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The Bluetooth Wireless Network Standard

Bluetooth isn’t a network standard for full-scale wireless Ethernet networking. Instead, Bluetooth was developed as a specialized wireless technology for short distances. You can use Bluetooth with cell phones, PDAs, laptops, palmtops, printers, and other external devices. Here are some Bluetooth facts:

  • The maximum distance for a Bluetooth network is about 30 feet.

  • Bluetooth requires very little power to use (befitting its design, which concentrates on battery-operated devices).

  • It’s painfully slow compared with the 802.11b network standard.

  • No base station is required for Bluetooth communications between devices. For example, after your laptop gets within 30 feet of your cell phone, they can update each other’s telephone number directories. Eerie.

  • Bluetooth uses the 2.4 GHz broadcasting spectrum, so it conflicts with existing 802.11b and 802.11g networks (not to mention cell phones, cordless phones, and other electronic devices). The airwaves are getting so overpopulated that tin cans and string start to look attractive again.

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