In today’s busy mobile computing world it is beneficial to have an accessible wireless connection to the Internet for either business or entertainment. Many cell phone owners are not aware that both cell phones and portable computers have the capability to access the Internet from anywhere using wireless Bluetooth technology. Furthermore, they may already be paying for Bluetooth wireless access in their monthly cell phone plan. Wireless Internet access is possible with a Bluetooth enabled cell phone that has an unlimited Internet and data transfer service plan. Cell phone providers that currently offer this type of cell phone and service plan are Boost Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
To prepare to use the wireless Bluetooth on the cell phone, first make sure the cell phone is on and make the Bluetooth “discoverable”. This is done differently depending on the model of the cell phone. Refer to the manufacturers operating manual for the appropriate Bluetooth discovery directions.
A USB Bluetooth adapter will also be required for the notebook or netbook computer that is accessing the Internet. The USB Bluetooth adapter connects to the computer by inserting it into an open USB port. The computer is then able to use the cell phone as a wireless modem.
To connect to the Internet using a Bluetooth adapter on a computer in Windows XP insert the adapter into an open USB Port. Windows XP will automatically pop up a window that says “Select Bluetooth Device”. The appropriate cell phone will show up in this window so that it can be selected. Select the cell phone and configure it by going to “Phone and Modem Options”. To connect to the Internet create a new connection in the “Network Connections” area of Windows. Windows XP will generate a passkey for the connection from your computer to your cell phone. You can enter this passkey or enter the passkey that is provided by your cell phone provider. Keep in mind that Bluetooth is not a secured Internet connection and your data could be viewed by other computers or devices that are within range.
The owners of portable computers running Windows Vista will find that the process is much more automated. To connect to the Internet on a computer with Windows Vista first go to “Start” then go to “Control Panel”. Click on “Hardware and Sound”, and then go to “Bluetooth Devices”. Click on “Add” and follow the simple on screen directions.
Wireless access technology options are progressing faster than the devices that apply it. Computer manufacturers keep pace with these developments by increasing the functionality of USB ports on portable computers. By adding a USB Bluetooth adapter, the portable computer can accept a new mode of connection. With this option there is no need for a cell phone owner to have a separate broadband internet connection for a netbook or notebook computer. Also eliminated is the need for purchasing and setting up a wireless router. A wireless connection with a Bluetooth cell phone allows cell phone owners to access the Internet from anywhere with an existing service they may already be paying for each month.