How to choose an OBD II adapter: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

Administrator posted this 30 May 2018

A huge number of drivers around the world appreciated InCarDoc usefulness and efficiency for car diagnostics. All you need to check your vehicle and start enjoying all application opportunities is a smartphone and adapter. One of the most common question on our portal is about choosing OBD adapter, particularly which one device is suitable – Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

The most effective and reliable adapters are based on the original ELM327 chip from, or at independent compatible solution at STN11xx from One just need to take into account the fact that OBD adapters with original chips are priced at US $60 and higher. As alternative market propose multiple custom or "clone" solutions compatible with ELM327. Appropriate adapters usually priced from $5 to $40. And the price level have more or less direct correlation with the reliability and compatibility of the adapter with different car models and protocols. The cheapest ones might just reject to work with some protocols from OBD-II pool and so be incompatible with some cars. But please note, that those adapters might keep working quite well with other protocols. So one could consider this as buying cheap lottery ticket... Issues and questions related to adapters are discussed at our forum "Attention! "Bad" Bluetooth & WiFi adapters with low quality clones of ELM327". 

By wireless connection type adapters could be Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Also, in turn, Bluetooth devices can be Bluetooth 2.0 or Bluetooth 4.0 / BLE. There is no functional difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapters, only the compatibility with different operating systems (iOS, Android). 

Bluetooth 2.0 - the most common and cheap devices. Compatible only with Android and not suitable for iOS devices.

WiFi - compatible with both Android and iOS. As disadvantages one could note: the need to explicitly specify the WiFi point of the phone settings before connecting. Blocking of Internet access when phone is connected with the adapter.

Bluetooth 4.0 / BLE - compatible with both Android and iOS. The only problem is that the devices from different manufacturers may not be compatible with each other. Buying BLE adapter, you need to clarify which programs support this particular model.

By manufacturers:

Original ELM327 and STN11xx with different connection types WiFi, Bluetooth

  • OBD Scan
  • PLX Devices Kiwi 

Tested and recommended

Other adapters:

  • Viecar
  • CHX
  • CBT
  • Noname ELM327 clones, OBDII, OBD2, OBD-II, WIFI_OBDII


  • Android compatible with all types of devices: Bluetooth 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0 / BLE *, WiFi
  • iOS - only Bluetooth 4.0 / BLE * and WiFi

* In the case of Bluetooth 4.0 / BLE devices, check the compatibility of the program and the specific adapter brand