No, Bluetooth doesn't use cellular data — here's how the popular wireless technology connects your devices

ShutterstockYou can use Bluetooth without worrying about data charges.

  • Bluetooth doesn’t use data, but instead uses short-range radio waves to connect devices.
  • You can use Bluetooth devices even if you don’t have cellular service or an internet connection.
  • If you think that your Bluetooth connection is using data, it’s more likely that an app you’re using is the culprit.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Since its first release on a consumer device in 1999, Bluetooth has become one of the most popular pieces of technology in the world. Nearly every modern phone, computer, and gaming console can send and receive Bluetooth signals.

These Bluetooth signals let you connect devices entirely wirelessly, rendering bulky cords and wires obsolete. Bluetooth speakers and headphones are some of the best examples of the technology’s strengths, allowing you to listen to music and even take phone calls without standard connections.

However, with all the different wireless signals we use today –Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular data, and more – it can be confusing to figure out how it all works, and what intersects with what.

And if you’re on a limited data plan, you might wonder whether using a Bluetooth device will impact your plan.

Here’s what you should know.

Bluetooth does not use cellular data – here’s how its signals work

To put it simply: no, using Bluetooth won’t affect your cellular data in any way.

Bluetooth works using short-range radio waves, not an internet connection. This means that Bluetooth will work anywhere you have two compatible devices – you don’t need any sort of data plan, or even a cellular connection.

Jennifer Still/Business InsiderBluetooth comes built into all sorts of devices.

This makes Bluetooth ideal for travel, and other occasions in which internet access might not be available.

So you can freely listen to music or watch a TV show using Bluetooth headphones, for instance, without data being taken.

However, even though Bluetooth doesn’t use data, streaming apps will. So if you’re using your Bluetooth headphones to listen to Spotify or Netflix, and you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, those apps will still use data.

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