Note: I read this post, but it didn't answer my question Which Personal Hotspot mode uses least battery?

I often use my iPhone as Personal Hotspot for my MacBook Pro. I found the linked question above on this site, but the answer to this post only says "USB tethering will use the least battery (...) Bluetooth should be next (...) with WiFi last." without any source to confirm if this is true. After Googling for almost an hour, I find conflicting informations, some claiming that WiFi uses less while others claim that Bluetooth uses less

This same question links itself to another post WiFi or Bluetooth (or USB) for iPad Tethering but also here, for power usage the answerer says "Wifi and Bluetooth are less power efficient than USB but I don't know how they compare". WiFi seems to have a greater internet speed than bluetooth, but that doesn't necessarily mean it uses less battery

I really hoped that this site could have a clear answer on this, but as said above the only answers I found don't say clearly if WiFi or Bluetooth uses less battery. Do you maybe know more about it ? Thank you so much for your time

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    General rule of thumb: the worse the RF signals, the more power. As for which uses more, the best answer is “it depends”. Unless someone has some RF test gear, a lab designed (shielded) to accommodate this type of testing and some high end electrical test gear to measure current draw at these small levels, you’ll only get guesses. That’s in a lab…environmental testing with RF noise will change everything.
    – Allan
    Mar 23, 2023 at 23:27
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    While a good question in theory (and I’d be interested to know the answer myself), is there a practical application to this you’re trying to solve?
    – Allan
    Mar 23, 2023 at 23:28
  • @Allan Thank you for your detailed comments ! Since two weeks the WiFi on my MacBook Pro Unibody Mid 2012 15’’ shows “Wi-Fi: no hardware installed”. After searching about it and trying different things that didn’t solve it I replaced the WiFi cable but it still did not solve it. The last thing I didn’t try is replace the Airport/Bluetooth card. I regularly use my iPhone as hotspot and thought until recently that WiFi drains less battery than bluetooth. But if it’s not true, then I don’t know if it’s worth opening my mac trying to fix WiFi instead of just switching to bluetooth in the future
    – wengen
    Mar 24, 2023 at 0:10
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    As far as the WiFi hardware not installed, see this answer. Both WiFi and BT is nothing more than a radio transmitter/receiver. Depending on the signal strength/quality of each will determine which uses more/less power. I suggest fixing WiFi as it will give you the most flexibility.
    – Allan
    Mar 24, 2023 at 0:30
  • @Allan Thank you, yes the Airport/Bluetooth board is maybe the problem. If nobody else answers in the next few hours, feel free to post an answer. I will accept and upvote it. I'm quite surprised that there is no clear answer but at least so my question doesn't appear in the unanswered questions anymore
    – wengen
    Mar 24, 2023 at 10:43


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