Actiontec USB Bluetooth
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Actiontec USB Bluetooth, size: 10.3 MB
Actiontec USB Bluetooth
User reviews and opinions
|secsec1||9:00pm on Saturday, October 9th, 2010|
|Easy setup but hard to configure for dial up networking Documentation and online support weak at best. Latest software update eads to a dead link.|
|OoNoord||7:12pm on Sunday, March 21st, 2010|
|Price was right... $29 but it will ultimate end up in the trash can unless the store will take it back.|
Comments posted on www.ps2netdrivers.net are solely the views and opinions of the people posting them and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of us.
Wireless Bluetooth Adapter
Software version: 1.1
Solutions for the Digital Life
Table of Contents
1. Introduction What is Bluetooth? Package Contents Minimum System Requirements Technical Support 2. Installing the USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter 2.1Install the Software 2.2Connect the Adapter 3. Working with Bluetooth 3.1 Start or Stop using the Adapter 3.2 Creating a Bluetooth Connection 3.3 Connect to Another Device 3.4 Connect to a Bluetooth Headset 4. Working with Bluetooth Software 4.1The Bluetooth Tray 4.2 Access My Bluetooth Places 4.3 Finding Bluetooth Devices 4.4 Finding Bluetooth Services 4.5 Bluetooth Connection Status 4.6 Bluetooth Devices and Services 4.7 Send to Bluetooth 5. Configuring for Other Services / Applications 5.1Opening Bluetooth Configuration 5.2 Bluetooth Services vs. Applications 5.3 The Bluetooth Exchange Folder 5.4 Configuration Settings 5.5 Bluetooth Applications 5.6 Bluetooth Services
Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter
5.7 Hardware Settings 5.8 Accessibility Settings 5.9 Discovery Settings 6. Security 7. Troubleshooting 8. Frequently Asked Questions Notices Regulatory Compliance Notices Warranty statements
Proprietary Notice and Disclaimer Unless otherwise noted, this document and the information herein disclosed are proprietary to Actiontec Electronics, Inc the manufacturer. Any person or entity to whom this document is furnished or who otherwise has possession thereof, by acceptance agrees that it will not be copied or reproduced in whole or in part, nor used in any manner except to meet the purposes for which it was delivered. The information in this document is subject to change without notice and should not be construed as a commitment by Actiontec the manufacturer. Although Actiontec the manufacturer will make every effort to inform users of substantive errors, Actiontec the manufacturer disclaims all liability for any loss or damage resulting from the use of this document or any hardware or software described herein, including without limitation contingent, special or incidental liability. Note: PC is a trademark of IBM Corporation. Windows 98 , Windows 98 SE, Windows NT, and Windows XP is a trademark of Microsoft Inc. All other brand or product names and logos used in this manual are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
Thank you for purchasing the Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter. Now you can truly enjoy the freedom of wireless connectivity with Actiontec's Bluetooth Adapter. Simply install the software and then plug this tiny adapter into any USB port on your computer, and you can exchange information between it and any other Bluetooth enabled device. Imagine sharing your Internet connection by simply requesting it from any computer, or PDA. Connect on the go by using your cell phone as a high speed modem or simply print to any bluetooth enabled printer, The Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter lets you enjoy the freedom of true mobility whether you're at the office or on the move.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a worldwide standard for digital wireless communication and data exchange between multiple devices. Bluetooth compliant devices exchange data by establishing a relationship with each other, the first device acting as a client, requests a connection, while the second device acting as a server accepts or rejects that request. Some Bluetooth devices can behave as client and server; however other devices can only behave as a client.
Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter Installation CD Quick start guide USB Extension Cable (Optional)
Minimum System Requirements
Microsoft Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP Available USB Port Pentium 90 or faster 16MB or RAM TCP/IP installed
Actiontec Electronics prides itself on making high-quality, durable, high-performance products. If you need assistance, the Actiontec Technical Support Department is available every day 24 hours a day to provide professional support.
Actiontec Electronics, Inc. 760 N. Mary Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Technical Support Phone: (888) 436-0657 E-mail: email@example.com Internet: www.actiontec.com/support
Installing the USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter
The instructions that follow provide a visual guide to setting up the Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter. It is recommended the user follow these instructions prior to attempting any other procedures. This manual will guide you through the hardware and software installation and configuration.
2.1 Install the Software
STOP!!!: You must install the Bluetooth Software PRIOR to connecting your Bluetooth Adapter to the computer. If you have already connected the Bluetooth Adapter, please remove it now and restart your computer.
1. Make sure your computer is turned on, then put the Actiontec Installation CD-ROM in your CD-ROM drive. 2. The Installation software should start automatically. This may take a few moments. When you see this window. Click Next to continue
Note: If you do not see the window above, click Start on the taskbar and then select Run. Type d:/setup (or e:/setup, depending on the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive), then click OK.
3. When you see the License Agreement screen appear, read the License Agreement carefully. Click the circle next to I accept the terms in the license agreement and then click Next to continue.
Note: If you do not agree with the terms of the license agreement, click the circle next to I do not accept the terms in the license agreementand click Next. Now you have terminated the installation of this Bluetooth Adapter.
4. Click Next to continue.
5. Click Install to continue.
Chapter 2 Installing the USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter
6. You will see this window. Please be patient as it will take several minutes to install your Bluetooth software. You may need to have your Windows CD handy.
7. You may see this screen. If you do, click OK.
8. Click Finish to complete the software installation. Please remove any CD from the CD-ROM drive before restarting your computer.
9. Click Yes to complete the software installation and restart your computer now.
Note: If you are running Windows XP, you may not need to restart your computer.
2.2 Connect the Adapter
1. Get the Bluetooth Adapter from the Actiontec Quick Start Kit 2. Take the cap off of the Bluetooth Adapter.
3. Follow the instructions for the type of computer that you are using. Windows XP Users! You may see a Found New Hardware Wizard screen, once you connect the Bluetooth Adapter to your computer. Please see below for detailed instructions. a. The Found New Hardware Wizard will run and the following screen will appear, make sure Install the software automatically (Recommended) is selected. When ready click Next to continue.
b. The following screen appears, Click on Finish to complete the installation
Laptop Users: Insert the Bluetooth Adapter into an open USB port.
Desktop Users: a.) Get the USB Extension Cable from the Quick Start Kit.
b.) Insert one end into an open USB port on the computer.
Note: The USB Port is shaped like a thin rectangle about inch by inch and may be horizontal or vertical.
c.) Plug the other end into the Bluetooth Adapter
d.) Set the Bluetooth Adapter on top of your monitor where it can receive a clear signal.
Make sure the light on the Bluetooth Adapter is SOLID GREEN.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed the Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter. To begin using your Bluetooth Adapter, doubleclick on the My Bluetooth Places icon that appears on your desktop.
Working with Bluetooth
The Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter can communicate with any Bluetooth-enabled device wirelessly, in order to accomplish this a relationship with the device must be established. This chapter will guide you on the different functions and methods for operating your Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter.
3.1 Start or Stop using the Adapter
Starting the Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter In the Windows system tray, right-click the Bluetooth icon an select Start Bluetooth Device. The Bluetooth icon is blue in color with a white insert when Bluetooth is running. Stopping the Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter In the Windows system tray, right-click the Bluetooth icon and select Stop Bluetooth Device. The Bluetooth icon is blue in color with a red insert when Bluetooth is stopped.
3.2 Creating a Bluetooth Connection
To establish a relationship with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. To create a connection between your Bluetooth-enabled computer and any Bluetooth-enabled device, follow any of the methods described below. Option 1: Creating a Connection from the System Tray In the Windows system tray which is located in the bottom right hand corner, right-click the Bluetooth icon, select Quick Connect and then the Bluetooth service that you wish to use. If this computer has created a connection to the desired type of service in the past, the options on the shortcut menu are: The name(s) of any device(s) with which prior connections to this type of service have been established. Select a name from the list to re-establish connection. Other DevicesSelect this option to search for additional devices that potentially provide the desired service, select a device from the list, and then click Connect.
If this computer has never created a connection to this type of service, the only option on the shortcut menu is Find Devices. Select this option to search for devices that potentially provide the desired service, select a device from the list, and then click Connect. Option 2: Creating a Connection Using the Bluetooth Setup Wizard Launch the Bluetooth Setup Wizard by following this simple step. Right-click the Bluetooth icon on your desktop and select Bluetooth Setup Wizard. Once launched, Follow the Bluetooth Wizard instructions.
3.3 Connect to Another Device
3.3.1 Pairing With a Bluetooth Enabled PC
In this section we will show you how to connect to another computer. In the world of Bluetooth, we call this pairing. If you would like to connect or pair your computer to another device like a Bluetooth cell phone or keyboard, please go to section 3.4.2 of this Users Manual. 1. 2. Make sure that you have the Bluetooth Adapter installed and configured on each computer or device. Double-click on the My Bluetooth Places icon that is on your desktop.
Click on the Bluetooth Setup Wizard icon.
Chapter 3 Working with Bluetooth
4. Click the circle next to I want to find a specific Bluetooth device and configure how this computer will use its services. Then click Next to continue.
5. Once you see the other computer displayed, click on its icon and then click Next.
6. Pick a simple Pairing code and enter it in the box next to PIN Code. The code should be numbers only, and we recommend using '0000' or '1234'. Write down this code below because you will need to enter the exact same code on the second computer. PIN Code: __________________ Once you have entered the PIN Code, make sure to click Initiate Pairing. Do NOT press the Enter key at this time.
7. Go to the second computer. You should see a window similar to the once below. Enter the same PIN code that you used on the fist computer. Click OK.
3.3.2 Pairing With Non-PC Bluetooth Devices
Pairing with devices other than PCs can be easily accomplished through the use of the Bluetooth Setup Wizard. We strongly suggest reading the user manual for the Bluetooth device to be paired with your Bluetooth Ready PC. The following instructions will help to configure you PC to connect to a Cell Phone. If you would like to connect or "pair" your computer to another device like a PDA, please go to Chapter 5 of this User's Manual. 1. 2. Make sure that you have the Bluetooth Adapter installed and configured on each computer or device. Click on the My Bluetooth Places icon that is on your desktop.
Click the circle next to I want to find a specific Bluetooth device and configure how this computer will use its services. Then click Next to continue.
5. Once you see the other device displayed, click on its icon and then click Next.
6. Enter the devices Pairing code in the box next to PIN Code. (Note: Some Bluetooth devices may already have a default PIN code. Please refer to the device's user manual.) The code should be numbers only. Write down this code below because you will need to enter the exact same code on the Bluetooth device being paired. PIN Code: __________________ Once you have entered the PIN Code, click Initiate Pairing. 7. Go to the device you are pairing. You should see a window similar to the once below. Enter the same PIN code that you used on the first computer. Click OK.
Pairing procedures can be different and are determined by the device manufacturer. Make sure you know the devices Pairing ID prior to pairing. If a device does NOT come with a preset Pairing ID, then you may select one of your own.
3.4 Connect to a Bluetooth Headset
1. Put your Bluetooth headset in discovery mode by pressing and holding the On button for 4-6 seconds. (Each headset has a different setting so make sure and have your Bluetooth Headset manual ready.) 2. Double-click on the My Bluetooth Places icon on your computer desktop.
3. Double-click on the Find Bluetooth Devices icon. If nothing shows up, press F5 or refresh to search again. The BT Headset icon should appear 4. Right-click on the Bluetooth Headset Icon and select Pair Device
Enter the headset's PIN code (Refer to the headset manual)
Double-click on the Bluetooth Headset icon.
7. Double-click on the Headset on BT Headset icon. (The service name may vary.
8. When you hear a musical tone from the headset, press the On button on the headset to complete the connection. Congratulations! You've connected your Bluetooth Headset to your PC. Now you can enjoy listening to music or chatting with your friends online from your wireless headset.
Working with Bluetooth Software
The Actiontec USB Wireless Bluetooth Adapter ships with the management software required to fully integrate your Bluetooth-enabled computer with other bluetooth-enabled devices. There are many methods by which relationships between Bluetooth-enabled devices can be established.
4.1 The Bluetooth Tray
The Bluetooth tray resides in the Windows system tray, which is normally located in the lower-right corner of the screen.
The Bluetooth tray provides fast access to most Bluetooth operations. The Bluetooth tray provides the following options: Access My Bluetooth Places Double-click the Bluetooth icon, or right-click the Bluetooth icon and then select Explore My Bluetooth Places. Access the Bluetooth Setup Wizard. This wizard will help you: Configure how this computer accesses a service on another Bluetooth enabled devices. Locate remote Bluetooth devices Configure the way that this computer provides services to remote Bluetooth-enabled devices. Set the name and type of this Bluetooth device, e.g., John's PC and Desktop. Access the Bluetooth Configuration Panelright-click the Bluetooth icon, and then select Advanced Configuration.
the Bluetooth Configuration Panel, Hardware tab, click the Advanced button, and then change the setting in the Maximum Power Transmission drop-down list. The Advanced button is not available in all countries. The controls in the Bluetooth Connection Status dialog box are Properties button Displays the Bluetooth Properties dialog box for this connection. Disconnect button Closes this connection. Close button Closes the Bluetooth Connection Status dialog box.
4.6 BLUETOOTH DEVICES AND SERVICES
Bluetooth devices and services can be easily accessed and identified by a simply visual reference, the following icons provide at-a-glace feedback about a device or service's status by changing appearance.
4.6.1 System Tray
When your Bluetooth adapter is installed correctly, the system tray will display the appropriate icon for the current state of your local Bluetooth device.
Figure 1: System tray Bluetooth Icon
4.6.2 Connected Device Icons
The connected devices icons are a quick method by which the end user can visually verify the status of a Bluetooth enabled-device that has a relationship with the local computers Bluetooth adapter. Icons differ in look from Windows 9x, Me, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. We have provided a guide for you based on the operating system.
Figure 2: Connected Device Status Icons for Win9x, Me, 2000
Figure 3: Connected Device Status Icons for Windows XP
4.6.3 Services Status Icons
Each connected Bluetooth-enabled device provide a set of services that are available to the local computers USB Wireless Bluetooth adapter. Visual icons referenced are provided to show the status of each available service.
Figure 4: Available Services Status Icons for Windows 9x, Me, 2000
Figure 5: Available Services Status Icons for Windows XP
4.7 Send to Bluetooth
This feature is used to send specific information to other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Valid Data types include: Files from Microsoft Explorer Documents from Microsoft Office applications, including: Word Excel Access PowerPoint. Microsoft Outlook items, including Contacts Appointments Tasks Messages Notes
To use Send to Bluetooth 1.) In the application: a) Microsoft Explorer Select one or more files to be transferred. (Folders cannot be transferred). b) Microsoft Office Only the document in the active window can be transferred. b) Microsoft Outlook Select one or more items to be transferred. 2.) From the application's File menu, select Send To, and then select Bluetooth from the shortcut menu. 3.)Select a device from the shortcut menu to send the data or Select Other, choose a device from the list, and then click OK to send the data.
5.4 Configuration Settings
Bluetooth Configuration Setting Screen
The Bluetooth Configuration has various options that can be configured by the user.
General Settings Tab The settings on the General tab of the Bluetooth Configuration Panel determine information that is displayed to remote devices. Identity Computer Name In this field, you are REQUIRED to enter a unique name to identify this computer to other Bluetooth devices in the vicinity; this field cannot be left blank. Computer type Allows users to select either Personal Computer or Laptop Computer from the shortcut menu to set the type of icon remote devices will use to represent this computer.
Chapter 5 Configuring for Other Services / Applications
5.5 Bluetooth Applications
Some built-in Bluetooth applications provide full functionality for a specific task, such as locating other Bluetooth devices or synchronizing two Personal Information Managers. Other built-in Bluetooth applications provide a way for standard Windows applications to accomplish their tasks wirelessly. For example, a Bluetooth application may create a wireless serial connection between computers or provide wireless access to the Internet. The difference between Bluetooth Applications and Bluetooth Services are described as follows: Bluetooth Applications These are software programs running on the Bluetooth-enabled computer that allow the Bluetooth-enabled computer to use the Bluetooth services that are provided by other devices. In the Bluetooth configuration panel, these programs are referred to collectively as Client Applications.
Bluetooth Services These are software programs running on the Bluetooth-enabled computer that provide a service to other devices. In the Bluetooth configuration panel, these applications are referred to collectively as Local Services.
Note: Client Applications and Local Services usually have
coinciding names; e.g., there may be a Fax service and a Fax application.
5.5.2 Bluetooth Applications General Configuration
All of the built-in Bluetooth applications allow you to rename the application and to require a secure connection when using the application. Bluetooth applications are easy to access and configure. In the Windows system tray, right-click the Bluetooth icon and select Advanced Configuration from the shortcut menu. In the Bluetooth configuration panel, click the Client Applications tab and highlight the application to be configured and then click Properties (or double-click the application).
attempted; answer the ring to complete the connection and begin using the headset as the audio input/output device for this computer. Close a Headset connection by right-clicking the Bluetooth icon in the Windows system tray and click on Stop the Bluetooth Device. Configure the Headset connection by right-clicking the Bluetooth icon in the Windows system tray, select Advanced Configuration, and select the Client Applications Tab. When opened, double click on Headset. You can choose to change the name of the applica tion and whether this connection is secure or not.
5.5.9 File Transfer
The Bluetooth File Transfer application allows this computer to perform file operations on the Bluetooth Exchange Folder (and the folders and files it contains) of a remote device. Copy to/from a remote device by right-clicking the Bluetooth icon in the Windows system tray. Select Quick Connect, and select File Transfer followed by the Device of choice. Select the device you want from the window and click on Open. Use drag-and-drop to copy any file or folder contained in the Public Folder of the remote device to the desired folder on the Bluetoothenabled computer. You can also drag-and-drop files or folders from the Bluetooth-enabled computer to the remote devices Public Folder (and its sub-folders). Other File Operations Right-click a file or folder in the remote devices Public Folder for a context sensitive menu. All potential menu options may not be available at all times. Potential menu options include: Open Opens the selected file on this computer, using the default application for this type of file. Print Sends the selected file to this computers default printer.
Send To 3 floppy (A)the 3 inch floppy drive on this computer Bluetooth Exchange Folderthe Bluetooth Exchange Folder on this computer. Renameapplies only to empty folders; file names and the names of folders that contain objects cannot be changed using this technique. Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Refresh, View & New Standard Windows functions. Configure the File Transfer connection by right-clicking the Bluetooth icon in the Windows system tray, select Advanced Configuration, and select the Client Applications Tab. When opened, double click on File Transfer. You can choose to change the name of the application and whether this connection is secure or not.
There are three types of notification: Authentication request, also called a PIN code request This notification appears automatically in a balloon over the Windows system tray if a Personal Identification Code is required before a connection can proceed. An audio file can also be associated with the notification. Authorization request, also called a connection request This type of notification can be visual, audio, or both. It notifies you of attempts to access a Bluetooth service on this computer; the connection will not proceed until you click the balloon that appears over the Windows system tray. If the notification balloon is ignored, the connection request will time out and fail. Notification only This type of notification does not effect access in any way; it is solely
for information purposes to let you know that a connection has been established. Example Both Authentication and Authorization request notifications are controlled by whether Secure Connection is enabled for an individual service. An example of how notifications might work when a remote device attempts to access a service on this computer, if all notifications are enabled: Authentication: a balloon notification (audio optional) appears to prompt for a PIN code. If the PIN code does not match the code entered on the remote device, the connection will not be allowed. Once the remote device has been authenticated this notification will not appear again, unless the paired relationship is broken and the devices must re-pair. Authorization: a balloon notification appears and/or a sound file provides audio notification that a remote device is attempting to access a Bluetooth service on this computer. Click the balloon to proceed. A dialog box appears that offers the option of letting the connection proceed this time only or to always allow this particular remote device to use the service it is attempting to access.
Once a connection has been authorized, an additional visual and/or audio notification may appear (if enabled). This notification is for information only to inform the operator that a connection has been established. After two devices are paired (step 1, above), the authentication notification will no longer appear when a connection is attempted. If Always allow is enabled during the authorization process (step 2, above), the authorization notification will not appear on future connection attempts. Connection notification (step 3, above) only happens if it has been enabled on the Notifications tab of the individual service being accessed. Service Access Notification Notifications lets you associate a sound (Windows *.wav file) and/or a visual indication with access attempts by remote devices. A different notification sound can be associated with each local Bluetooth service.
Open Opens the selected file on this computer, using the default application for this type of file. Print Sends the selected file to this computers default printer. Send To 3 floppy (A)the 3 inch floppy drive on this computer Public Folder on My Devicethe Public Folder on this computer. Rename Applies only to empty folders; file names and the names of folders that contain objects cannot be changed using this technique. Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Refresh, View & New Standard Windows functions.
5.6.7 Headset Service
The Bluetooth Headset Service allows this computer to provide audio input/output for remote Bluetooth devices. For example, if the remote device is a Bluetooth telephone, this computers microphone and speakers can be used as speakerphone input and output for that device. Note: Windows 98 has limitations. Windows 98 cannot convert audio files with the extension m3u (e.g., myfile.m3u) into the Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) audio format used by Bluetooth headsets; this is a limitation of Windows 98. Other versions of Windows (2000, ME and XP) can translate m3u audio files into the PCM format. Possible solutions are: Upgrade to a newer version of Windows Use an m3u-to-mp3 conversion utility to convert the file(s) into a format that is supported by Windows 98. (Conversion utilities are available as freeware or shareware on the Internet.) Hardware Requirements This computer must have a sound card, microphone, and speakers installed. The Bluetooth radio on both on this computer and the remote device must support audio. Configure the Headset Service From the Windows system tray, right-click the Bluetooth icon, select Advanced Configuration > Local Services, and then double-click the Headset service. Set the common configuration properties of the service, and click OK.
5.6.8 Network Access
The Bluetooth Network Access service makes it possible for a remote Bluetooth device to use the Local Area Network connection that is physically attached to the Bluetooth-enabled computer. After the Bluetooth-enabled computer been configured to provide the Network Access service to other Bluetooth devices, it will not be able to use the Bluetooth Network Access service provided by another Bluetooth device without being re-configured. The Bluetooth-enabled computer cannot be both a Bluetooth Network Access server and a Bluetooth Network Access client at the same time. Setup for Windows 98, SE & Windows Me
Note Internet Protocol routing software is required on Windows
98, SE and Windows Me servers. Install and configure the routing software as instructed by the software's manufacturer. Configure the server From the Windows Control Panel, double-click the Network icon. On the Configuration tab, select TCP/IP-> Bluetooth LAN Access Server Driver (scroll down if necessary). Click Properties and select the IP Address tab. Select Specify an IP address Enter an IP Address (suggested value192.168.1.1) Enter a Subnet Mask (suggested value255.255.255.0) Click OK twice to close the dialog boxes and then click YES to restart the computer. Setup for Windows 2000 and Windows XP From the Windows system tray, right-click the Bluetooth icon and select Advanced Configuration from the shortcut menu. In the Bluetooth configuration panel, select the Local Services tab, Network Access and then click Properties. From the Network Access, General properties page, in the Type of service shortcut menu, select Allow other devices to access the Internet/LAN via this computer, and then click Configure Connection Sharing. Right-click Local Area Connection, select Properties and then select the Sharing tab. Select Enable Internet Connection Sharing for this connection, click OK, and then click YES in the confirmation dialog box.
Note: Only Outlooks default contacts folder is synchronized.
Items in sub-folders are not synchronized. Items that are moved from the default folder to a sub-folder will appear to have been deleted the next time synchronization takes place.
5.7 Hardware Settings
The Hardware tab of the Bluetooth Configuration Panel provides basic information about the Bluetooth hardware installed on this computer and access to the Advanced Settings dialog box, if required: Devices Name The name of the device, e.g., Actiontec Bluetooth Device Type The type of device, e.g., USB. Device Properties Device status Indicates that the device is operating properly or that there is a problem/conflict. Manufacturer The name of the company that manufactured the device selected in the Devices section of this dialog box. Firmware Revision The manufacturer's firmware version number.
Device Address The Bluetooth Device Address (BDA or BD_Addr) assigned to this device when it was manufactured. HCI Version The version number of the Bluetooth Specification that the Host Controller Interface complies with. HCI Revision The revision number of the Bluetooth Specification that the Host Controller Interface complies with. LMP Version The version number of the Bluetooth Specification that the Link Manager Protocol complies with. LMP Sub Version The sub-version number of the Bluetooth Specification that the Link Manager Protocol complies with. The Advanced button: displays the Advanced Settings dialog box, which allows you to select the country code and transmission power settings. This option is not available on all systems.
5.7.1 Advanced Settings
When available, this dialog box is reached from the Hardware tab of the Bluetooth Configuration Panel.
Note: Depending on the country in which the hardware is
sold and/or in which it will be used, the Advanced button may not be present. This dialog box allows changes to the following settings: Country Code North America, Europe (except France), and Japan France and China Maximum Transmission Power High Medium Low. Click Apply to implement the changes. A dialog box appears with notification that the Bluetooth device attached to this computer must be reset before the change(s) will take effect.
Click Yes to reset the Bluetooth device nowall open Bluetooth connections will be closed. Click No to save the changesthe changes will be applied the next time the Bluetooth device is reset or restarted.
Chapter 7 Troubleshooting
If offered an option to select an adapter, select Bluetooth network adapter. (This option will not appear unless more than one adapter is available.) If asked to reboot the computer, do so. Test a Network Access Connection If the client is hardwired to the LAN, unplug the hardwired connection to ensure that the test checks the wireless connection rather than the hardwired connection. If the server has access to the Internet, open a browser on the client and connect to the World Wide Web. You may also Ping the server from the DOS prompt. Unknown Port Message when Using a Bluetooth Serial Port The Unknown Port error message usually means an attempt was made to connect a port that was in use. Additional Bluetooth Serial Ports can be added if they are required. Bluetooth Headset Doesnt Always Function Under Win98 Windows 98 cannot convert audio files with the extension m3u (e.g., myfile.m3u) into the Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) audio format used by Bluetooth headsets; this is a limitation of Windows 98. Other versions of Windows (2000, ME and XP) can translate m3u audio files into the PCM format. Possible solutions are: Upgrade to a newer version of Windows Use an m3u-to-mp3 conversion utility to convert the file(s) into a format that is supported by Windows 98. (Conversion utilities are available as freeware or shareware on the Internet.) Reinstall the Bluetooth Adapter in Windows 2000 & XP If the Bluetooth Adapter ever has to be uninstalled and reinstalled, it is important to do it correctly. Please follow the following 5 steps. Step 1: While the Bluetooth Adapter is still connected to your computer, Right Click on My Computer and select Properties. This will bring up the System Properties Window. Click on the Hardware Tab and Click on Device Manager.
Step 2: This will bring up the Device Manger Window. Near the top of the list of devices will be Bluetooth Devices. Click on the plus sign next to it to open it up. You should now see the Actiontec USB Bluetooth Device BTM200. Right Click on the Device and select Uninstall. This will remove the Device from Device Manager. Step 3: You may now physically remove the USB Bluetooth Adapter from your computer. Step 4: Uninstall the Bluetooth software using Add/Remove Programs. Step 5: You may now reinstall the Bluetooth software and then connect the Adapter by following the install procedure in Chapter 2 of the User's Manual.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do the red and white icon lights on the Adapter signify?
White: A Bluetooth device is connected to the computer and working. Red: No Bluetooth device is detected. My Adapter is not detecting the device with which I want to connect. What do I do? Make sure the device with which you are trying to connect is Bluetooth 1.1 compliant and set to be discovered. Can the Adapter link up to a regular 802.11b wireless access point? No. The Adapter only works with Bluetooth-compliant devices. I plugged in the Adapter to an available USB port but the "Found New Hardware Wizard" did not start up. What should I do? The USB ports on the computer may be disabled in the device manager or BIOS. If this is the case, contact your computer manufacturer for information about activating the USB ports. Everything installed fine and the Adapter was working until I shut down and restarted my computer. Now, the computer is not detecting the Adapter. What should I do? Some USB host controllers have timing issues at start up. If this happens, while the computer is on, unplug and then replug the Adapter. It should start working again. What is the range of the Adapter? The range of the Adapter is approximately 10 meters.
THIS ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS WARRANTY DOES NOT APPLY TO SUCH THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE. FOR THE APPLICABLE WARRANTY, PLEASE REFER TO THE END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT GOVERNING THE USE OF SUCH SOFTWARE. OBTAINING WARRANTY SERVICE: Customer may contact Actiontec Electronics Technical Support Center within the applicable warranty period to obtain warranty service authorization. Dated proof of purchase from Actiontec Electronics or its authorized reseller may be required. Products returned to Actiontec Electronics must be pre-authorized by Actiontec Electronics with a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number marked on the outside of the package, and sent prepaid and packaged appropriately for safe shipment, and it is recommended that they be insured or sent by a method that provides for tracking of the package. The repaired or replaced item will be shipped to Customer, at Actiontec Electronics expense, not later than thirty (30) days after Actiontec Electronics receives the defective product. Return the product to: In the United States Actiontec Electronics, Inc 760 North Mary Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94085 Actiontec Electronics shall not be responsible for any software, firmware, information or memory data or Customer contained in, stored on, or integrated with any products returned to Actiontec Electronics for repair, whether under warranty or not. WARRANTIES EXCLUSIVE: IF AN ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS PRODUCT DOES NOT OPERATE AS WARRANTED ABOVE, CUSTOMERS SOLE REMEDY FOR BREACH OF THAT WARRANTY SHALL BE REPAIR, REPLACEMENT, OR REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE PAID, AT ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS OPTION. TO THE FULL EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW, THE FOREGOING WARRANTIES AND REMEDIES ARE EXCLUSIVE AND IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, TERMS OR CONDITIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, EITHER IN FACT OR BY OPERATION OF LAW, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING WARRANTIES, TERMS OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, CORRESPONDENCE WITH DESCRIPTION, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT, ALL OF WHICH ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS NEITHER ASSUMES NOR AUTHORIZES ANY OTHER PERSON TO ASSUME FOR IT ANY OTHER LIABILITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE, INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE OR USE OF ITS PRODUCTS. ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE UNDER THIS WARRANTY IF ITS TESTING AND EXAMINATION DISCLOSE THAT THE ALLEGED DEFECT OR MALFUNCTION IN THE PRODUCT DOES NOT EXIST OR WAS CAUSED BY CUSTOMERS OR ANY THIRD PERSONS MISUSE, NEGLECT, IMPROPER INSTALLATION OR TESTING,
UNAUTHORIZED ATTEMPT TO OPEN, REPAIR OR MODIFY THE PRODUCT, OR ANY OTHER CAUSE BEYOND THE RANGE OF THE INTENDED USE, OR BY ACCIDENT, FIRE, LIGHTNING, OTHER HAZARDS OR ACTS OF GOD. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: TO THE FULL EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW, ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS ALSO EXCLUDES FOR ITSELF AND ITS SUPPLIERS ANY LIABILITY, WHETHER BASED IN CONTRACT OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), FOR INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, OR FOR LOSS OF REVENUE OR PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF INFORMATION OR DATA, OR OTHER FINANCIAL LOSS ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE, INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE, USE, PERFORMANCE, FAILURE, OR INTERRUPTION OF ITS PRODUCT, EVEN IF ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS OR ITS AUTHORIZED RESELLER HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, AND LIMITS ITS LIABILITY TO REPAIR, REPLACEMENT,OR REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE PAID, AT ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS OPTION. THIS DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES WILL NOT BE AFFECTED IF ANY REMEDY PROVIDED HEREIN SHALL FAIL OF ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE. DISCLAIMER: Some countries, states or provinces do not allow the exclusion or limitation of implied warranties or the limitation of incidental or consequential damages for certain products supplied to consumers, or the limitation of liability for personal injury, so the above limitations and exclusions may be limited in their application to you. When the implied warranties are not allowed to be excluded in their entirety, they will be limited to the duration of the applicable written warranty. This warranty gives you specific legal rights which may vary depending on local law. DISPUTE RESOLUTION: The customer may contact the Director of Technical Support in the event the Customer is not satisfied with Actiontec Electronics response to the complaint. In the event that the Customer is still not satisfied with the response of the Director of Technical Support, the Customer is instructed to contact the Director of Marketing. In the event that the Customer is still not satisfied with the response of the Director of Marketing, the Customer is instructed to contact the Chief Financial Officer and/or President. GOVERNING LAW: This Limited Warranty shall be governed by the laws of the State of California, U.S.A. excluding its conflicts of laws principles and excluding the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.
Here's what you need to know about wireless networking, from the standards and technologies to the best products for your home or office. 1. Zero in on the right network for you 2. Choose the right networking standard 3. Buy the right networking components 4. Expand your network 5. Secure your network 6. Let your network entertain you
With so many possible ways to build a network, it pays to home in on the solution that best suits your needs before you buy. These user profiles will start you off in the right direction.
You can get ample bandwidth for sharing a broadband Internet connection without spending much. Even the slowest wireless gear is several times faster than cable or DSL. You may prefer to buy a kit that includes all of the basic networking gear, but you can also buy the components separately and connect them together. Exactly what you need will depend on how many systems you want to connect and where they are located.
KEY COMPONENTS What you need Cable/DSL broadband router Wireless access point Wireless adapter Power-line adapter What it does Connects your Internet service to your network Connects wireless adapters to your network Connects computers to your wireless network Connects computers to your power-line network
Home-office network or telecommuter
If you use your home as an office, you need a robust network with reliable security. Wireless routers typically offer some protection, but a software firewall can provide an additional safeguard for your data. If you need to access your network from remote locations on business trips, you may even want to invest in a hardware VPN (virtual private network) firewall so that you can securely access your home network over the Internet.
KEY COMPONENTS What you need VPN firewall Cable/DSL broadband router Wireless access point Wireless adapter Power-line adapter What it does Protects your network from attacks over the Internet Connects your Internet service to your network Connects wireless adapters to your network Connects computers to your wireless network Connects computers to your power-line network
Online gaming and entertainment
If you want to be able to transfer large files over the network while streaming audio from a computer to your stereo or if you like to play bandwidth-intensive, multiplayer games, set your sights on a high-bandwidth solution, such as Ethernet, 802.11a, or dual band.
KEY COMPONENTS What you need Cable/DSL broadband router Wireless access point Wireless adapter Power-line adapter Digital-media adapter What it does Connects your Internet service to your network Connects wireless adapters to your network Connects computers to your wireless network Connects computers to your power-line network Connects TVs and stereos to your network
Business travelers can now stay connected anywhere using wireless hot spots. Whether you are in an airport, a cafe, a public park, a shopping mall, or a parking lot, you may find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a public or commercial hot spot. With the right gear, hot-spot hopping is easy. Opt for a PC Card with a sensitive antenna, an external antenna connector, or a high-power output, and find out which wireless ISPs are available in your area.
KEY COMPONENTS What you need Wireless notebook PDA with built-in Wi-Fi or CompactFlash adapter Wireless adapter Range-extending antenna Wireless Internet service What it does Connects to hot spots with its built-in adapter Connects to hot spots with its built-in adapter Connects notebooks to hot spots Increases the range of your wireless adapter Gives you Internet access at a variety of locations
Internet services provider
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to connect two or more houses wirelessly or to share an Internet connection with an entire building or neighborhood. Whether your objectives are philanthropic or commercial, building a hot spot can be done for less than the cost of a high-end notebook.
KEY COMPONENTS What you need Shareable or resalable Internet service Wireless access point with removable antenna Wireless adapter Range-extending antenna Power over Ethernet injector What it does Allows you to connect the general public to the Internet Allows you to tailor your coverage area Allows your clients to connect to your service Increases the range of your wireless access point Lets you power an access point on a mast
You don't need a full-blown local-area network to sync up your PDA with your computer or to transfer photos from your notebook to your printer. Bluetooth is designed for just such casual, close-range connections.
KEY COMPONENTS What you need Bluetooth adapter Bluetooth printer kit Bluetooth-enabled notebook Bluetooth-enabled PDA What it does Connects to other Bluetooth devices Connects your printer to other Bluetooth devices Connects with other Bluetooth-enabled devices Connects with other Bluetooth-enabled devices
Settling on a standard is one of the most important decisions you'll make while putting together your network. The standard you choose influences everything, including the speed, the features, the reach, and the cost of your network. Making sense out of the alphabet soup of wireless technologies can be daunting, but here's a quick guide to what you need to know.
Network standards at a glance
Networking standards 802.11b 802.11a 802.11g Dual band Bluetooth Actual speed 5Mbps 22Mbps 20Mbps 22Mbps 500Kbps Range 150 feet 100 feet 150 feet 150 feet 30 feet Frequency and interference risk 2.4GHz; high 5GHz: low 2.4GHz; high 2.4GHz 5GHz; varies 2.4GHz; high Hot-spot access Excellent Poor Excellent Excellent Poor Power drain Moderate High Moderate Moderate Low Cost Low High Moderate High Moderate
The 802.11g standard, long touted as the high-performance successor to 802.11b, was ratified in June 2003, but networking manufacturers flooded the market with 802.11g gear months before the final specification was approved as a standard. Most of the gear that was sold prior to ratification will need a firmware upgrade to bring it up to the final spec. 802.11g has two features that many believe will make it the new dominant Wi-Fi standard: great throughput at around 22Mbps and backward compatibility with 802.11b. That's right; 802.11g operates at the same frequency as 802.11b (2.4GHz) and is backward compatible with the granddaddy of Wi-Fi specs. This makes 802.11g the obvious choice not only for anyone building a new network, but also for those interested in adding onto or gradually upgrading a preexisting 802.11b network. The only downside to 802.11g is the fact that it uses a crowded slice of the spectrum, with room for only three nonoverlapping channels. This will make 802.11a a better choice for some environments, especially those populated with devices that share the 2.4GHz spectrum, such as cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens, and Bluetooth radios.
802.11g facts Better range than that of 802.11a products Much faster than 802.11b products Low cost Subject to interference from other 2.4GHz devices Only three nonoverlapping channels Buffalo AirStation 54Mbps wireless broadband router
The price of 802.11b gear has dropped dramatically over the last year. This gear operates at 2.4GHz and offers a real-world throughput of around 5Mbps at close range. In a typical indoor environment, without a lot of metal, 802.11b equipment can generally maintain a solid connection up to about 150 feet. It is also fully compatible with the faster 802.11g standard. The weaknesses of 802.11b are its comparatively low throughput and the potential for interference with other gadgets that share the
2.4GHz band, such as cordless phones, security radios, and microwaves.
802.11b facts Better range than 802.11a products More than adequate throughput for broadband sharing at around 5Mbps Slower than 802.11a and 802.11g Broad compatibility Low cost Subject to interference from other 2.4GHz devices Only three nonoverlapping channels
Proxim Orinoco World PC Card
The 802.11a standard has a couple of advantages over the more prevalent 802.11g. It runs at a less populated frequency (5.15GHz to 5.35GHz), making it less prone to interference, and its practical throughput is about four times greater than that of 802.11b, typically clocking in at around 22Mbps. This gives it a lot more elbowroom than 802.11b for streaming digital audio and video or transferring large files over the network, with bandwidth left over for Internet sharing. Some manufacturers offer proprietary turbo modes that can push throughput even higher. 802.11a's downside is its shorter range. Because 802.11g and 802.11a operate at different frequencies, they can't talk directly to one another, which is why if you have an 802.11a adapter, you cannot connect to most hot spots. Another weakness is the increased power drain of the 5GHz radio, as compared to its 2.4GHz counterparts.
802.11a facts Great throughput at around 22Mbps or higher Operates at 5GHz Low risk of interference from other devices Eight nonoverlapping channels Higher cost than that of 802.11b and 802.11g Intel Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN access point
Wouldn't it be nice if you could get all of the 802.11 standards into a single device? The latest wave of dual-band networking equipment gives you just that. 802.11a/b/g gear operates at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz and gives you the advantages of all three standards. You get the speed and the resistance to interference of 802.11a, the broad compatibility and the increased range of 802.11b, and the increased throughput of 802.11g--but you pay for it. Dual-band gear can cost more than twice as much as its single-band counterparts, but for some, the added flexibility will be worth the heftier price tag.
Dual-band facts Compatibility with all 802.11 standards Combines the fast throughput of both 802.11g and 802.11a All-in-one solution A combined total of 11 nonoverlapping channels
Bluetooth offers more flexibility than Wi-Fi but on a smaller scale. Its throughput is a poky 500Kbps, and its range is just a couple dozen feet, but devices with a Bluetooth radio and an antenna can speak to each other with little or no preparation. Meeting attendees can immediately transfer files across a conference table using their Bluetooth-equipped notebooks, or they can send a file to a Bluetooth-equipped printer without downloading drivers. Bluetooth may soon be standard equipment on many cell phones and handheld computers. There's even talk of putting Bluetooth into home appliances. But for all the theoretical benefits of Bluetooth, the reality is that it's currently a mess of incompatible hardware and software. Because Bluetooth operates at 2.4GHz, it is subject to the same interference problems as 802.11b and 802.11g.
Actiontec USB Bluetooth adapter
Bluetooth facts Not compatible with 802.11 standards Slow throughput at around 500Kbps Expensive Short range of about 30 feet Few Bluetooth devices or services Interferes with other 2.4GHz devices Low power requirements
Power-line gear may be the best-kept secret in home networking. Though overshadowed by Wi-Fi, power-line networking (also known by the Powerline Alliance's name of HomePlug) is a good solution either as an alternative to wireless or as a way to extend a wireless network to the far reaches of a home. Devices based on the HomePlug standard use your home's electrical wiring to connect a digital network. At throughput speeds of around 5Mbps, HomePlug routers and adapters are plenty fast enough to share a broadband connection between a few computers. The power-line solution is also a great way of connecting wireless access points in a large house or building.
HomePlug facts Practical throughput speeds of about 5Mbps Inexpensive Great for environments with 2.4GHz or 5GHz cordless phones Guaranteed interoperability between HomePlug devices
Nothing tops Ethernet for speed and reliability, and Ethernet also has the advantage of being a lot cheaper to deploy than power line or any flavor of wireless. Most computers already have Ethernet adapters built in, but unfortunately, most homes do not. Still, if you are after high bandwidth, it's worth considering pulling Ethernet cable through your home. Even if you decide not to cable your home for Ethernet, you might find that an Ethernet hub or switch is a good complement to your wireless network. In fact, many wireless routers come with a four-port Ethernet switch built in.
Ethernet facts Practical throughput around 90Mbps Inexpensive Requires cabling Range of about 300 feet per segment Widespread networking standard Ideal for bandwidth-intensive applications Netgear RP614
Figuring out what gear you'll need to build your network can be a challenge. We'll help you put together the pieces of the puzzle.
Routers act as the gateway between your broadband connection and your home network. Wireless routers come in various configurations, but most are amalgamations of a four-port wired Ethernet switch and a wireless access point. As the name implies, these devices route traffic between your network and the Internet. Most include built-in DHCP servers that automatically assign the right IP address information to each computer on your local-area network, or LAN. A separate WAN, or wide-area network, interface on the router connects your entire home or office network to your broadband modem, allowing you to share your Internet connection through the router. Most routers also have firewall capabilities, and some include more advanced security features. Some routers even have an integrated cable or DSL modem, eliminating your need for two separate devices.
The access point is the hub of a wireless network and the central transit point for all of the data flowing between your wireless network and your wired network. There are as many types of access points as there are networking standards: 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, and Bluetooth. Wireless access points do not offer the rich feature set and the high configurability of most routers because they are designed to add a wireless extension to your network and not to play the role of a central gateway. Nevertheless, access points do typically include some security features, such as encryption.
An adapter connects your computer or your PDA to a network. If your computer doesn't already have the adapter that you need built in, you can add one. As with access points, there are as many types of adapters as there are networking standards--802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, dual band, and Bluetooth--and each type comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, including PC Cards, PCI and mini-PCI, USB, CompactFlash, and SD. Some wireless adapters are decked out with special features, such as retractable or removable antennae, encryption support, or connection-monitoring software. Before making your purchase, always confirm that the adapter is compatible with your operating system. If you plan to use an adapter at work, you should also check to ensure that it is compatible with any encryption schemes in use, such as LEAP or WPA.
Switches and hubs
Ethernet is the glue that holds together most networks. It's fast and cheap, and it is integrated into just about everything. If you need to expand your network, an Ethernet hub or switch can come in very handy since most desktops and notebooks include a built-in Ethernet adapter. Accordingly, most wireless broadband routers come with a three- or four-port Ethernet switch built in, allowing you to connect to the router via a fast, wired Ethernet connection. Switches and hubs perform similar functions, but switches can handle multiple simultaneous users without any significant decrease in network throughput.
You may already have a home network and now want to connect it with your friend's network across the street, or perhaps you want to create a public hot spot to draw customers to your business. With the right equipment, you can expand your network for more extensive coverage in your own home or bridge the digital divide in your neighborhood by starting a community network.
As a digital signal travels down a cable or through the air, it gradually gets weaker. To get the signal to go farther, you need a device that can pick it up, then send it off again at full strength. Repeaters do just this. Repeaters are easy to confuse with bridges, and in fact, some access points and bridges include a repeater mode that allows the device to receive a signal from another access point and repeat it to adapters or other access points within its range. However, some bridges are capable only of talking to other bridges. Look carefully at the feature set to see if the product you are considering offers a repeater mode.
Things to consider about a repeater Is it compatible with your other repeaters and access points? Does it have a removable antenna or an external connector? How many Ethernet ports, if any, does it have? Does it include both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint modes?
Buffalo Wireless repeater
A bridge connects two or more wireless networks in a large home, across the street, or across campus. Bridges attach networks together either through point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connections. Not long ago, bridges were expensive high-end products, but now you can find consumer bridges at very reasonable prices. Unfortunately, this technology varies based on the chipset and the firmware, so bridges tend to work only with other bridges of the same type and model. Before you lay down your cash, make sure that the bridges you're considering will work together.
Things to consider about a bridge Is it compatible with other bridges and access points? Does it have a removable antenna or an external connector? How many Ethernet ports does it have? Does it include both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint modes? Is it easy to install? Linksys WET54G
A good way to increase the range of your wireless network is to add an antenna that is better suited to your needs. Antennae transmit signals in different ways. For example, if you want to share Internet access with your immediate neighbors, install an omnidirectional antenna on your roof. If you want to cover a specific location, such as the park across the street, a directional antenna works best. For faraway areas, you will need a high-gain antenna capable of bridging the gap. In general, the higher the gain of the antenna, the further its reach will be. Look for an antenna that has been certified by the FCC to work with the router, the access point, or the adapter that you plan to use with it. Also be sure that the antenna has the right type of connector to mate with the connector on your networking gear.
Things to consider about antennae Do you want to cover a broad area or make a long-distance link to another location? What is the gain of the antenna? What type of antenna connector do you need? Is the antenna certified by the FCC for use with your equipment?
Buffalo AirStation extended range antenna
A power-line bridge can take your wireless network into places it might not otherwise be able to penetrate. For example, you may have a room with a wall that is covered with metal shelving. This would probably put it outside the reach of your wireless router. However, you can use a pair of power-line bridges to connect your router to an access point via your electrical wiring, which lets you add wireless connectivity even to those hard-to-reach areas. You can buy power-line bridges with both USB and Ethernet interfaces, so make sure you get the right interface for the device you intend to connect it to.
Things to consider about power-line bridges Does it have the right interface for your access point or router? Is the bridge HomePlug compliant?
Gateway PLU-300 power-line USB adapter
The components and the layout of your network will determine what you'll need to secure local computers, but some things are musts for any network that is connected to the Internet. A few simple preemptive measures can go a long way toward protecting your data and keeping your systems safe.
Basic security features
The first step to securing your network is to use the standard features that are built into your gear. Many networking devices come with security features that will protect your network against hacker attacks. If you are buying a broadband router, look for one with a NAT firewall and MAC address filtering. NAT firewalls conceal your network behind the router, and MAC address filtering allows you to grant or deny access to your network to specific machines. NAT usually runs automatically and requires no configuration. MAC address filtering requires you to enter the MAC addresses of the computers you want to allow or deny. Wireless-networking devices typically include WEP or WPA encryption. Both forms of encryption help protect your network, but WPA is much more secure than WEP. To implement WEP or WPA, you'll need to enter an encryption key on all of the wireless devices on your network; the product user manual typically includes a detailed explanation of how to do this. Some wireless devices add authentication schemes, such as 802.1x or LEAP, but these technologies are better suited to large enterprises than home or small-office use.
Things to consider about basic security features Do you have a NAT firewall between the Internet and your network? Have you enabled MAC address filtering? Have you enabled WPA or WEP encryption for your wireless clients? Do you need 802.1x or LEAP to connect with your office LAN?
A home or office network makes it easy for you to share files between computers, but that also makes it easier for viruses and worms to wind their way through your computers. Fortunately, you can immunize your computers with antivirus software. Antivirus software detects and eradicates viruses before they have a chance to spread. If you plan to connect your network to the Internet, antivirus software is a must.
Things to consider about antivirus software How long is the software automatically updated to detect new viruses? How fast does it scan for viruses? Does it scan and clean instant-messenger attachments? Does it come with a software firewall? Does virus eradication require your involvement?
PC-cillin Internet Security 2004
When you open an e-mail message, an e-mail server somewhere on the Internet is sending the data to a certain port on your computer. A Web server uses a different port on your computer to send you a Web page, and an instant messenger yet another to send you a message. These are software ports, so you can't see them, but trust us, they're there. A firewall manages the data traffic coming to and flowing from your computer on specific ports--sometimes allowing data to get through, sometimes blocking it, and other times asking you if you want to permit a connection that is about to be opened. Most firewalls include a general set of rules about what is and what is not allowed, others may allow you to set your own rules.
Things to consider about firewall software Is it easy to install? Does it come with phone support? Does it pass CNET Labs' firewall tests? Does it come with antivirus software?
Zone Labs ZoneAlarm Pro 4.0
A hardware firewall works the same way as a software firewall but has certain other advantages. Whereas a software firewall must be installed on each computer in your network, a hardware firewall centralizes the control of connections between your network and the Internet, so you can be sure that all of the machines on your network are playing by the same rules. Hardware firewalls also use their own processors for port filtering and encryption tasks, which means that there is little or no resource drain on the computers in your network, giving you better overall performance. Some firewalls also allow you to set up VPN connections from the Internet to your personal LAN, providing you with a secure way to access your computers while you're on the road.
Things to consider about hardware firewalls How many ports does it have? Does it perform stateful packet inspection? Can it establish VPN connections? How many simultaneous VPN tunnels can it support?
Netgear FWG114P ProSafe 802.11g Wireless Firewall with USB Print Server
Today, home networks are used primarily to connect PCs for performing traditional tasks, such as sharing an Internet connection, exchanging files, and printing. But it won't be long before these same networks will be used to transport all types of data, including audio and video, to a wide range of gadgets throughout the home. In fact, this is already becoming a reality. With the right components, you can stream MP3s directly to your stereo and connect your gaming console to your home network.
Digital audio receivers
Adding your stereo to your home network is easy, thanks to a new type of networking device called a digital audio receiver, or DAR. A DAR sends music from your PC to your stereo using any one of a number of networking protocols: wired Ethernet, 802.11g, USB, and/or power-line networking. These vary a great deal in terms of design and features, so it's a good idea to research them all before choosing one.
Things to consider about digital audio receivers How good is its sound quality? What type of networking standard does it support? What audio outputs does it have? Does it have a TV output? What versions of Dolby Digital does it support?
Creative Sound Blaster Wireless Music
Some gaming consoles, such as the Microsoft Xbox, come with a built-in Ethernet jack, making them network ready. Not every home is cabled for Ethernet, though. Fortunately, there is an easy way around this that allows you to place your console next to your TV and hook it up to the network without stringing Ethernet cable across the room: just attach a wireless bridge or a wireless Ethernet adapter to the console, and it will play happily with the rest of your network.
Things to consider about wireless bridges Is it compatible with other bridges, access points, and routers? Does it have a removable antenna or an external connector? How many Ethernet ports does it have? Does it include both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint modes? Is it easy to install? Sony PCWA-DE30 wireless Ethernet converter
Wireless presentation gateways
Presentation gateways provide a central networking node for the distribution of digital and audio content. You connect the wireless presentation gateway to a projector or a monitor, and, after doing so, anyone can connect wirelessly to the gateway to display images, slide shows, or other content on the screen. Some gateways come with internal memory and allow you to store a presentation directly onto the device so that you can leave your computer at home and take your show on the road.
Things to consider about wireless presentation gateways What networking standards does it support? What audio and video outputs does it have? How many users can it support? How much storage capacity does it have? Does it come with a remote control? Linksys WPG12
Since CNET reviews all the networking gear you should know about, our top picks change frequently. Come back to our networking center for updates.
TOP NETWORKING GEAR BY USER TYPE: HOME NETWORK Motorola WR850G wireless broadband router Netgear WG511T 108Mbps wireless PC Card Netgear XE102 power-line adapter Linksys WUSB12 wireless adapter HOME-OFFICE NETWORK OR TELECOMMUTER Buffalo WRB-G54K ONLINE GAMING AND ENTERTAINMENT Sony PCWA-DE30 wireless Ethernet converter Proxim Orinoco 11a/b/g ComboCard Gold EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia IBM ThinkPad X40 Receiver Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security Creative Sound Blaster Wireless Music 2004 KiSS DP-500 MN-740 Xbox wireless adapter
HOT-SPOT HOPPER Buffalo AirStation Adapter-G Buffalo AirStation WLE-NDR omnidirectional antenna
INTERNET SERVICES PROVIDER Buffalo WLA-G54C wireless repeater bridge
BLUETOOTH BROKER 3Com Wireless Bluetooth PC Card Apple 12-inch PowerBook G4 Sony DCR-IP55 camcorder Actiontec USB wireless adapter
Buffalo AirStation wireless broadband router SMC 2.4GHz high-power wireless PC Card Buffalo AirStation WLE-NDR Linksys WPC55AG notebook adapter omnidirectional antenna SanDisk ConnectPlus 128MB D-Link DSA-3100 CompactFlash Wi-Fi D-Link DSA-3100P
TOP NETWORKING GEAR BY STANDARDS: 802.11g GEAR Buffalo WLA-G54C wireless repeater bridge Buffalo AirStation 54Mbps broadband router Motorola WR850G wireless broadband router D-Link DWL-G650 Wireless-G Broadband Router with SpeedBooster 802.11b GEAR SMC 2.4GHz high-power wireless PC Card Linksys Wireless-B media adapter Toshiba PCX5000 wireless cable modem gateway Netgear MR814 router Motorola SBG1000 wireless cable modem gateway 802.11a GEAR DUAL-BAND GEAR Netgear HE102 wireless access Linksys WRT55AG A+G point broadband router Linksys WAP54A wireless access point SMC EZ Connect access point D-Link AirPro DWL-A650 802.11a PC Card Linksys WPC54A 802.11a PC Card Netgear WAB102 dual-band access point Linksys WPC55AG dual-band wireless notebook adapter Netgear WAB501 dual-band wireless adapter Netgear WAG511 dual-band wireless PC Card Proxim Orinoco ComboCard (Gold) BLUETOOTH 3Com Wireless Bluetooth PC Card Apple 12-inch PowerBook G4 Sony DCR-IP55 camcorder Actiontec USB Bluetooth adapter HOMEPLUG GEAR ETHERNET GEAR Linksys instant power-line USB Netgear RP614 cable/DSL adapter router Netgear XE102 power-line Ethernet adapter Gateway PLU-300 power-line USB adapter Gateway PLE-310 power-line Ethernet adapter Linksys EtherFast four-port cable/DSL router Buffalo LSW GT-8W Buffalo Gigabit Ethernet PCI adapter
TOP NETWORKING GEAR BY DEVICE TYPE: WIRELESS ROUTERS Wireless-G Broadband Router with SpeedBooster D-Link DI-624 AirPlus Xtreme G router Dell TM2300 wireless broadband router Netgear WGR614 router Buffalo AirStation 54Mbps wireless broadband router WIRELESS ACCESS POINTS Netgear WAB102 dual-band wireless access point Linksys WAP54G Wireless-G access point Netgear HE102 802.11a Apple AirPort Extreme base station ADAPTERS Proxim Orinoco 11a/b/g ComboCard Gold Netgear WG511T 108Mbps wireless PC Card Linksys WUSB12 wireless USB adapter SanDisk ConnectPlus 128MB CompactFlash Wi-Fi Buffalo AirStation Adapter-G WIRELESS NOTEBOOKS AND TABLETS Toshiba Portege M200 tablet PC Dell Latitude D505 HP Compaq Business Notebook nx5000 Sony VAIO V505 series IBM ThinkPad X40
TOP DEVICES TO EXPAND YOUR NETWORK:
BRIDGES AND REPEATERS Buffalo WLA-G54C wireless repeater bridge Linksys WET54G D-Link Ethernet-to-wireless bridge Sony PCWA-DE30 wireless Ethernet converter Netgear ME101 wireless Ethernet bridge
ANTENNAE Buffalo AirStation extended range antenna ExtendAIR direct D-Link Ant24-0801 Pico cell patch antenna POWER-LINE ADAPTERS Gateway PLU-300 power-line USB adapter Gateway PLE-310 power-line Ethernet adapter
WIRELESS ADAPTERS W/ ANTENNA CONNECTORS Buffalo wireless Adapter-G SMC 2.4GHz high-power wireless PC Card
ROUTERS & ACCESS POINTS W/ ANTENNA CONNECTORS Motorola SBG1000 wireless cable modem gateway D-Link AirPlus DI-624 Buffalo AirStation wireless broadband router SMC 54Mbps wireless cable/DSL broadband router
TOP PRODUCTS TO SECURE YOUR NETWORK: ROUTERS WITH INTEGRATED ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE SOFTWARE FIREWALLS FIREWALLS McAfee VirusScan 8.0 ZoneAlarm Pro 4.0 Motorola SBG1000 wireless Norton AntiVirus 2004 Norton Personal Firewall 2004 cable modem gateway PC-cillin Internet Security 2004 McAfee Personal Firewall D-Link AirPlus DI-624 Wireless-G Broadband Router with SpeedBooster SMC 54Mbps wireless cable/DSL broadband router Buffalo AirStation 54Mbps wireless broadband router Motorola WR850G wireless broadband router PC-cillin Internet Security 2004 HARDWARE FIREWALLS Netgear FWG114P ProSafe 802.11g Wireless Firewall with USB Print Server Asus WL-500g wireless router
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