How does a Wireless Mouse Work?

By Nicole Tinkham


As technology progresses, you’ll notice more and more devices going wireless. When it comes to accessories for your computer, wireless mice and keyboards are definitely things to consider. They’re easy to move from computer to computer, can be used from a distance, and provide an organized, wire-free desktop.  Since these devices don’t plug into the computer using a cable, you’re probably wondering how they work. In this post, we’ll discuss how a wireless mouse works and mention a few that we recommend!

What are radio frequencies?

Wireless mice are able to function through radio frequencies.  They have both RF (radio frequency) transmitters and RF receivers. The RF transmitter is often located inside the mouse itself. The movements and clicks of the mouse are transmitted through radio signals to the receiver. The RF receiver connects to the computer’s mouse input, which receives these signals and decodes them to be sent to the computer.


You may find some wireless mice (as well as other wireless devices such as printers and keyboards) that use Bluetooth. Bluetooth uses adaptive frequency hopping which chooses frequencies with little to no interference. Bluetooth technology provides a decent range of about 33 feet.

The types of wireless mice

Your choices when it comes to purchasing a mouse are not limited to only wired or wireless. Once you decide to go with a wireless mouse, you have three different options to choose from.

  • Mechanical: These use a rubber ball to calculate the movements of the mouse. However, you won’t see these too often. They tend to get dirty easily and they process information slower.
  • Optical: This is the type of wireless mouse you will most often come across. Instead of the ball used in mechanical mice, this one uses an optical light to calculate movements. We highly recommend going with an optical mouse as they are able to process information quickly and are reliable.
  • Laser: Instead of an optical light, these mice use a laser light, being able to calculate movements more precisely. These are ideal for gamers because of their high performance.

Why you need a wireless mouse

There are many advantages when it comes to wireless mice. Wireless mice tend to be small, light, and portable making them ideal for presentations and traveling. They also make it possible to work from a distance if needed. The only thing you have to worry about is keeping it charged and ready to go. Most are rechargeable and the batteries surprisingly last quite awhile. Not only are they reliable and accurate, but wireless mice also help keep your desk organized and clutter-free!

Look for these wireless mice!

Here’s a few wireless mice we thought were worth mentioning (all available at Keeton’s).

What about wireless keyboards?

Wireless keyboards do not connect to the computer through a cord. Instead, they work the same way as wireless mice, through radio frequencies. These radio frequencies send a signal to the computer telling it which keys were pressed, just like how movements of a mouse are sent to the computer. Since wireless keyboards don’t receive power through the computer, they require batteries or another source of power. Deciding whether or not you want to go wireless is a step in the right direction when choosing a keyboard. For more keyboard options, check out our Tips for Choosing a Keyboard blog post!

Now that you understand how they function, you’re probably anxious to get your own wireless mouse and keyboard! As mentioned, there are many options to consider and we are excited to help you choose the perfect one! Just stop in, give us a call (941-747-2995), or post your questions in the comment box below. Make sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages as well for fun facts, interesting articles, inspiration, organizing tips, and more!

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