What Does Piconet Mean?

A piconet is a network of devices connected using Bluetooth technology. The network ranges from two to eight connected devices. When a network is established, one device takes the role of the master while all the other devices act as slaves.


Piconet gets its name from the word “pico”, which means very small. This very small network is so called because the number is limited to seven devices, plus the master, which limits network and data sharing capability. Data transfer rates vary from 200 to 2,100 kbps at the application.

A piconet is sometimes called a personal area network (PAN) because the range of optimal operation for Bluetooth is 10 meters, about the size of a living room.

Techopedia Explains Piconet

A piconet is usually implemented with small mobile devices or home devices that need to communicate with each other.

A good example of a piconet is the Playstation 3 (PS3) console gaming system. Instead of having wired controllers, the PS3 implements Bluetooth technology to connect up to four controllers at the same time. The main console acts as the master and the controllers act as slaves. Newer home appliances are also able to communicate through Bluetooth.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.