RT Cunningham

Bluetooth vs. WiFi vs. USB Cable – Various Ways to Transfer Files

bluetooth

Of all the ways to transfer files from a laptop to a cell phone and vice-versa, bluetooth is probably one of the easiest to set up and use frequently. The Wikipedia page on it explains a lot.

The hardest way to transfer files is using a micro SD card. You have to open your cell phone to insert it or remove it. It can be done and I’ve done it in the past, when I had no other way to do it.

File Transfers through a USB Cable

Despite what you may be told, you can’t use just any USB cable for file transfers. It has to be made for it. On the other hand, you can use just about any USB cable to charge your phone. This is something I was reminded of after I started using a bluetooth headset and its brand new USB cable. USB options appeared when I plugged the cable into my cell phone, something I hadn’t seen in a couple of years.

I’m not in the habit of buying things I won’t use. I hadn’t tried to transfer files with a USB cable in years, so I didn’t feel the need to buy a cable that would do the job. The cable that came with the headset is the first one capable of USB transfers in longer than I can remember.

Windows 10 recognizes the cell phone and the extra micro SD card within it. I can transfer files directly to either the phone’s storage or the card itself. I can’t do that using the next option.

File Transfers over WiFi

There are a few cell phone applications that let you transfer files over WiFi. Some make you go through websites and some do not. Airdroid and SHAREit work well but Dukto is my favorite. It only requires all the devices to be connected to the same router, with or without a connection to the Internet. I used it for so long, I completely forgot about doing it with a USB cable.

WiFi file sharing apps don’t work so well when your WiFi connection is already saturated. It happens to me when my older son, Joseph, and my grandchildren are playing Fortnite, Minecraft or Rocket League at two different locations in the house. When they’re knee deep in the hoopla, I’m lucky if a Dukto file transfer will even start.

File Transfers with Bluetooth

This is something I have yet to do. Microsoft has a support page for it, so I know I’ll be able to do it with Windows 10 on my laptop when (and if) I get the urge to do it that way. I don’t know if I can do it with Linux Mint on my other laptop and I really don’t care to find out.

Bluetooth is easy to set up. It must be. Why else would you be able to find bluetooth support everywhere, even in cars? I had issues on my cell phone when I installed one custom ROM but not on the other. Well, I did, but only for a short time.

I now listen to music on my bluetooth headset. I can disconnect from the cell phone with a long press on the headset button. As long as I don’t turn off bluetooth on the phone, I can reconnect with it hours later. I don’t use bluetooth for file transfers, well, because I can’t. My laptop doesn’t have a built-in bluetooth adapter and I’m not in a hurry to buy one.

I didn’t even think about bluetooth connectivity when I bought my laptop. I didn’t think about it when I bought Joseph a laptop as a Christmas gift either. His laptop actually has a built-in bluetooth adapter.

I’ll eventually buy a Bluetooth adapter, also called a dongle. I checked at the local Walmart store and couldn’t find any at all. I then checked at both Amazon.com and Walmart.com and found I could get one for under $10. Because of the shipping cost, I won’t order one by itself.

Bluetooth Speakers

I still have what people call a subwoofer at my house in the Philippines. It looks kind of like a boombox but it’s probably more properly called a bluetooth speaker. I can plug a USB flash drive into it or listen to radio on it as well, although I can’t think of a good reason to do either.

Joseph bought a bluetooth speaker for his cell phone recently and I don’t know what brand it is (I barely looked at it). I only know it’s round and that he said it was a 360 degree speaker. It sounds pretty good but not better than the one I don’t have with me. And I really don’t need one with me. I don’t plan to be involved in any outdoor parties until I return to the Philippines.

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RT Cunningham
January 5, 2019
Cell Phones