Connecting the EV3 to your PC directly with a USB cable is the easiest and most reliable way to use it with EV3-Basic. Nevertheless, having to use the cable can be quite cumbersome in many circumstances, especially when developing mobile robots. When you use a wireless connection (Bluetooth or WiFi) with EV3 Basic, it is strongly recommended that you work in brick mode (compiling programs to the brick and running them on the brick) rather than working in PC mode (running the program in Small Basic). Working in PC mode is less reliable because there may be a lot of data traffic across the wireless connection while the program is running and a momentary interruption to that connection could cause your program to end unexpectedly.
EV3 Basic supports both Bluetooth and WiFi wireless connections.
Bluetooth is a form of radio communication that works over a few meters.
WiFi is a form of radio communication that works over a few tens of meters.
Bluetooth support is built into the EV3 brick whereas the use of WiFi requires a specific WiFi dongle to be purchased and attached to the brick. WiFi has some advantages in terms of range and reliability, and some disadvantages in terms of increased power consumption and the need to buy the WiFi dongle. Also, using WiFi requires that the EV3 be connected by WiFi to the same router that the PC is connected to, which may not always be possible. There may be a bug in the way that EV3 Basic handles interruptions to the WiFi connection so always use Bluetooth or, better still, a USB connection whenever possible. If you need to use a wireless connection then we advise you to use a Bluetooth connection rather than a WiFi connection for ease of use and greater reliability unless you need the extended range that WiFi offers.
Important note: once you have established a wireless connection with the brick (whether it be via Bluetooth or WiFi) you must then close all settings dialogs on the brick before attempting to run programs via the wireless connection. If any settings dialog or any brick application such as 'port view' is running on the brick then it will be impossible to launch any EV3 Basic program, wirelessly or not, on the brick from either Small Basic or EV3 Explorer. It will, however, still be possible to use other functions of EV3 Explorer such as compiling programs to the brick.
Important note: As previously stated, when using a wireless connection (WiFi or Bluetooth), programs will run more reliably in brick mode than in PC mode. To develop programs while using a wireless connection it is very useful to run Small Basic and EV3 Explorer at the same time. In this situation EV3 Explorer will have the connection to the brick and it will not be possible to run EV3 Basic programs from within Small Basic but you can simply save your program in Small Basic and (compile and) run it in EV3 Explorer with just a couple of clicks and without closing either program.