WiFi?
Many people believe that WiFi and Bluetooth can interfere in some way, causing data usage, but that’s not true.
You can try it, turn off your wifi and disconnect your phone from any mobile network – then try to use your Bluetooth; you will realize it will still work.
Yes, Bluetooth devices will still communicate with each other even though the devices are not connected to any WiFi or data network. This is why many people chose to unforget a Bluetooth device if they think the connected device is causing issues. To learn more, check out our guide on how to unforget a Bluetooth device.
This should prove to you that Bluetooth communications do not interfere with WiFi communications nor does it interfere with data communications. These are all separate means of communication that work in different ways.
Now, let’s look at certain situations in which using apps with Bluetooth could actually use up your data:
1. Using Bluetooth To Talk Hands-Free In A Car
Let’s say you want to use your Bluetooth headset to talk hands-free in your car while driving. Will this use your data?
Answer: No, unless you are using a data service such as WhatsApp, Viber or Skype to make that phone call.
In that case, it is the app (WhatsApp/Skype/Viper that is using data and not Bluetooth).
2. Listening To Music Using A Bluetooth Headphone/Speaker And Music App
This one was already explained in the intro
Do I Need to Connect to the Internet to Use Bluetooth?
Apart from the misconception that Bluetooth uses data. there is another popular misconception – that you need to connect to the internet to use Bluetooth.
To make things clear, you do not need to be connected to the internet to use Bluetooth. Bluetooth devices can connect and send data between themselves whether or not they have an internet connection.
Think about it, if you are using a Bluetooth speaker, you can play a music file from your laptop using the Bluetooth speaker right? You don’t need an internet or data connection.
However, with some devices, you can share the internet via Bluetooth. What do we mean? Let’s say you have internet access on your smartphone but your friend doesn’t. You can share your internet with your friend using Bluetooth.
How To Avoid Wasting Data
Most times people mistakenly believe their Bluetooth is using their data because their data was used up when Bluetooth happened to be on or data was used up when they happened to be using Bluetooth.
1. Ensure your smartphone is set to automatically switch to Wifi once a Wifi network is in range.
2. Ensure your smartphone’s software updates are always set to update using wifi only and not using mobile data.
3. Turn off or delete unnecessary apps that you don’t normally use or do use at all. Apps such as Facebook and Twitter use data in the background. For example, notifications are constantly pushed to these apps which means they run silently in the background and use your data unless you stop them from running.
4. Turn Off Data Roaming. This is a major one! Data roaming charges can be extremely expensive! Turn off data roaming unless you really need it!
5. Turn off automatic download which may be used for automatically downloading files used by various apps.
6. Use low power mode. In low power mode, your phone won’t update apps, fetch notifications, fetch mail, or anything similar. This means you will save data.
7. Turn off Bluetooth when not in use. This is very important to prevent unauthorized access to your Bluetooth speaker. When people hijack your speaker, they can cause several issues. Check out our article on how to prevent unauthorized access to Bluetooth speakers.
That’s how you avoid wasting data, but as far as Bluetooth goes, it does not use your data, the only thing it will drain is your battery 🙂
Do You Need An Internet Connection To Use Bluetooth?
Not at all! Bluetooth usage does not require any internet connection to transmit data. And the same way, when you plan to use a Bluetooth speaker, an internet connection is not required to play the music coming from a paired audio source.
The Bluetooth device communicates freely with another device without an internet connection.
What are the Disadvantages of Bluetooth?
It appears that Bluetooth is a perfect technology that will cost you nothing to use. However, Bluetooth connections can be lost in certain conditions, and you may have nothing to do to rectify the situation. Compared to Wi-Fi, it also has significantly low bandwidth. At the same time, Bluetooth only allows short-range communication. It can also be hacked if you fail to do due diligence.
Does Bluetooth use data? Do Bluetooth headphones use data? Does having your Bluetooth on use data? All the same questions.
So, bottom line, the answer to the popular question ‘do Bluetooth speakers use data?‘ or even ‘does Bluetooth use data‘? is no. Unless you are using another app or service with Bluetooth, you need not worry about your data usage!
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.