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Using Wireless Bluetooth Devices : Adding Bluetooth-Enabled Devices

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4/16/2013 6:31:56 PM

Many different types of Bluetooth devices are available on the market. Most have some means of making the device discoverable (visible) to other devices. Whether or not you have to make your PC discoverable to install a device depends on the type of installation you're about to perform. As always, you need to read the documentation that came with your device for specifics.

On the shortcut menu for the Bluetooth Devices notification icon, the Add a Bluetooth Device option opens the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard, which takes you step by step through the process of adding a device. The sections that follow discuss general techniques for adding Bluetooth devices, many of which will involve the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard.

1. Installing a Bluetooth printer

To install a Bluetooth printer, follow the printer manufacturer's instructions for turning on the printer and enabling its ability to connect to a computer. Then, on your PC:

  1. Click the Start button and choose Devices and Printers. Or, click Start and choose Control Panel. If Control Panel opens in Category view, click Hardware and Sound. Select the Devices and Printers link to continue.

  2. Click Add a Printer.

  3. On the first wizard page, select the Add a Network, Wireless or Bluetooth Printer option.

  4. Windows will start searching for your Bluetooth-compatible printer. If Windows is unable to locate the printer, it probably means that either the printer is not powered up or there is a problem with the Bluetooth device connected to your computer. Try clicking the link The Printer That I Want Isn't Listed and then select Add a Bluetooth Printer.

  5. After your printer has been found, follow the remaining wizard instructions until you can click the Finish button to complete the job.

When it is installed, you should be able to print from any Bluetooth device according to the instructions that came with that device. To print a document from your computer, follow the usual procedure (choose File => Print from the program's menu bar), and choose the Bluetooth printer from the Printer Name options in the Print dialog box.

2. Install a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse

To install a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse, you may need to first connect the device by cable, or use a cable-connected mouse or keyboard to provide the initial connectivity. Some newer Bluetooth keyboards and mice do not require this initial connection. Also, you must know how to make your mouse or keyboard discoverable (visible). If you're not sure how to get started, refer to the instructions that came with the mouse or keyboard.

If you're installing a keyboard, check its documentation to see if the keyboard supports the use of a passkey. And if so, find out if it already has a pre-assigned passkey, or if you can use a passkey of your own choosing. Then, to perform the installation, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Devices and Printers window.

  2. Click Add a Device. Windows searches for Bluetooth devices, namely the Bluetooth keyboard or mouse you intend to install. When Windows locates the device, a listing appears in the Select a Device to Add to This Computer window.

  3. Click the discovered device's name, and then click Next.

  4. If you're adding a keyboard, do one of the following as appropriate for your device:

    • To have Windows create a safe, random passkey, click Choose a Passkey for Me.

    • If your device has a predefined passkey, choose Use the Passkey Found in the Documentation, and then type the passkey.

    • If you want to create your own custom passkey, click Let Me Choose My Own Passkey, and then type a passkey.

    • If the device doesn't support the use of passkeys, choose Don't Use a Passkey.

  5. Click Next and follow the remaining instructions presented by the wizard.

3. Install a Bluetooth mobile phone

Some Bluetooth mobile phones can connect to a computer to synchronize phone books and transfer files. Some (but not all) mobile phones can also act as modems to connect to the Internet. Make sure that you read the documentation that came with the phone so that you understand how to make the phone discoverable, how to name the phone (if necessary), basic information on setting up a passkey, and whether or not you can use the phone as a modem.

If your mobile phone can act as a modem, you'll need a dial-up Internet account to connect to the Internet. Most likely this will be a mobile service provider. This service may also be in addition to your regular mobile service. You'll need to know your user name, password, carrier code or phone number, and other basic account information prior to setting up your Internet account. Only your Internet service provider (or mobile service provider) can give you that information.

The exact procedure for installing a Bluetooth phone will vary from one phone to the next. But to get started, make sure that discovery and the ability to add new devices is enabled on your PC. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Devices and Printers window.

  2. Click Add a Device. Windows searches for Bluetooth devices, namely the mobile phone device you intend to install. When Windows locates the device, a listing appears in the Select a Device to Add to This Computer window.

  3. Click the discovered device's name, and then click Next.

  4. Follow the instructions presented by the wizard, and as specified by the mobile phone manufacturer.

If the phone you installed in the preceding steps can act as a modem, you can then proceed with the following steps to set up a Bluetooth connection to the Internet:

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Center folder by clicking the Start button and choose Control Panel. If Control Panel opens in Category view, click Network and Internet. Open the Network and Sharing Center icon.

  2. Click Set Up a New Connection or Network from the Change your network settings a Connection list.

  3. Click Next.

  4. Select the option Set Up a Dial-up Connection and then click Next.

  5. If your computer sees the mobile phone connected via Bluetooth, it will prompt you for setup information. When the information is filled out, click the Connect button to continue.

  6. When you have successfully dialed your ISP, either click the Browse the Internet Now link or click the Close button.

When your connection is configured, you should be able to get online by opening Network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel. Click the Connect to a Network link on the left side of the window. The Connect to a Network dialog box will list all of the available connections that have been set up on your system. Select the connection and click the Connect button. The mobile phone should dial based on the information you included. When you're finished using the Internet connection, click the Disconnect link within Network and Sharing Center next to the mobile connection.

4. Connect a Bluetooth BlackBerry

To connect a Bluetooth BlackBerry device to your computer, make sure that you first make the BlackBerry discoverable (visible) and (if necessary) give the BlackBerry a name. Complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure that the BlackBerry option for Discoverable is set to Yes under the Bluetooth settings.

  2. From within Windows 7, open the Devices and Printers window.

  3. Click Add a Device. Windows searches for the Bluetooth mobile phone device. When Windows locates the device, a listing appears in the Select a Device to Add to This Computer window.

  4. Click the discovered device's name, and then click Next.

  5. From within Windows 7, select the box My Device Is Set Up and Ready To Be Bound and then click the Next button.

  6. Follow the remaining steps in the wizard including setting the passkey so that your computer and BlackBerry can communicate.

After the wizard completes, Windows may prompt for additional software to be installed. You can tell Windows to look locally and on the Internet or to load the software for the device from a CD provided by the vendor.

5. Connect a Bluetooth Windows Mobile device

To connect a Bluetooth Windows Mobile device to your computer, make sure that you know the handheld PC well enough to make it discoverable (visible), and (if necessary) to give the handheld a name. Complete the necessary steps, and then follow these steps on your PC:

  1. Open the Devices and Printers window.

  2. Click Add a Device. Windows searches for the Bluetooth Windows Mobile device. When Windows locates the device, a listing appears in the Select a Device to Add to This Computer window (see Figure 1).

  3. Follow the instructions in the Add a Device Wizard to install your Pocket PC. Enter the passphrase when prompted, and then click Close when the wizard completes.

After you've completed the wizard, the Windows Mobile Device Center application should start.

From this point on, the Windows Mobile device is paired with your computer. You should be able to follow the instructions that came with your Windows Mobile device to synchronize that device with your PC.

6. Install a Bluetooth Palm PC

To connect a Bluetooth Palm PC to your computer, make sure that you know the handheld PC well enough to make it discoverable (visible) and (if necessary) to give the handheld a name. Complete the necessary steps, and then follow these steps on your PC:

  1. Open the Devices and Printers window.

  2. Click Add a Device. Windows searches for the Bluetooth device, namely the Palm PC you intend to install. When Windows locates the device, a listing appears in the Select a Device to Add to This Computer window.

  3. Follow the instructions presented by the Add a Device Wizard.

Now you can install on your PC any other software that came with your Palm PC (unless, of course, you've already installed that software). To use your synchronization software, follow the instructions that came with your Palm PC.

Figure 1. The Add a Device window showing a Bluetooth device to add to Windows.

7. Joining a Bluetooth personal area network

A Bluetooth personal area network (PAN) is a short-range wireless network used to connect devices together wirelessly. It's commonly used to connect a laptop to a desktop PC, though it can be used to connect other types of Bluetooth devices. As a rule, there's not much to joining Bluetooth devices to a Bluetooth network. Most of the action takes place automatically behind the scenes.

To understand the basic procedure, let's assume you already have a desktop computer with a functional Internet connection. You've already installed a Bluetooth USB adapter on that computer, so it's now a Bluetooth device. On that desktop computer, right-click the Bluetooth adapter in the Devices and Printers window and click Bluetooth Settings. Click the Options tab, and make sure that the Allow Bluetooth Devices to Connect to This Computer option is selected.

On a laptop computer, plug in a second Bluetooth USB adapter. You want to connect the laptop to the desktop in a personal area network. To do so, starting from the laptop computer, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Bluetooth Devices Notification area icon and choose Join a Personal Area Network. A list of Bluetooth devices should appear. If at least one device does not appear, click the Add a Device button and follow the steps to locate a Bluetooth-enabled computer. When the search completes, you should see a list of all of the available devices.

  2. Click the name of the computer to which you want to connect, and click the Connect or Next button.

  3. Choose a passkey method from the next wizard screen (the Choose a Passkey for Me option is sufficient), and then click Next.

  4. You'll be given a passkey. On the other computer, you'll be asked to type in that same passkey. Type in the passkey exactly as shown in the first computer and click Next.

  5. Follow any remaining instructions in the wizards on both computers until you get to the final page and then click the Close button in each wizard.

Note, however, that if you made the Bluetooth connection to only one computer in an existing LAN, you'll have access only to the shared resources on the Bluetooth-enabled computer, not all the computers in the LAN.

7.1. Troubleshooting a Bluetooth network connection

If you can't get any connectivity at all using Bluetooth, try the following remedy:

  1. Go to the computer that's having trouble connecting to the PAN.

  2. Open the Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button and choose Control Panel => Network and Internet => Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Scroll down to the Bluetooth Network Connection group. If you're unable to locate the Bluetooth Network Connection group, you'll need to follow the steps outlined earlier including entering a passkey from the other system in the PAN.

By the time you complete the wizards on both screens, you should have a connection. The Network and Sharing Center folders on each PC should have similar Bluetooth network entries.

7.2. Sharing an Internet connection

If you're unable to get Internet connectivity from the laptop computer, go to the computer that's connected to the modem or router. Open Network and Sharing Center and choose Manage Networks (or Manage Wireless Networks) from the left side of the screen. Right-click that Internet connection icon and choose Properties.

In the Properties dialog box for the Internet connection, click the Sharing tab and choose Allow Other Network Users to Connect through This Computer's Internet Connection.

Also, check the settings for the Windows Firewall:

  1. Press , type fire, and click Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. Or click the Start button and choose Control Panel => System and Security => Windows Firewall.

  2. Click the Inbound Rules item in the Console Tree (this is on the left hand side of the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security window), as shown in the example in Figure 2.

  3. In the Inbound Rules area, select a networking option, such as the Core Networking rules, and click Properties on the Actions area (right-hand side of the window).

  4. On the General tab, click Enabled. Repeat this for all the Core Networking rules.

With these settings you should now be able to connect to the Internet from the other computers in the PAN.

Figure 2. The Windows Firewall with Advanced Security window.

7.3. Transferring Files Between Bluetooth Devices

You can also use the Send a File and Receive a File options on the Bluetooth Devices shortcut menu as an alternative. However, you can't move files that way, and you can only copy one file at a time. So, this method usually is best for transferring files to a non-computer Bluetooth device. But still, if you want to transfer one file between computers using this method, here are the steps:

  1. On the computer to which you plan to send a file, right-click the Bluetooth Devices icon in the Notification area and choose Send a File, as shown in the example in Figure 3. The Bluetooth File Transfer Wizard opens and waits for you to send a file from the other computer.

  2. In the Bluetooth File Transfer Wizard that opens, choose the Bluetooth device to which you want to send the file (see Figure 4).

  3. Click the Next button.

  4. Click the Browse button, choose the file you want to send, and then click Open.

  5. Click Next.

  6. On the receiving computer, the wizard asks if you want to receive the file from the other device.

  7. Click Yes.

  8. When the transfer is complete, click the Finish button in the last wizard page on both computers, as shown in the example in Figure 5.

Figure 3. Use the Notifications area icon to choose whether to send a file or receive a file between Bluetooth devices.

Remember, many different Bluetooth devices are available on the market. If none of the techniques described here help you make the connection between two computers in a personal area network, be sure to refer to the instructions that came with your Bluetooth device.

Figure 4. Select a Bluetooth device to send a file to.

Figure 5. Showing a successfully transferred file between a laptop and Windows Mobile device using a Bluetooth connection.
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