Bluetooth is getting more and more supported every day. Each new PDA most likely has Bluetooth, many Mac models have Bluetooth built-in, and cell phones with Bluetooth are more common.
If you want to connect your Bluetooth device to your PC however, chances are that you are out of luck. Virtually all Windows-based PC's do not come with built-in Bluetooth, and in order to use BT on your PC, you will need a Bluetooth Adapter.
That is where the ActionTec USB Bluetooth Adpater comes into place. It does exactly as advertised, gives your Windows-based PC Bluetooth support.
The feature list is quite extensive.
Sharing Local Services
The Action tec USB Bluetooth Adapter allows other Bluetooth devices and users to access resources on your computer as well. It can share devices attached to it, and can be used for serial port access, dial-up networking, sending and receiving faxes, and much more.
Connect to the Internet on the Go!
Convert your Bluetooth-ready Cell Phone* into a high-speed modem by pairing it with your desktop or notebook computer via the USB Bluetooth Adapter. You’ll be able to access your data anytime, anywhere.
Communicate with any Bluetooth-enabled Device Wirelessly
The Action tec USB Bluetooth Adapter uses state-of-the- art technology to communicate with other Bluetooth-ready devices such as printers, storage devices, and more.
With a transmission range of up to 33 feet (10 meters), you can link and exchange information with other Bluetooth devices.
The Action tec USB Bluetooth Adapter can also be configured as a Bluetooth server supporting up to 7 Bluetooth client devices with automatic IP address assignment when connected.
The strong security built in to the Action tec USB Bluetooth Adapter protects your data from intruders by using native 40- and 128-bit WEP encryption. When used in conjunction with Windows Network Properties, security can be set to 64- and 128- WEP encryption. Added security is provided by allowing the user to set trust levels for remote and local users, as well as password protection to really make your Personal Area Network secure!
Easy to Install and Use
The Action tec USB Bluetooth Adapter can be easily installed and configured for Wireless Personal Area networking. This Plug-and-Play device, along with its easy-to-use intuitive interface, turns wireless connectivity into a simple point-and-click process.
Share Files, Printers and Internet Connections
The Action tec USB Bluetooth Adapter connects to your home network. You will be able to share files, printers and more. Plus, you can share MP3 music files, or your high-speed Internet connection so that you can surf the Internet and access devices within your home at the same time.
Small... Similar in size to a small highlighter
Convenient... Its compact size and design means that you can clip it to your pocket
Supports the Bluetooth specification, version 1.1
To make things easier features-wise, the Actiontec USB BT adapter allows you to connect to your other Bluetooth devices via your Windows-based PC. Notice how I said Windows-Based. This product does not support any other OS besides Microsoft Windows.
In the Box
In the box, you will find a few things:
Actiontec USB Bluetooth Adapter
USB Extension Cable
I am glad that Actiontec included the Extension Cable, it makes using the adapter on multiple desktops MUCH easier, with no need to crawl behind the back of the system. Kudos to them for that.
Overall, the package is good.
If I had to use one word to describe this device, I would say small. This is seriously a small unit. Below, you'll find a picture comparing this device to a quarter. I would say that this unit is appx. the size of two quarters, which is very impressive.
Besides the size, you will find that there is a small LED light on the unit which turns green when the unit has power.
Obviously, this device connects via USB. USB 1.1 works fine, there is no extra speed boost for USB 2.0. A small cap covers the USB port when not in use.
Overall, the design of this device is very nice. Small, light, everything you need looks-wise.
I must say that installation was a tad bit tricky. Putting the included CD in starts up a setup wizard which installs the drivers. It tells you NOT to connect the device until it says so, so be sure to follow that. Once the drivers are set up, you must restart your PC.
Once restarted, a wizard pops up with instructions on how to add your Bluetooth device. This is where it gets confusing. Once you add your device, you have to set up the services in the "My Bluetooth Places" location that is added (much like My Network Places). It's not too hard to do, but a newbie may get lost.
Once everything is set up, there shouldn't be any more problems, thankfully.
Performance is on-par with other Bluetooth devices, but I decided not to include raw data in this review. We all know that BT is not speeding fast. For comparison purposes, however, this device was much faster then my Built-in Bluetooth on my Apple 12" Powerbook when transferring the same file.
The adapter was able to let me use my cell phone as internet on my laptop with no glitches. I was also able to transfer files to my PDA and cell phone very easily once set up.
I think it is pretty apparent by reading this review to know that I enjoyed using this product. It does exactly what I expected, and it works flawless. Installation was tricky, but after that, it's smooth sailing.
But, there was one big concern for me with this unit. Bluetooth. Will Bluetooth ever make it big? Truthfully, I do not know. I would like to see Bluetooth easier to install, and faster, but v1.1 is fine IMO for most people. But is it really needed is the question. I would think of it more of a convienence then a necessity.
Nevertheless, whether Bluetooth is useful or not, the device does what it is advertised to do with virtually no glitches.
Includes Extension Cable
Works as Advertised
Installation can be tricky
Only Windows Support
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