IOS What wireless technology does Airdrop use

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Apple enables users to quickly transfer data wirelessly with AirDrop technology. The only requirement for this is that all devices involved support Apple AirDrop. However, since 2010 all current Apple products have mastered this technology.

With AirDrop, photos, videos, documents, websites or even contacts can be transferred quickly and wirelessly with the help of Bluetooth and WLAN connections over a distance of around nine meters.

For data transmission, it does not matter which networks the devices are located in, which data are to be exchanged. In principle, the AirDrop connection is completely independent of existing networks and, if necessary, establishes its own connection for communication if there is no connection yet.

If the AirDrop function is switched on on the device, the device first searches for available connection partners in the vicinity via Bluetooth who have also activated the AirDrop function.

If there are other Apple AirDrop-enabled devices with activated AirDrop in the vicinity, they automatically send a response back via Bluetooth using the Bonjour Daemon to announce their presence.

Now the user can choose with which of the found devices he would like to exchange data and a connection can be established. The data that are to be transmitted from device to device are then preferentially transmitted via a network connection, if this is available.

1] The Apple AirDrop window. All nearby devices that have activated AirDrop at the moment are displayed here.
You can find Apple AirDrop in the Finder as the first selection item in the menu bar on the left.

If a direct LAN connection fails, a WiFi connection independent of any existing WiFi connection is established and the data is then transmitted directly via this WiFi interface. Incidentally, Apple uses its own peer-to-peer protocol for communication between the devices called “Apple Wireless Direct Link” (AWDL) which has not been publicly documented by Apple.

In order to protect his data and only make it accessible to the desired people, the user must first decide whether to activate the option “visible to all” in the device or whether to select the option “only visible to contacts”. As a last resort against unwanted data transmission from a foreign source, the user must always acknowledge each transmission before receiving it.

Category: General, Tips and Tricks