VersusNFC vs Bluetooth: a comparison of wireless technologies

NFC vs Bluetooth: a comparison of wireless technologies

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that lets devices on the move and those that stay in one place share data over short distances. It works with UHF radio waves between 2.402 GHz and 2.480 GHz. Bluetooth uses frequency-hopping spread spectrum, which is a type of radio technology. It breaks up the data being sent into packets and sends each packet on one of the 79 Bluetooth channels. There is 1 MHz of space between each channel.

In access control, most of the devices are based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which saves energy and works well. Systems that use BLE technology can run for months on just one battery cell. For a Bluetooth-based access control system to work, there must be a direct link between the Bluetooth device and the controller. This is done with the help of software. As smartphones become more and more important to us, more and more businesses are looking for ways to use them in access control systems.

As Bluetooth phones become more common, it’s only natural that digital keys will be added to them. NFC, which stands for “Near Field Communication,” is also a wireless technology. It lets devices that work with it talk to each other over a short distance at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. NFC needs at least one device that can send a signal and another that can receive it. NFC uses an alternating magnetic field to work, which means that no power is sent out as radio waves. This keeps similar devices or radio communications that use the same frequency from interfering with each other.

NFC vs Bluetooth Comparison Table

TechnologyRadio-frequency wireless communicationShort-range wireless communication
Communication RangeVery short range (typically < 4 cm)Short to medium range (up to 100 meters)
Data Transfer RateTypically up to 424 kbpsVaries (typically up to several Mbps)
Power ConsumptionLow power consumptionModerate to high power consumption
Pairing RequirementNo pairing requiredPairing required for initial connection
Connection Setup TimeInstantaneousMay require a few seconds for connection establishment
Device DiscoveryManual touch or close proximityDevice discovery and selection through scanning
Simultaneous ConnectionsSupports multiple peer-to-peer devicesSupports multiple devices (number depends on the profile)
Use CasesMobile payments, access cards, tagsWireless audio, file transfer, peripheral connectivity
SecurityShort-range limits vulnerabilityEncryption and authentication measures in place
Official linkVisit WebsiteVisit Website

NFC vs Bluetooth user interface

NFC vs Bluetooth

Based on how they work and what they’re used for, NFC (Near Field Communication) and Bluetooth have different user interfaces. Most interactions with NFC are easy and straightforward. When two users with NFC devices get close to each other or an NFC tag, they can talk to each other. Most of the time, there is no complicated setup or pairing process, which makes it quick and easy. NFC usually works through touch or close proximity, and communication starts right away.

On the other hand, Bluetooth has a more flexible way for people to use it. To get two devices to work together, you have to scan them and pair them. For users to find nearby devices, they need to go into their device’s settings or use special Bluetooth pairing modes.

Once the devices have been found, the user usually has to choose the one they want and start the pairing process. To set up a secure connection, you may need to enter a passcode or confirm a PIN. Once paired, Bluetooth lets you do things like stream music wirelessly, send files, and connect to other devices.

NFC vs Bluetooth Features


  • Short-Range Communication: Near-field communication, or NFC, works over a very short distance, usually less than 4 cm. This requirement for close proximity makes sure that communication between devices is safe and reliable.
  • Contactless Interactions: Two NFC-enabled devices can talk to each other without touching if they are close enough or if you tap an NFC tag. Most of the time, this feature is used for mobile payments, access cards, and sharing information.
  • Peer-to-Peer Communication: NFC supports peer-to-peer communication, which means that two NFC-enabled devices can share information directly with each other without the need for a middle network.
  • Read/Write Capability: NFC devices can both read and write information to NFC tags or smart cards. Ticketing, authentication, and data transfer are all possible with this feature.
  • Compatibility with Other Contactless Technologies: NFC is made to work with other contactless technologies, so it can be used with things like payment terminals or access control systems that are already in place.


  • Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth makes it possible for devices to talk to each other and share information without having to use physical cables.
  • Medium to Long Range: Bluetooth has a medium to long range for communication, usually up to 100 meters (depending on the version of Bluetooth and other factors in the environment).
  • Multiple Device Connections: Bluetooth lets you connect more than one device at the same time. With this feature, users can connect multiple peripherals to a single device, such as speakers, headphones, keyboards, and other accessories.
  • High Data Transfer Rates: As Bluetooth technology has grown, each new version can handle more data at a faster rate. This makes it easy to stream audio and video content, transfer files, and sync up data.
  • Functions based on profiles: Bluetooth profiles describe the functions and applications that Bluetooth devices can use. A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) is a profile for high-quality audio streaming, and HFP (Hands-Free Profile) is a profile for hands-free calling.

NFC vs Bluetooth Security

NFC vs Bluetooth

When it comes to security, NFC (Near Field Communication) and Bluetooth are different. NFC works over a very short distance, usually less than 4 cm, which makes it harder for unauthorized people to get in. This physical restriction adds a level of security because an attacker would have to be close to the NFC interaction in order to steal or change data. NFC also works with encryption and authentication protocols, which adds another layer of security to transactions and the transfer of data.

Bluetooth, on the other hand, works over a wider range, which makes wireless connections easier to use. But this wider range also makes it easier for unauthorized people to access or intercept information. Bluetooth has many safety features to deal with this. It uses encryption protocols to protect the data being sent, so it can’t be easily intercepted or decoded by people who shouldn’t have access to it. Bluetooth devices also have pairing systems that require users to confirm a passkey or PIN in order to make a trusted connection. This helps stop unauthorized devices from using the connection.

In terms of security, both NFC and Bluetooth keep getting better. The Bluetooth technology standards have gone through a number of changes, and each new version adds new security features and protocols. Even with NFC, security has been improved to close potential holes and improve the overall security of transactions and data transfers.

NFC: Pros and Cons


  • Quick and easy data transfer
  • Contactless payments
  • Simplified pairing and connectivity


  • Limited range
  • Incompatibility with older devices
  • Vulnerability to eavesdropping

Bluetooth: Pros and Cons


  • Wide device compatibility
  • Longer range
  • Versatile functionality


  • Interference issues
  • Limited bandwidth
  • Power consumption

Which one should you consider?

At first glance, Bluetooth and NFC seem to be the same thing. Under the surface, though, there are a lot of differences. So, even though both NFC and Bluetooth devices use wireless transfer methods, they are very different in a lot of other ways.

Bluetooth is faster when it comes to transferring files, but NFC is safer and uses less battery. NFC is often used to control access and pay for things because it works best over short distances to send small amounts of data securely. Each person has to decide for themselves which is better all around. Bluetooth, on the other hand, is not as safe, but it has a longer range and is most often found in wireless headphones and speakers.


How fast is NFC compared to Bluetooth?

We all know that images, videos, and documents can be sent from one device to another using both NFC and Bluetooth. But NFC is said to transfer data much more quickly. It is said that NFC is 10 times faster than Bluetooth. If we’re talking about moving data, speed is important.

Which is better NFC or Bluetooth?

Bluetooth’s wavelength is about 176.8 times smaller than NFC’s. Because of this, Bluetooth transfers data a lot faster than NFC. The best wireless communication technologies are Bluetooth and NFC.

Amy Hinckley
Amy Hinckley
The Dell Inspiron 15 that her father purchased from QVC sparked the beginning of her interest in technology. At Bollyinside, Amy Hinckley is in charge of content editing. Emma's interests outside of working include going for bike rides, playing video games, and watching football when she's not at her laptop.
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