Learning Objectives

  • to understand the different methods that digital devices can connect to each other.

Learning Outcomes

Must – know all the methods of connection.

Should – discuss all the aspects of the different types of connections, noting limitations of each.

Could – recommend the best type of connection for different types of scenarios.

What is Connectivity?

Connectivity is the name given to the ways that digital devices connect to each other in order to share information

What is a peripheral?

A peripheral is a device which is used to input and output information from a digital device.  Examples of peripherals for a tablet could be a Bluetooth Headset for Calls or a Speaker for listening to music.  A charger is not a peripheral device.

What is synchronising?

When digital devices are connected together, they can automatically exchange data.  This is known as synchronisation.

The methods of connecting Digital Devices

Data Cable Connections

The most common type of data cable connection is through USB.  Digital devices can be connected to laptops or desktop computers using USB cables and these can be updated or files/images transferred across to and from the devices.

USB Type C is a connectivity method primarily involved in charging and data connection.  Modern laptops, tablets and smartphones use the Type C connectivity method for charging and transfer.  Apple’s Lightning connector is a USB Type C connector.


Bluetooth allows devices to connect wirelessly.  Bluetooth uses radio waves and works over short distances.  Most Bluetooth devices work well within a 10meter radius.  A Keyboard and a Mouse can be used as peripheral devices on a laptop/tablet or a desktop using Bluetooth technologies.   Printers and Speakers can be set up to work using Bluetooth.


See Lesson 11

WiFi Direct

WiFi Direct is a technology which allows devices with these built-in features to communicate directly through the Router, without the need for it’s on in-built password, a network protocol that would be needed on a device without it.  Using WiFi Direct allows the user to input the SSID and WPA at the time of setup.  When a user needs to print, for example, they need to be on the Wireless network and use inbuilt functions of the printer.

Cloud Synchronisation

Because people use WiFi a lot, companies have developed services that allow users to store their files and information in secure places online.  These are called remote servers.  Examples of popular remote servers include Google Drive, Apple iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive.   When a person is connected to the Internet using WiFI, they can synchronise all their files at once, this places copies securely on the remote servers.  All the files are synchronised on other devices using the same software so each device has the same files so separate synchronisation is not required.


Complete these tasks below.  Screenshot and print once complete

Cable or Wireless?


Choosing an ISP