WiFi direct vs Bluetooth 5.0: Which is Best for File Sharing?

wifi direct vs bluetooth

Smart devices have various ways by which they connect and communicate between themselves. These options also enable their users to send files of different sizes within a few minutes. Today two of these options that feature prominently on most PCs and smartphones are WiFi Direct vs Bluetooth 5.0.

Both specs have numerous applications on devices that support them. For instance, WiFi Direct is used by file-sharing apps such as Xender and its also used to display videos or images on connected TV sets and other compatible technology. Besides Bluetooth 5.0 enables people to connect their devices and transmit data and audio quickly and more straightforward.

Since both specs have slightly similar functions, people often wonder which of these features are stronger than the other. On this blog post, I will compare WiFi Direct vs Bluetooth 5.0 as well as show which spec comes as an ideal option between both specs.

What is Bluetooth 5.0?

This feature is the latest version of Bluetooth technology that was launched in 2016 and managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. It also offers excellent services than its predecessors. Although it is an improvement of Bluetooth v4.2, the latest Bluetooth update is called Bluetooth 5.0 instead of Bluetooth v5.0.

As mentioned earlier, Bluetooth 5 has exciting features than its past versions. One of such features is a maximum wireless range of 120m. Combined with the ability to send audio to two devices, users can produce a stereo effect at the location and share audio files between multiple rooms in a building. Furthermore, devices with Bluetooth 5 can connect easily with IoT technology.

Apart from its range, the service offers Beacon technology which helps people navigate within crowded public spaces such as malls. Also, retailers use Beacon technology to send ads to prospective customers near their stores. According to the Bluetooth SIG, more than 300 million of these beacons will be available by next year.

What is WiFi Direct?

Wi-Fi Direct is the latest generation of wireless communication that stands as a certificate of the WiFi Alliance that includes more than 600 tech companies such as Apple, Dell, and Intel. Also, the Samsung Galaxy S was the first device to add this technology to its list of specs. Today, a large number of smartphones, cameras, and laptops support this connectivity option, which is even NFC compatible.

Using WiFi Direct, it’s possible to connect compatible devices (without internet access) with an active hotspot, modem, or router. It also enables users to set up a wireless network among numerous devices and even watch images on TV sets from their handhelds.

WiFi Direct makes it quicker for users to share large files like HD videos and other documents between compatible devices. Due to such support, apps such as Xender enables people to transmit and receive files with a data connection.

Unlike first-generation WiFi, this version requires supported devices to choose their access point from other connected devices. Immediately, one of the phones or laptops become the access point, and a compatible item connects to it. Finally, WiFi Direct does not need passwords. Instead, it works with WPS (WiFi Protected Setup) that allows a secure but easier connection to a network.

WiFi vs Bluetooth 5.0: Which is better?

Looking at WiFi Direct vs Bluetooth, both share some features. For instance, both services do not require cables and a central access point to which smartphones or other devices can connect. Instead, they enable compatible devices to communicate with another via pairing.

However, as expected, other features make one of these technologies overshadow the other. Let us look at the differences under the following subheadings.

Transfer Speeds

Devices that use Bluetooth 5 will enjoy data transfer speeds of 2Mbps while Wi-Fi Direct promises 250Mbps. Even at lower rates, WFi Direct still comes as a better alternative for large file transfers. However, the performance of Wi-Fi enabled devices depends on the network, location, and devices themselves.


One of the exciting features of WiFi Direct is its extensive range of up to 200m while Bluetooth 5 has a theoretical reach of 243m (which might be less in real-world applications).

Power Consumption

WiFi Direct features consume more power than Bluetooth 5 technology. If a user activates WiFi Direct on your device, you could lose within 2-20 watts of energy while Bluetooth 5 consumes a maximum of 1.0W ( within the same period). Overall, Bluetooth 5 is the ideal option in this section.

Devices Supported

Devices supported by WiFi Direct include laptops, smart TVs, desktops, mobile phones, and smartwatches. Also, Bluetooth 5 is available on the above except desktops.

WiFi vs Bluetooth 5.0: Conclusion

WiFi Direct and Bluetooth 5 are some of the latest technologies that connect devices. They also use wireless features and do not require a router or modem before establishing a network. However, WiFi Direct beats its rival by having a longer reach and faster transfer rates while the Bluetooth 5 consumes less power.


Posted by Abiodun Adewusi

Abiodun Adewusi is a freelance writer who lives in Nigeria. As a writer, he is passionate about providing content on technology helping people keep up with the latest trends. You can see some of his work on Medium and Ezine.

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