Contrary to popular belief, Bluetooth is not magic. It is just another way of transmitting signals from one device to another without using wires. According to our good friend Wikipedia, Bluetooth is an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances (using short radio waves) from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs).
It was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.
But in plain English, Bluetooth is a protocol that allows you to remotely access and use devices on a computer or phone without the use of wires. Originally it was used for connecting headsets to a mobile phone. Then Bluetooth started being used to connect headsets to a regular computer and then progressed on to making printers wireless as well as being able to connect to a Bluetooth network. Bluetooth signals travel through walls, windows, doors and can get great reach depending on what is in your way. In my home I can leave my phone upstairs and still use my headset all around the house thanks to our porous walls!
Today I used Bluetooth on my Windows Mobile device to connect to the internet on my netbook via internet sharing. All in all Bluetooth is AWESOME! Let’s take a look at how to connect bluetooth devices – such as Windows Mobile Devices or your Bluetooth headset.
First we should make sure Bluetooth is running. You should see an icon for it in your system tray. If you do not, hit up the control panel and turn it on. It will be under the Bluetooth Control Panel. This is the same on XP and Vista (and presumably Windows 7)
It depends on what you want to connect but go to Bluetooth Devices under the control panel and click on the add button. This will start the wizard.
Next up is the passkey window. Devices like headsets have passkeys associated with them so you will not get hacked. Who wants to listen to someone else’s conversations or worse!
So when setting up a Bluetooth headset make sure you use the passkey that came with the device. Otherwise you are free to use and set up your own options. Once the wizard is complete it will prompt you to choose what roles you want the device to play. They will list items like stereo headset, a2dp and others. Choose all of them if you do not know what they do and experiment.
Once the headset is connected to your machine ““ it will use that as the default stereo device outputting all sound to your head set. Very cool!
Setting up Bluetooth on your mobile phone is usually very easy and can be set up in 2-3 steps. Consult your owners manual for specific information.
- Turn on Bluetooth
- Pair a device.
- Enjoy using your device!
It is that easy! The pairing process on the phone will also use a passkey so make sure you refer to the owners manual.
All in all I love Bluetooth and use it when ever I can. I have not had wires on my headphones since the late 90’s! How do you use Bluetooth? We would love to hear about it in the comments!