Like Wi-Fi access points, Bluetooth access points are increasingly popular. Using a Bluetooth access point is similar to using a Wi-Fi access point ? connect the access point to a wired network and you can wirelessly connect your Bluetooth devices to the Internet.
In following steps, I illustrate the use of a Bluetooth access point by using the Bluetake BT300 Bluetooth Access Point (AP).
To connect to the access point, follow these steps:
First, connect your Bluetooth access point to your router/hub (you can also connect it directly to your ADSL/DSL/cable modem). Power up your Bluetooth access point, go to My Bluetooth Places, and search for the Bluetooth access point.
When the access point is found, right-click on the icon and select Discover Available Services, as shown in Figure 6-54.
The Bluetooth access point supports the LAN access using PPP service. Right-click on the LAN Access icon and select Connect to Network Access Point, as shown in Figure 6-55.
You should then see a dialog prompting you to enter your username and password. Simply leave these boxes empty and click on Connect, as shown in Figure 6-56.
You should now be able to connect to the Internet.
By default, the connection to the Bluetooth access point is set at 115200 bps. You should set it to the maximum of 921600 bps. To do so, right-click on My Network Places and select Properties. Then, right-click on BluetoothNullConnection and select Properties. Under the General tab, click on the Configure... button. This is shown in Figure 6-57.
One problem that you need to look out for is when you connect the Bluetooth access point to a router. You need to assign an IP address to the access point before you can connect to it using the Internet. To do so, once you are connected to the access point, use a web browser and configure the access point (see Figure 6-58) using the URL http://188.8.131.52:5000. The default username and password for the Bluetake access point are BT and access_point, respectively. Check the documentation that comes with your Bluetooth access point.
Click on the Configuration link to configure the access point.
For those using an ADSL/DSL modem, choose the PPPoE option (see Figure 6-59). For cable modem users, choose DHCP. (If you are not sure whether your Internet connection uses DHCP or PPPoE, contact your ISP.) There are also three security options available ? levels 1 to 3. For security level 3, you need to supply a PIN code. You can also optionally enable data encryption. But doing so will effectively reduce the data transfer rate.
If you use security level 3, you will be prompted to enter the PIN code when your computer connects to the access point (shown in Figure 6-60).
Click on the prompt and enter the PIN code, as shown in Figure 6-61.
You can now test your connection by using a web browser and see whether it can connect to a web site.
Testing the Connection
I tested the connection using my two USB Bluetooth adapters ? a Class 1 Bluetake USB adapter and a Class 3 Billionton USB adapter. Performance was comparable between the two except that the Class 1 Bluetake Bluetooth adapter is able to operate at a longer distance. I was able to surf the Web comfortably without any noticeable difference. One thing I gathered is that Bluetooth works best if there is a lot of free space for the radio waves to reach you. I tried locating the AP in a closed room (with concrete walls) and accessing the network two rooms away, and the signal dropped to a rather weak level. I did, however, maintain the connection, although it was slow. With Bluetooth, you can connect up to seven devices to the AP, a number that should be sufficient for most home use. Using Bluetooth for LAN communications is useful for small devices (such as Palm and Pocket PC) because Bluetooth generally uses less power than 802.11b.