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NFC vs. Bluetooth, what is the difference?

Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth are wireless technologies. You may have used them a couple of times already. But you have not realized that is what they are called.

As you may know, many businesses utilize these technologies for many reasons. For example, they are used to develop mobile apps. In this article, we will discuss the difference between the two.

What is NFC?

NFC is a wireless technology that utilizes radio waves. It allows two devices to exchange data within a very short range. You would see that NFC is commonly used in contactless payment systems.

All you need to do is download an application on your phone and scan it on a device reader. Then the payment automatically transfers to the seller’s account. The maximum range that it can work is 10 centimeters or 4 inches. There are three NFC modes of operating.

  • Peer-to-peer: This happens when two devices transfer data. You can send your friend some memes and she can do the same.
  • Read or write: This happens when one device receives data from a passive one.
  • Card emulation: This turns your NFC device into a contactless card so you can use it for cashless transactions.

You can use NFC for a lot of things. This includes wireless wallets, wireless keys, and instant file sharing. However, the most common usage of NFC is the contactless payment method.

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is another type of wireless technology. A lot of people are quite familiar with it. You can use it to share or transfer files. All you need to do is access your phone settings and turn on the Bluetooth mode.

Bluetooth uses wavelength to transmit data or files such as videos, images, or files. It works within 30 feet which is longer than NFC. You can also use Bluetooth to have remote access to things. For example, Bluetooth mice do not have to be connected to the computer. Yet you can still use it to click things on your screen. As long as you maintain the allowable range, it can fully function.

Other devices that leverage Bluetooth technologies are headsets and wireless projection on television. With a smart TV, you can connect your phone via Bluetooth. Hence, you can display anything on your phone on TV.

Such functionality is very useful for businesses, especially in the retail industry.

NFC vs. Bluetooth: Understanding the Similarities

Let us understand the similarities between NFC and Bluetooth.

  • You can use both technologies for data transfer and communication. NFC allows a device reader to read and verify data. Once it is done, it pushes through with the transaction.
  • NFC and Bluetooth may be different in terms of speed and efficiency. But they are the best option for short-distance data transfer.
  • Both belong to wireless forms of communication. Various mobile app development companies are using them to develop services. You can find these apps on your phone on a day-to-day basis.

NFC vs. Bluetooth: What is the Difference?

Do not confuse yourself with these two technologies. In simpler terms, these are two wireless technologies that make life a lot easier. Read on and learn a thing or two about them.

NFC can only function in short distances.

NFC can function at a maximum distance of 4 inches. Bluetooth can still transfer files even when two devices are 30 feet away from each other. However, you must understand that there are distinct uses for these technologies.

Bluetooth takes longer to share files.

NFC can transfer payments in just one beep. However, you cannot do this with Bluetooth. Bluetooth is not used for transferring payments but more on file sharing. Sharing an image or a video can take at least a few seconds. Sharing a hundred files could slow down the transfer rate.

NFC has lower power consumption.

Bluetooth can drain your phone’s battery if you keep it turned on. This is you only need to turn it on if you need to transfer some files. On the other hand, you can turn on an NFC device read for the whole day. People will simply scan their devices into it to make payments. But it does not go low battery immediately.

NFC is safer than Bluetooth.

NFC is safer than Bluetooth because it requires a very close range. Bluetooth does not require devices to be very close to each other. This gap is prone to hacks and loss of files.

NFC is more likely used for payments.

When it comes to mobile transfer, NFC becomes handy. Samsung Pay and Android Pay are the biggest names that use NFC technology. If you have this application on your phone, you pay for the stuff you buy without using real cash. Simply scan your phone on the device reader. Then you can transfer payment online.

Bluetooth requires devices to be paired.

Notice that Bluetooth requires you to pair devices first. When you send a file, you need to turn on Bluetooth and scan nearby devices. Once you see the device you need to pair them and enter the pin code. With NFC, you don’t have to do this. This is also the reason why the latter is a lot faster compared to Bluetooth.

NFC can work on passive devices.

A passive device is a component that can only receive but not send backfiles. For example, an NFC device reader can process payment. But you cannot use it to return the payment. With Bluetooth, both devices need to be active. Phones are active devices with Bluetooth capability. On the other hand, if the other device does not have Bluetooth then you cannot transfer any file.

Bluetooth and NFC are two important technologies for all of us. Nowadays, it is hard to live without them. While we use NFC to transfer payments, Bluetooth is also used in a wide range of activities. If you are a business that needs help on how to leverage these technologies, it is time you contact an expert.

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