Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Rocket Ranch, FL
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BT and Wifi(802.11) are similar in that they are wireless data communication protocols. BT is lower power hence it's shorter range(30 or 40ft). Wifi can do almost 300ft. Maybe more, these days. They both send 0's and 1's using radio waves. What the end devices do with them is different. BT usually converts serial formatted(rs232) data(think mouse, printer, usb devices) to travel via radio wave instead of cable. The receiving device converts it back into serial. Wifi takes Internet Protocol(IP) formatted data(802.3) and encapsulates the packets in an 802.11 wrapper right before transmission by the wireless device. The wrapper contains info about the wireless sender, destination, and security protocol. The receiving end "unwraps" the wireless wrapper and looks at the IP info to send the packet to it's destination along the wire. You only need two devices to have a "network". Just like ethernet, you can connect directly to another device without any other equipment. With ethernet, you use a cross-over cable. It physically connects the + and - wires of the Tx(transmission) circuit to Rx(receiver) + and - and vice versa.
With wireless, it's called an Ad-hoc network but it functions the same way. This is how two smart phones can directly share a file out in the wilderness. I'm saying this all from memory so don't quote me, but this should get you started in understanding the differences.
Grammar: The difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.
Last edited by Kapn.K; 09-07-2012 at 02:34 PM.