Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 4 Have WiFi and/or Bluetooth

Wireless connection, albeit slower than wired, is a convenient way of staying connected to a network. Unlike with a wired connection, you can roam around with your device without losing connectivity. Because of this, wireless features have become a standard in most devices. Aside from WiFi, Bluetooth is also usually integrated as another form of wireless connection. Bluetooth provides a stable and reliable connection between devices wirelessly, and it can also be used for small-scale file transfers.Raspberry Pi developers have finally adopted the wireless technology starting with Raspberry Pi 3 B, and it’s a huge relief for its multitude of followers. This has eliminated the need for wireless dongles, which consumers have to purchase separately if they need a wireless connection with the previous generations of Raspberry Pi. The integration of wireless modules propelled the popularity of the Raspberry Pi boards even more because the boards remain affordable despite the inclusion of these sought-after features. Raspberry Pi’s latest flagship, the fourth-gen Raspberry Pi 4 B, is equipped with both WiFi and Bluetooth, and you can get the credit-card-sized board with all its marvelous features for as low as $35.

Raspberry Pi 4 B’s Wireless Features

Aside from the unobstructed Gigabit Ethernet, Raspberry Pi 4 B also has wireless networking and Bluetooth onboard. Like its predecessor, RPi 4 B has a dual-band 802.11ac\n wireless that can run on 2.4GHz or 5GHz. It also throws in Bluetooth 5.0, which may not be the latest Bluetooth version, but it’s a huge improvement over RPi 4’s predecessor, which runs on Bluetooth 4.2. Raspberry Pi 4’s Bluetooth has twice the speed and four times the range of Raspberry Pi 3 B+, so you can connect your devices even if you’re 800 feet away from the Pi.

Connecting Raspberry Pi to a Wireless Network

As we all know, Raspberry Pi is not a complete computer on its own. Although it comes with all the basic components of a computer, you still need peripherals like a keyboard, mouse, and display to have a complete desktop experience. How do you connect it to a wireless network if you don’t have some of the peripherals on hand? There’s no reason to fret. Raspberry Pi developers had thought this through when they decided to integrate wireless on the Pi’s. Below are the various ways to connect Raspberry Pi 4 B to a wireless network.

Desktop App

The easiest way to connect RPi 4 B to a wireless network is through the Desktop App, that is, if you have a mouse, keyboard, and display connected. If you have all these, just boot up your Pi, and, like any normal computer, click on the wireless icon on the top-right-hand corner of the Pi’s desktop to see all the available networks. From there, select the wireless network you want to connect to, key-in the password if necessary, and you’re instantly online!

Raspi-Config

No mouse? No worries. Raspberry Pi has got you covered. Raspi-config, Raspberry Pi’s configuration tool, is a menu-driven interface that allows you to configure or make changes to different Pi settings such as System settings, Display settings, and Network settings. You can connect to a wireless network from Raspi-config’s interface, which is fairly easy to use even without a mouse. You can configure the first boot-up settings, but it’s still accessible via some commands after that. Another awesome thing about this method is you can configure the Pi remotely, so even if you don’t have any peripherals connected to the Pi, you can still connect it to a wireless network. However, you still have to setup SSH to do this.

Command Line

Another way to connect your Pi 4 B to a wireless network is through the command line. It’s more complicated than the previous two methods, but with all the online help available, it’s not impossible. You’ll have to input a series of commands to get your wireless working. One advantage of using this method is, it allows you to see the hidden networks. You can configure the wireless settings remotely, but unlike Raspi-config, you don’t need to set SSH for remote access.

Headless WiFi

Even more complicated than the command line configuration is the headless WiFi configuration where you don’t have any peripherals connected nor remote access to the Raspberry Pi board—scratching your head on how this can be possible? The innocuous and tiny SD card will help you get things done. You just need to load the configuration file in the boot folder of an SD card, and it gets configured automatically upon boot-up. Just make sure there aren’t any typo errors in the config file, or it won’t work at all, and you have to do some debugging. This method is more suitable for advanced users, so it might not be favorable to beginners.

Activating Bluetooth on Raspberry Pi 4

You can activate and enable Bluetooth on Raspberry Pi 4 via the Desktop App and command line. As with WiFi, just click the Bluetooth icon on the menu panel at the top-right-hand corner of the desktop, select Add Device, select the device you want to connect to, and click Pair. Another way to enable Bluetooth is through the command line. This is more suitable for advanced users because it’s more complicated than using the Desktop App. Although it’s less complicated than configuring WiFi because there are fewer commands to input, it may still be challenging for beginners.

Raspberry Pi has become even more in demand after the integration of wireless features. Aside from being affordable, the compact board is also now more versatile. The miniature computer board now has more appeal, especially DIY enthusiasts, hobbyists, and project builders. It is specifically beneficial to those who are working on IoTs because it heavily relies on internet connectivity.

Raspberry Pi 4 is so far the most powerful among all the Raspberry Pi’s. Aside from its faster speed, it has wireless capabilities that benefit all types of users. It also offers flexibility in configuring the wireless settings, so there is no need to worry even if you don’t have any peripherals on hand.

About the author

Glynis Navarrete

Glynis Navarrete

A freelance blogger who loves to write about anything related to technology. Born and raised in the Philippines and worked in Singapore for eight years as Technical Support for a wide range of IT equipment. Took a dive into the world of freelancing and now enjoying doing what I’m passionate about while not losing touch with technology.