Bluetooth is a wireless connectivity protocol, or in layman’s terms, a way to connect a couple of electronic devices to trade information back and forth without wires. The advent of Bluetooth and other wireless protocols has proven to be immensely helpful in quickly passing loads of information without the use of cumbersome wires. We’ve seen Bluetooth used to improve the usability of cellular phones, traditionally wired communications units such as GPS receivers and medical equipment, computer mouses and keyboards, and even as a replacement for infra-red in things like remote controls. In fact, you know the Nintendo Wii? It uses a motion sensor to determine where the controller is at any given time, but both the Wii controller, and the Playstation 3 controller send the button-pushing information back to the game console with Bluetooth wireless technology. A lot of the wireless routers out these days use Bluetooth as well.
In order to connect a desktop computer or a laptop to a Bluetooth enabled router or other peripheral, the computer needs to be equipped with a Bluetooth adapter. After all, an empty USB port is designed to connect to wires. A lot of wireless mouses and keyboards come with a USB Bluetooth adapter.
Most of the laptops being developed recently actually come with built in Bluetooth adapters included in the basic setup. Desktop computers are coming with built in adapters more and more these days, as well, though, for obvious reasons, the need to include Bluetooth adapters for laptops has taken higher priority.
If you’re not ready to replace your older laptop, or your newer laptop does not have a Bluetooth adapter built in, you’re probably going to have to go ahead and purchase one before you can connect to a wireless router in many wireless internet hotspots. Luckily, they’re really not that pricy. On average, you can expect to find a fast, reliable Bluetooth adapter for around thirty bucks, and most Bluetooth adapters are compatible with just about any USB enabled computer (although you should double check compatibility before making a purchase).
One of the major bonuses of using Bluetooth is that most of them allow you to connect an impressive number of devices to a single port. This means you can use just one USB port to connect…
- Your mouse
- Your keyboard
- Your internet router
- A video game controller
- A digital camera
And usually at least one or two other devices, but it’s hard to imagine a situation where you would need to connect more than six or seven devices to your laptop or PC at the same time!