Bluetooth Networking for your Palm,
Pocket PC and Computer Posted September 2004 by Tanker Bob
IOGEAR GBU201 Bluetooth
a number of quality IO components, including USB 2.0 and Firewire
cards, as well as Bluetooth PCMCIA and USB adapters. Retailing at
$39.95, you can find it for much less at many Internet retailers.
In addition to the Class 2 GBU201 Bluetooth to USB adapter with about
a 66 foot (20 meter) range, IOGEAR makes a Class 1 GBU301 adapter
with a 330 foot (100 meter) range.
The IOGEAR GBU201 meets the usual USB 1.1 and
Bluetooth 1.1 standards, and transfers data at a theoretical
723 kbps. It works fine in USB 2.0 ports that sport backward
compatibility. Cambridge Silicon Radio makes the Class 2 radio
chipset in the GBU-201, which will also communicate freely
with Class 1 and Class 3 devices. The setup has built-in security,
encryption, and authentication to protect your data, requiring
a pass code at each connection if the connecting devices aren’t
paired by the user.
The GBU201 adapter comes with a driver CD (PC
and Mac compatible) and a fold-out installation instruction
sheet. Installation could hardly be easier. Just follow the
steps in order, and you’ll be Bluetoothing in just a
few minutes. It installed on my WinXP Pro SP1 box in a jiffy.
The drivers on the CD come from WIDCOMM. If you desire, updated
drivers can be found from IBM here.
I was able to HotSync my T3 via BT immediately after installing
the GBU-201 and setting up my T3 and PC HotSync for the BT
Once installed, you’ll have a new desktop
location like Network Places called Bluetooth Places. If you
have a Bluetooth PDA, printer, mouse, keyboard, or other peripheral,
searching for all devices in range will reveal these if they
are powered up and set to be discoverable. You can then pair
with them as trusted devices so that they are readily available.
The installation creates a virtual Bluetooth network connection
under Network Places. Setting up a network between your PDA
and PC or Mac can be tricky, but help may be found here on
PDABuyersGuide, and also at Whizoo and Jon’s
Guides. The Bluetooth network connection works like any
other network connection, using the same services like TCP/IP,
etc. The system tray BT icon (and BT Places icon) changes from
white center to green when networked. If you wish to use Windows
Internet Connection Sharing, make sure that you enable it for
the adapter that actually connects to the Internet, NOT the
The only problem I found with this adapter concerned
its width. It wouldn’t fit in my recessed front USB ports.
I had to move my UPS serial connector to COM2 so that the adapter
would set in my remaining USB port on the back. If you have
a USB adapter card with its ports arrayed vertically, this
adapter may eat two of them depending on the port spacing.
You can work around this issue by getting an extension dongle.
Simply changing a serial connection worked for me.
The IOGEAR GBU201 worked right out of the box
as advertised. I had no problems following the outstanding
installation instructions, and was up and running in a few
minutes. Overall performance has been very good. The theoretical
Class 2 range of around 66 feet proved more than sufficient
for home office use. If you seek a USB Bluetooth adapter that
sets up easily and works like a champ, this IOGEAR offering
will fill your need.