Bluetooth Class 1 Vs. Class 2

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The Bluetooth wireless format has become increasingly popular since its debut in the late 1990s. Although Bluetooth technology has not been around for a long time, it has gone through two full iterations, each with their own specifications and differences. Though the two main versions are very similar in function, there are subtle differences that set them apart in terms of quality.

Range

  • The biggest change between the Bluetooth 1.0 protocol and the 2.0 protocol is range. According to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group specifications, products with a 1.0 standard are very limited in range, with most only having a 10-meter radius. Though a range of up to 100 meters was possible with the Bluetooth 1.0 standard, power consumption issues made devices with this range very rare. The 2.0 standard, however, has improved power consumption and the typical range for Bluetooth 2.0 devices is between 20 and 30 meters.

Frequencies

  • The original Bluetooth protocol only had support for a simple frequency within a personal area network, which made it very susceptible to interference, according to BlueTomorrow. The 1.2 Bluetooth protocol made several advancements in this area and introduced frequency jumping to make use of multiple frequencies when there were broadcast conflicts. However, Bluetooth 2.0 improved the frequency issue exponentially when it introduced multicasting, which allowed for more broadcasts and transmissions to occur within a single frequency.

Clarity

  • Bluetooth 1.0 devices often had major issues with voice clarity, according to BlueTomorrow, which was caused by its use of one simple frequency for transmission. This allowed for plenty of vocal interference. Bluetooth 2.0 on the other hand, with its multicasting technology, boasts a crisper and cleaner sound than its predecessors.

Transmission Speed

  • As far as the connections themselves are concerned, the transmission speeds in Bluetooth 2.0 products have been measured to be 3 times faster than 1.0 products, according to BlueTomorrow. This has allowed for Bluetooth development to expand to wireless game controllers, printers, and keyboards.

Security

  • Bluetooth 2.0 has also improved security, according to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group specifications. The term "Bluejacker" has been coined to refer to those who were able to exploit the simple frequency system of 1.0 devices and intercept data transferred on these networks. But thanks to better data encryption and multi-layered frequencies, Bluetooth 2.0 has been able to stay ahead of the Bluejacking phenomenon and provide better security for its users.

References

  • Photo Credit "Gadget Bag January 2006" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Glutnix (Brett Taylor) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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