What is Bluetooth USB?
Bluetooth is a proprietary open wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short wavelength radio transmissions in the ISM band from 2400-2480 MHz) from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs) with high levels of security. It was created by Ericsson in 1994, and was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.
Bluetooth is now managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which has more than 15,000 member companies in the areas of telecommunication, computing, networking, and consumer electronics. The SIG oversees the development of the specification, manages the qualification program, and protects the trademarks. To be marketed as a Bluetooth device, it must be qualified to standards defined by the SIG.
Bluetooth USB Adapters
When we talk about Bluetooth USB we are generally referring to a small bluetooth module which can be plugged into a spare USB port in your PC, notebook or netbook computer to add bluetooth capabilities. This then allows your computer to connect to bluetooth devices such as mice, external keyboards, headsets and even your smartphone.
If your laptop or notebook doesn’t have Bluetooth built in (and check this first as many newer models do) or has an older version of Bluetooth a Bluetooth USB dongle or micro adapter offer the perfect solution. the size of these adapters has gotten smaller over the last two years or so and many are now almost invisible once plugged into a spare USB port and can stay plugged into the notebook.
There are many Bluetooth USB adapter manufacturers, common and popular brands include Belkin, Kensington, Toshiba, IOGEAR, Targus and others. Most now offer Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity and you should make sure you buy an adapter which offer 2.0 and not the older 1.0 and 1.1 protocols.
The price of these adapters has come down a lot in the last few years and if you shop around online you should be able to find even brand name Bluetooth USB adapters for around $10-15.