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Do you turn off Bluetooth and NFC when not using them?


The Google Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds case open and next to a Pixel smartphone with the Bluetooth dropdown menu displayed.

Bluetooth has become an integral technology on smart devices and mobile phones. As the wireless glue that connects smart devices, it’s something most of us probably leave switched on all day connected to headphones or smartwatches.

NFC, too, now features on more and more devices. Initially absent from most low-end devices, it enables mobile payments and device pairing. It’s become another technology that phones would feel ill-equipped without.

With this said, should you leave these radios on all day?

There’s a case for switching off Bluetooth when it’s not in use. The security-conscious would argue that leaving it on gives potential attackers yet another vector. Both Bluetooth and NFC also drain the battery in the background, albeit a tiny, almost negligible amount.

Similarly, the case for leaving the tech on is solid. Bluetooth has become an integral part of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The Exposure Notification API uses it to contact trace, ensuring that users are notified if they’ve potentially been exposed to the virus. Leaving on Bluetooth and NFC is just more convenient, especially if you own wearables.

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We’re curious how many readers leave Bluetooth and NFC radios on at all times. Do you switch these off when not needed? Be sure to vote in our poll above. If your views are a little more complicated, be sure to drop them down in the comments section below.

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