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At this point, the best computer mice often come without tails. The cord-cutting trend continues affecting all corners of the tech world, and mice are no exception. In fact, most computer users now prefer a wireless option. However, while the desire for cordless mice is strong, many users need help understanding the different types of wireless connections and how they might change their experience. But fear not, because we’re going explain the difference between a Bluetooth mouse vs a wireless mouse below.
For those searching for the best mouse, a great place to start is to understand what types of computer mice there are. From there, you can compare options, such as choosing between a paracord cable vs a bungee vs a wireless mouse.
Some mice brands, like Logitech, offer unifying receivers allowing users to connect multiple devices to a USB receiver.
Wireless mice work by establishing a connection between a receiver and a transmitter. The transmitter is built into the mouse, while the receiver is plugged into the computer’s USB port or monitor.
There are two main types of wireless mouse connections. First, Bluetooth is a specific wireless technology brand that operates on a unique frequency. Many computers have Bluetooth receivers, meaning they can connect to that frequency without needing an additional plug-in USB dongle. This Bluetooth frequency works for any compatible device, whether a mouse, keyboard, or speaker. And multiple devices can connect to a single receiver.
The other type of wireless mouse is known as a “radio-frequency” or USB device. This is because the mouse transmits a frequency that the wireless dongle can only pick up.
By definition, the two are essentially the same thing; because, functionally, they are. However, there are some differences in outcome that are worth considering before purchasing.
We also offer a lot of great mouse-related content to help gamers. For example, we have a helpful article explaining the differences between using a controller vs a mouse for playing Halo Infinite.
One area where a USB adapter wireless mouse has an advantage over Bluetooth is that the connection speed usually is faster and stronger. The reason is that the USB connection only works between the device and the computer, allowing the frequency to operate in its own realm.
A Bluetooth connection may become bogged down if other connections, like speakers or headphones, operate on the same frequency. Bluetooth connections are also more likely to be cut out due to physical obstacles like walls or furniture.
For those with a Bluetooth device that comes with a USB receiver, a really handy trick is to know how to use a dongle as a Bluetooth connection.
If you lose the USB receiver for your radiofrequency mouse, the manufacturer often won’t replace it.
Bluetooth mice have a wider range of use because they are compatible with many devices, even those that lack USB ports, like tablets. Unfortunately, radiofrequency mice must be plugged into a USB port, limiting options.
Because Bluetooth devices are part of a larger ecosystem, they tend to have a price slightly higher than standard wireless options. For example, you can find the cheapest wireless mice for around $5, and Bluetooth mice start closer to $20.
STAT: The average connection range for a Bluetooth device is 33 feet. (source)