Bluetooth dial-up networking (DUN)

refers to getting wireless Internet connectivity on a laptop by using a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone.

Bluetooth DUN is a good alternative for wireless Internet when there are no local hotspots or wireless access points to provide faster, more efficient access.

At a minimum, Bluetooth DUN allows one to check email or perform other lowband online tasks.

Bluetooth is a personal access network (PAN) technology that uses radio waves in the 2.4 gigahertz range to connect personal devices. It is most often used to connect cell phones with hands free headsets, but is also used for communication between personal digital assistants (PDAs) and laptops, cell phones and laptops, mice, keyboards and printers, and even game consoles. Bluetooth DUN is just one of the many ways Bluetooth technology improves personal flexibility in the digital world.

To create a Bluetooth DUN connection,

one must first configure the laptop for enabled Bluetooth connectivity.

The cell phone must also be configured to communicate via Bluetooth.

The laptop should recognize all Bluetooth enabled devices in the immediate area.

The cell phone is selected as the device of choice, and a Bluetooth DUN shortcut must be configured the first time a connection is made. In this step, the laptop is configured to communicate using the Bluetooth modem rather than the standard internal modem.

username and password

When setting up a Bluetooth DUN, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) username and password are required, as is a dial-up access phone number.

If the Bluetooth connection is encrypted, the user may also need to enter a Bluetooth security code into both the cell phone and the laptop. This will allow the devices to successfully “handshake,” or form a connection.

Once a shortcut to the Bluetooth DUN has been created on the laptop, the user can click on it anytime to use the cell phone to dial an access number. Online speed fluctuates depending on various factors, but Bluetooth supports between one and three megabits per second (mbps), depending on the Bluetooth specification used. For perspective, a basic Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service transfers data at about 100 mbps.

Bluetooth.com instruction Videos

Since different cell phones and laptops have different navigational steps for pairing Bluetooth devices and creating a Bluetooth DUN, Bluetooth.com created instructional videos. By clicking on Connecting Devices from their home page, the Bluetooth enthusiast can find specific device-pairing videos. If your phone model is not listed, there are also generic instructions available for setting up a Bluetooth DUN.

Using Bluetooth for Laptop Dial-up


I've been trying to find details on using my Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone as a modem backup when there's no WiFi available. Having a keyboard solution like the Stowaway is certainly passable for replying to a critical mail or sending an IM in under an hour per sentence, but some things require the full functionality of a PC.

I've run into several situations where public Internet connections blocked mail sending, FTP and other functions that are potentially vital. I'm paying for the data connection on my phone, so why not make it useful.

With a few configuration tweaks, I set up my laptop to use my SMT5600 as a dialup connection and sustained upload and download speeds around 2.8KBps which is like living in 1995, but will manage in a pinch.

Someday I hope we get the transfer rates experienced by people in Japan and Korea. My house gets poor signal from ATT Wireless in general, so I'm hoping that's very representative of real world performance.

using Bluetooth to dialup

Bluetooth makes a decent connector for short range wireless connectivity between a cell phone and a PC, but the configuration is potentially tricky depending on what you have to work with.

On the phone side of the equation all you need to do is make the Bluetooth discoverable. You can add a password to keep other people from hijacking the connection but for testing purposes, I don't recommend it because that adds an additional layer of troubleshooting. In the real world, a password is highly recommended. On the PC side of the equation, the first thing you need is a Bluetooth adapter. A few laptops have these built in, but for most cases, you'll need an add-on. I picked up an adapter from Kensington with a nice set of pre-configured connection options for about $40. There are plenty of other options, although I recommend going with the newer Bluetooth v1.2 standard.

After installing your adapter software and connecting it to your PC you need to browse for other Bluetooth devices nearby. The Kensington software automatically recognizes my SMT5600 as providing Dial-up Networking services. By double clicking on the service, I'm presented with a connection box asking for a username and password, as well as a number to Dial. Assuming you have ATT Wireless service (this may also work for other providers), leave the username and password blank, but enter *99# in the Dial box and click the Dial button. That number is the magic bullet to get you in.

By default, the connection is configured to be secure, so you'll be prompted to enter a password on both the laptop and on the phone. As long as you enter the same number on both ends, you'll be in. As I stated previously, don't expect amazing performance from the connection speed. It's fast enough to read some email and download RSS feeds before hopping on a plane and it will handle FTP transfers both directions in a pinch, but you're still better off with WiFi when you can find it.

If the software that came with your Bluetooth adapter isn't so hot, you may need to manually configure a dial-up connection. In that case these steps should get you through:

1. Launch the Create a new Connection wizard in your Network Connections
2. Choose Connect to the Internet
3. Select Setup my connection manually
4. Connect using a dial-up modem
5. Choose your Bluetooth modem as the Device
6. Name the connection
7. Enter the phone number *99#
8. Leave Username, Password and Confirm Password blank
9. Finish the connection wizard

To test your newly created Bluetooth dial-up account, double-click it in the Network Connections window and click the Dial button. Assuming your phone is set to Discoverable, you should be connected and ready for early Nineties surfing speeds.

7-webtechnology/bluetooth/bluetooth-dialup.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/02 20:24 (external edit)
Back to top
chimeric.de = chi`s home Creative Commons License Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki do yourself a favour and use a real browser - get firefox!! Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0