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Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Handheld – What OBD2 tool do I need?

OBD2 Scan tool

There is a wide range of OBD2 scan tools. What differentiates them can be regarding how they connect and display data. The most common types of connections are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Handheld Cable, and Cables. In this article, we’ll define each one and try to help you determine what OBD2 tool you need.


This uses Bluetooth to connect to your device, which will most commonly be a phone or a tablet. You find that these mainly work on Android devices only, as iOS2 does not allow third-party apps to access Bluetooth like this. One benefit of Bluetooth is that you can still use the internet. So when you pull up an engine error code, the App you are using will provide it. You can then link to the internet and it will provide you with more information.

Bluetooth OBD2 scan tool
Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool


This provides a Wi-Fi hotspot that you can connect your phone or tablet to. These devices will work on both Android and iOS devices. The problem with Wi-Fi can sometimes be that you have to disconnect to access the internet to look things up. There are also some apps that may need to update when they are connected, so you have to disconnect and connect again.

OBD2 Aus Forscan Wifi
FORSCAN WiFi OBD2 Scan tool

Handheld Cable

These are all-in-one units that have both a cable and a screen. All you have to do is plug them in and away you go. These are the most reliable and simple-to-use units.

OBD2 Aus Handheld OBD2 Scan Tool
OBD2 Handheld Scanner


Most commonly used for connecting a computer to the OBD2 port. These are used a lot at the commercial level and on older systems where people have not updated their system or have not accessed the car’s OBD for some time.

VLinker USB
VLinker USB

Our Final Word

Determining if you need a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Handheld Cable, or Cable OBD2 scan tool depend on the task you need to do and the features you need to diagnose the vehicle. If you are still unsure, contact us, and we’ll gladly assist you.

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