Comparison between NFC and Bluetooth

Near field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth are the persuasive technologies for transmitting information over short ranges. In this blog, we discuss all the promising features of NFC and compare them with Bluetooth. The quick comparison between them is also present at the end of the blog in tabular form. Let’s check why NFC is becoming more popular for data transferring than Bluetooth.

  1. Overview of NFC and Bluetooth

Introduction to Bluetooth can be analyzed from the year 1994 when Ericsson developed this short-range communication between laptops and mobile phones for making calls. After that, several companies embedded Bluetooth in their devices to experience short-range communication globally. Bluetooth follows unlicensed frequency band (ISM) with the frequency ranges from 2.4 GHz to 2.485 GHz, concluding that it uses UHF radio waves for short-range communication. Furthermore, Special Interest Group (SIG) is famous for managing the standards, trademarks and specifications of Bluetooth technology.

The NFC technology was first welcomed by Sony company and NXP Semiconductors in the year 2002. Being the enhanced extension of RFID technology, it works on HF frequency band and thus uses 13.56 MHz for transmitting the data. ISO/IEC 14443 and ISO/IEC 18000-3 are the two international standards of NFC technology.

  1. Power Consumption

NFC consumes less power than Bluetooth. Less power consumption lets the NFC become part of passive devices. However, Bluetooth low energy (BLE) is the evolution of Bluetooth technology that consumes less power than conventional technology, and hence, it is better in contrast to NFC.

  1. Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, NFC makes a fast and rapid connection than Bluetooth devices. Only one-tenth of a second is needed by NFC devices to establish a secure connection between them. On the bottom side, Bluetooth involves manual sessions and sharing of passwords to establish a secured transmission process, which makes it unsuitable for faster connectivity. In addition to rapid connection, NFC devices share data anonymously, which means whatever is transmitted between them has no record, but Bluetooth keeps the record and history of every transmitted data, photo and file.

  1. Operating Range

The operating range of NFC is only 4 inches. The operating range of Bluetooth is more than NFC, i.e. 5-10 meters. When the operating range of technology is significantly high, it becomes non-resistive to intentional and unintentional interference. It shows that NFC is less prone to interference, and Bluetooth is vulnerable to interference.

  1. Secured Technology

Similar to the above, short-range means that technology is more secured and protected against frauds and hacking. NFC is more guarded than Bluetooth technology. Therefore, NFC is one step ahead than Bluetooth, and a secured mechanism helps the companies to build credit cards based on NFC. NFC cards don’t need any pairing and sharing sessions like Bluetooth; all you need to locate two devices at a distance of 10 cm for a business transaction.

  1. Easy to Use

Devices equipped with the NFC technology are simple to use as it only takes a few seconds to build the connection. In other words, NFC provides ten times faster access than Bluetooth technology.

Both NFC and Bluetooth can be seen as an essential communication technology for the arriving era of IOT. List of the above characteristics shows that NFC is better than Bluetooth in terms of speed, connectivity and security. The above features enable the companies to exploit NFC not only for making credit cards but for smart communication systems such as IoT and 5G.

Table 1: Difference Between NFC and Bluetooth

Number

Characteristics

NFC

Bluetooth

1)     

Invention

2002

1994

2)     

Operating Bands

HF (13.56 MHz)

2.4 GHz to 2.485 GHz

3)     

Operating Ranges

10 cm

5-10 m

4)     

Security Level

High

Low

5)     

Vulnerability Level

Low

High

6)     

Connectivity

Fast

Low

7)     

Power Consumption

Low

High

8)     

Useableness

Easy to use

Hard to use

9)     

Communication

Duplex mode

Duplex mode

10)  

Data Rate

106 Kbit/s to 424 Kbit/s

24 Mbit/s