WiFi iPad on iPhone's Hotspot... WiFi or Bluetooth?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by JudgeKenny, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. JudgeKenny macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2011
    I just got an iPad 2 and it is the WiFi-only model. I didn't get the 3G model because I plan on using my iPhone's Hotspot feature (I already upgraded to the 4GB plan with AT&T).

    Now, my question is, are there any advantages to connecting via WiFi as opposed to Bluetooth, or vice versa? Will one give me a more stable or faster connection? Which one would use less battery, or does it even matter?

    I'm new to this, so I appreciate any advice I can get. Thanks!

  2. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Bluetooth uses similar frequencies to WiFi but at a lower power. This typically results in less range and data throughput but it depends on your needs. The iPad 2 has Bluetooth 2.1, and has a maximum throughput of about 2.1Mbps, so if your data connection exceeds that then I wouldn't recommend it. The other thing with Bluetooth is that they're always paired so I believe your iPad will sustain a constant Internet connection (assuming HotSpot left on).
  3. Caliber26 macrumors 68000


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    What would disrupt the connection, while on WiFi? The phone going to sleep (screen lock)?
  4. M Quick macrumors 6502

    M Quick

    Nov 9, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden

    No, as he said it will sustain a constant internet connection. Even if it's locked it will share the internet from the phone.
  5. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    With Bluetooth they would remain paired as long as they remained in range. Even after 30 mins + of inactivity.

    With wifi, the iPhone will turn off Internet sharing if it has no wifi clients after 1 minute (or a few, not positive on the duration of time, but it's brief). After this happens the user must go back into settings and tap on the hotspot preference again to reactive the wifi sharing. This is an energy saving feature.

    So bluetooth uses less power than wifi, at the expense of range and throughput. In real world use, at least where I live, it makes no difference in speed. When connecting with wifi, if you put your iPad to sleep, after a few minutes of inactivity it will shutoff the wifi radio. At this point the iPhone will have no wireless clients connected to it anymore.

    Wifi sharing is most beneficial when sharing with multiple devices simultaneously or when tethering to a device that isn't supported with Bluetooth.

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