Personal Area Networks

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Question: What is Bluetooth?

The IT Guy says:
"Bluetooth" (named after King Harald I of Denmark, who reigned in the tenth century) is a wireless technology designed for short-range use. It uses radio frequencies to connect computers and other devices. It has a wide-ranging variety of uses, including wireless keyboards and mice, cell telephone headsets, remotes for controlling presentations, and even interactive whiteboards. It's technically called a "Personal Area Network." (My friend drives a very nice car, and it has a Bluetooth system that automatically connects with his cell phone, so he can make and receive calls through the car stereo system!)

Some computers come with Bluetooth built in, and some don't. If your computer doesn't have it, you can easily add it with an adaptor that plugs into one of your USB ports. These only cost $15-30, and give your computer access to the world of wireless peripherals.

The process of connecting to a Bluetooth device is called "pairing." Each receiver and each device has a unique serial number, and you need to tell your computer which devices you want it to access. On a PC, you will access this process through the control panels, and on a Mac through the system preferences. It's very similar to the process for connecting to a wireless network. And once it's set up, you don't need to worry about it any more!

Next Tip: Wireless Confusion

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