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How to set up a direct Bluetooth connection in Windows XP? (page 1 of 11)

Defining computer name and workgroup name, USB Bluetooth adapters
Verifying Bluetooth adapter installation
Starting a Personal Area Network
Pairing with a Bluetooth-enabled computer (1)
Pairing with a Bluetooth-enabled computer (2)
Getting connected to a PAN
Exploring workgroup computers and shared folders-printer
Disconnecting from and reconnecting to a PAN
Internet Connection Sharing (1)
Internet Connection Sharing (2) and Closing notes
PANU to PANU direct connection
PANU to PAN-NAP direct connection (with Bluetooth NAP service of BlueSoleil, check this page later ...)
Internet Tethering using iPhone: Connecting Windows Vista and XP Computers to Internet via iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS with iPhone OS 3.0 as a Bluetooth access point or PAN server. New!


Bluetooth is the technology for creating a Wireless Personal Area Network to connect up to eight computers or other devices such as mobile phone and PDA (i.e. one device acts as a master with up to 7 active slaves) in an ad-hoc network (piconet). In a Personal Area Network (PAN), computers can share resources, i.e. files/folders, drives, printer, and Internet connection. PAN is a quick solution to enable direct connection between two Bluetooth-enabled computers. With a pair of Bluetooth USB adapters, you can try a direct Bluetooth connection between two computers (desktop, laptop, or handheld). If the adapters support Bluetooth version 2.0+EDR, the maximum connection speed is 3.0 Mbps, while previous versions can enable data transfer rate of up to 1.0 Mbps. However, as with other wireless technologies, due to overheads and other factors you can't expect those stated speeds in a real world network. The maximum distance between the two computers depends on the adapters power class, i.e. 10 - 100 meters. Throughput decreases as distance between the two computers increases. Besides, although Bluetooth is a radio technology that doesn't require LOS (line-of-sight) between devices, solid/metal obstructions and to a lesser extent interference from other wireless systems sharing the ISM band (such as Wi-Fi, cordless phone, baby monitor) may reduce Bluetooth reach.

There are three types of PAN services, i.e. NAP (Network Access Point), GN (Group ad hoc Network), and PANU (PAN User). Your computer ability to join or create a PAN depends on the type of Bluetooth stack (software) that accompanies your Bluetooth adapter. The latest version of some popular Bluetooth stacks can be used to enable a computer to join or create a PAN. But you must examine what type of PAN services supported by the Bluetooth stack you have. In Windows XP (SP2 or SP3), the built-in Microsoft Bluetooth stack only provides PANU service. The TOSHIBA Bluetooth stack that was also used in this test can provide PANU and GN services. We can hardly find a fine Bluetooth stack for Windows XP with NAP service. If NAP is supported by the Bluetooth stack that comes with your adapter, then your computer can be used as a Bluetooth access point.

This tutorial was created with one computer running Windows XP SP2 with Microsoft Bluetooth stack and the other computer running Windows XP SP1 with TOSHIBA Bluetooth stack. You can also install TOSHIBA or another third party Bluetooth stack on a computer running Windows XP SP2 or SP3. It will override the Microsoft stack. In this case, if you want to get back to the Microsoft stack, just uninstall it from your computer or update the driver with the built-in stack. Two Billionton Bluetooth adapters that support Bluetooth v2.0+EDR were used. The first computer with PANU service initiated the connection to the second computer with GN service. Similar result was achieved when both computers were running the same third party stack.

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