Does Bluetooth Work Without Internet? Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi

Cassette with tape and wires.Cassette with tape and wires.

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Most of us have seen the Bluetooth symbol on our phones, tablets, or computers, but you may not completely understand what Bluetooth is or how it works. As someone who loves Bluetooth and uses it often, I wanted to share what I know about Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Does Bluetooth Work Without Internet? Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi: Yes, Bluetooth works without Wi-Fi. In fact, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi serve similar functions as they both wirelessly connect devices that are in range of each other. However, Bluetooth has a much shorter range than Wi-Fi. Bluetooth reaches approximately 30 feet.

Now that you know that you can use Bluetooth without the Internet, you will want to know how to use it on your devices. You may also be curious about how Bluetooth differs from Wi-Fi since they are similar types of technology.

Bluetooth Works Without Internet

Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connect compatible devices that are in range of each other. Wi-Fi connects devices using the Internet, but Bluetooth works without the Internet.

Bluetooth is completely free and comes ready to use on many devices.

Devices With Bluetooth

In order to use Bluetooth, you need two Bluetooth-compatible devices. Here is a list of the types of devices that have Bluetooth:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Computers
  • Wireless speakers
  • Wireless headphones
  • Wireless mouses and keyboards
  • Smart TVs
  • Car sound systems
  • Some printers
  • Some video game controllers
  • Some digital cameras

Curious on if a Smart TV is compatible with Bluetooth? Read our post here for all the info!

How to Use Bluetooth

The first step to using Bluetooth is to make sure you have two Bluetooth-compatible devices within 30 feet of each other.

Next, check that Bluetooth is turned on on both devices. On a phone, there will be a Bluetooth button most likely next to the Wi-Fi on/off button. For a device with a screen, you can turn Bluetooth on and off in the Bluetooth settings. For a device without a screen, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to put the device in pairing mode. 

You can use Bluetooth in the following ways:

  • To play audio to or from another device
  • To send files from one device to another
  • To operate a wireless keyboard or mouse

Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi

Once connected, two Bluetooth devices communicate with each other over a 2.4 GHz frequency just like many Wi-Fi networks. However, many Wi-Fi networks also have the option to use a faster 5 GHz frequency, but Bluetooth does not.

One main difference between these two forms of wireless transmission is that Wi-Fi can connect multiple devices to the same network while Bluetooth can only pair a device to one other device at a time.

A device can remember multiple Bluetooth connections that it has had in the past in order to be repaired easily. You can find the previously paired list in your device’s settings. This is similar to Wi-Fi since your device remembers previously used Wi-Fi networks in order to quickly reconnect to them when in range.

Another big difference between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is their reach. Bluetooth only reaches about 30 feet while most Wi-Fi networks have a range of 150-300 feet. You can use a Bluetooth range extender (Like this one on Amazon) to increase the range of a Bluetooth connection.

Ways to Use Bluetooth

Below are some fun and functional ways that you can use Bluetooth on your devices.

Places With No Wi-Fi

Bluetooth really comes in handy for outdoor activities like camping or lounging at the beach because it works when there is no Internet or phone service. You can use a Bluetooth speaker to play music from your phone or even from a friend’s phone.

If you are going to a place that doesn’t have phone service, make sure to download the music on your phone first. You can delete it after the trip to free up your phone’s storage space.

Bluetooth and Voice Assistant Devices

Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices have many built-in apps. They can play music from your Spotify account or read your text messages without needing to connect to your phone using Bluetooth. To use apps that aren’t built into your voice assistant device, you will need to connect it to your phone’s Bluetooth.

Using Bluetooth, Alexa and Google Home devices can play audio from your phone, tablet, computer, or TV.

Check on this article for more information on how to use Bluetooth with Amazon Alexa devices and this one for Google Home devices.

Bluetooth in Your Car

Bluetooth is what enables you to make phone calls and listen to your favorite podcast or album through your car’s sound system.

You can also use an Alexa device in your car by connecting it to your phone via Bluetooth. Echo Auto uses Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi, so you have access to Alexa while on the road. Click here to purchase an Echo Auto.

If you use Google Assistant, you can purchase an Anker Roav Bolt for your vehicle. This small device plugs into your car’s lighter socket and connects to your phone via Bluetooth.


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