How To Create A "Personal Area Network" Using Bluetooth

Bluetooth is an exciting technology made popular by mobile phones. However, Bluetooth capabilities have extended beyond phone-to-phone and phone-to-PC connectivity since we can easily use it for creating a wireless Personal Area Network (PAN) between two PCs. This can be of great help at homes where there is more than one computer - say, a desktop and laptop - where the entire hard disks and even printers can be shared.

The connectivity works much like Local Area Network with only one difference: here, instead of a network card and cable, its Bluetooth adapter is used for communication

This guide will talk through PAN creation using a laptop with a built-in Bluetooth adapter and a desktop PC with the USB-based Bluetooth device (often called a dongle) - both running Windows XP.

Install Bluetooth driver on desktop PC using the CD provided with the dongle case. Bluetooth icon appears in the System Tray. Click on this icon, select Open Bluetooth Settings, go to Options tab and check on ‘Turn discovery on' in Discovery section. In the same dialogue box, put a check on ‘Allow Bluetooth devices to connect to this computer' and ‘Alert me when a new Bluetooth device wants to connect' under ‘Connections' section. Note that these settings are saved only when dongle is attached with the desktop PC.

The next step is to turn on the Guest account and enable file sharing on the desktop PC and laptop.

Turn on file sharing

Right-click on a folder which is to be shared, and select ‘Sharing and Security'. Now, Properties dialogue box will open, select the Sharing tab. In the section ‘Network sharing and security', the user will be notified that as a security measure, remote access to this computer is disabled. User can use the link Network Setup Wizard. Below this link, there is another link with the option to ‘share files without running the wizard'. Click on this link. The ‘Enable File Sharing' dialogue box will appear with a security warning. Change the default selection which is ‘Wizard mode' to ‘Just enable file sharing' and press OK. At this point, ‘Share this folder on the network' option will appear in the Properties dialogue box. Put a check on this box and note that Share Name is automatically set to the folder name. Do not change it and press OK. Perform the same procedure to enable sharing on the laptop. In some computers, the check box ‘Share this folder on the network' will appear automatically if the computer has been on a network before.

Turn on the guest account

By default, Guest account is kept disabled and needs to be enabled for PAN access in this case. Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Users. This shows the list of users. Right-click on Guest and select Properties. Un-check ‘Account is disabled,' and press OK. Again, right-click on Guest and select Set Password. Press Proceed, and without typing anything in New Password and Confirm Password fields, press OK. A message box ‘The password has been set' will be displayed. Press OK.

It is not necessary to enable Guest account for PAN since it is being used only for simplicity. Any other account can be used for remote access as well, since it is enabled and its proper authentication and access information is configured.

Initiating connection

Make sure that file sharing and guest account settings as shown above are performed on both desktop and laptop. Now from the desktop PC, go to Start > Settings > Network Connections and select Bluetooth Network Connection under Personal Area Network. Check ‘My device is searchable' (this refers to the fact that the laptop has been kept as discoverable) and press Next, to search for devices. Laptop's name should appear in the list. Select it and press Next. Select ‘Let me choose my own passkey' option and enter 0000 and wait for laptop to display a balloon in System Tray on top of Bluetooth icon asking for Bluetooth security code. Enter 0000 here as well.

The request remains valid for about 30 seconds so be quick in entering the passkey on laptop. After the passkey is entered, the desktop PC will finish the Bluetooth device wizard. Press Finish. A list of devices will appear ready for connection, so select the laptop's name from this list. A balloon will appear in laptop System Tray about connection request from desktop PC. Grant permission and notice that an icon showing two small computers appear in System Tray showing network connectivity on both the computers. At this point, right-click this icon, select Status, press Properties, and double-click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Set IP address of desktop PC as 192.168.0.1 and that of laptop as 192.168.0.2 with subnet mask of both as 255.255.255.0 - without this step, both the machines will keep on trying to acquire IP address and will not be able to connect to each other.

Once this is done, both the computers should display normal network icon as if they are connected over LAN. There is a lot that can be done once two computers are connected. The entire disk can be shared by right-clicking the drive letter and making it available on sharing.

Troubleshooting

After a connection is established, double-click the System Tray icon, which will reveal bytes in and out count. If there is just one way traffic, there could be a network problem. Try Ping command using command prompt to verify if IP addresses have been defined correctly. After a successful connection, Network Neighborhood should display the name of the other PC. But if double-clicking on the computer name results in error message saying you do not have privileges/access is denied, then check to see if Guest account is enabled and is not password protected and that the file sharing is turned on.

Though the PAN setup process looks like a lengthy exercise it is actually a one-time effort and it takes just a few clicks to establish a connection after this initial setup is done. Enjoy sharing!

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Comments 13 comments

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Great hub explaining how to do it with all the relevant information. Networking can be great. Although I have found so much trouble sometimes with just a tiny little thing that I have missed and it wont work. That is when networking is a pain.

I have my computer shared with my husbands laptop through wireless. Works great. It makes it so easy if you want to use either persons printer too if one has a scanner and one doesn't. Thanks for sharing that.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

The only thing ive used my Bluetooth facility is to see whos who when im out and about and i always re-scan when new people are passing by me or within my location!

Its very handy and has its uses and can gets names of people all the time;)


TAS 8 years ago

Great article.

I have question: Can you make a remote desktop connection using a USB dongle on two computers? Without using a bluetooth access point?

Thanks

TAS


barz 7 years ago

have a question, and i hope i am making sense. lets say i am creating a pan between a laptop and a desktop. now if the laptop is connected to the internet and the desktop has the usb dongle, does that mean also that the desktop has also an access to the internet same as with the laptop if it means sharing?


Giridhar 7 years ago

i had explained my problem with the screen shots here, pls guide me http://hak5.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=14366


Shadab Shamsi 6 years ago

My Laptop & Desktop both give "request timed out." while pinging can you help please?


Abdul Hakeem 6 years ago

hi,

Subject: Personal area network between PC and mobile phone

I am running DSL Internet, I also have a Nokia 5130 Express Music mobile. Recently I bought a bluetooth dongle and connected my mobile to the computer. In windows control panel there was an option for personal area network, I tried it and my mobile phone was detected but when I clicked the connect button it connected and after 2 seconds it disconnected.

What could be the problem?

How do I benefit from this Personal Area Network? Does it mean I can access my DSL internet on my mobile phone if a PAN is established?

I will be thankful for your responses


hassam profile image

hassam 6 years ago from Pakistan Author

Re check your settings, and connect again. Yes you can access mobile internet in your cell. Just follow the steps mentioned properly, you won't have any problems.


Abdul Hakeem 6 years ago

thanks for the resonse but can you guide me through the settings whether I should use automatic ip addressing or manual?


Jyotiranjan Patel 6 years ago

I want to connect the pan connection but a comment is arised :A network cable is un pluged.

What can I do. Plse Tel me.


ANEESULISLAM  6 years ago

thanks for telling me about personal area network


surjeeth 5 years ago

no words to say about this...becoz that much of version is there


DAVESCK 4 years ago

Hey pple i can play pc games via bluetooth without needing internet do know how (1 u need two or more pc (2 u need personal area network service for pc (3 connet each other (4 open the game and click multiplayer and choose to host/join game and when it decets other computers and u can battle each other

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