How to Set Up a Bluetooth Network

By Chris Moore

A Bluetooth network between computers allows you to transfer data and files from one system to the other through wireless transmission. You can also transfer data between handheld computer devices like PDAs and mobile phones through a Bluetooth connection. To set up a Bluetooth network, you first need to establish both your computers as Bluetooth devices. Then you can link them together through wireless transmission. Your Windows operating system has all the tools needed to do this.

Adding and Connecting a Bluetooth Device

Step 1

Open your Windows Control Panel. and select the Hardware and Sound link. Choose the Bluetooth Devices link in the Hardware and Sound window. The page that opens should be blank without any devices added.

Step 2

Configure your computer for adding a new device or creating a network. Click the Options tab in the Bluetooth Devices box and go to the Options page in the Discovery group box. Check the box labeled "Allow Bluetooth Devices to Find This Computer."

Step 3

Go to the Connections group box and check the boxes labeled "Allow Bluetooth Devices to Connect to This Computer" and "Alert Me When a New Bluetooth Device Wants to Connect." Check the "Show the Bluetooth Icon in the Notification Area" box to help you find the most useful commands.

Step 4

Access the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard by clicking the Add button on the devices page of the dialog box. Check the "My Device Is Set Up and Ready to Be Found" box and click Next. Select the device you want to add from the list that appears and click Next.

Step 5

Choose a passkey for the device as the wizard suggests. Select "Use the Passkey Found in the Documentation if your device has a preset passkey. Otherwise, have Windows create a passkey with "Choose a Passkey for Me" or create your own with "Let Me Choose My Own Passkey."

Step 6

Follow any more instructions the wizard gives you related to the passkey. Click "Finish" when the "Completing the Add Bluetooth Device" screen appears to complete the connection.

Step 7

Repeat all the above steps for a second computer to make it a bluetooth device also. This will be the home computer, which you will send the signal from. The previous device is the target computer, which will receive the signal.

Establishing a Bluetooth Network

Step 1

Go to the home computer and click the Bluetooth Devices icon in your notification area. Select "Join a Personal Area Network" from the menu to bring up the Personal Area Network Devices dialog box. Select your target computer from the Devices list box and click the Connect button.

Step 2

Choose the Start Network option to open a Network window. You should get an Information Bar saying "Network discovery and file sharing are turned off. Click to change." Click on this bar and select "Turn On Network Discovery and File Sharing." After authenticating yourself to User Account Control, click the button in the next box that makes your network a private one.

Step 3

Click on the icon for the target computer that should now appear, meaning the computer is connected to the network. All the folders that the computer is sharing should appear. You can now copy any files from the target computer to the home computer. You can copy files from the home computer to the target if they are shared with permission for you to change their contents.

Step 4

Disconnect the Bluetooth Network after you're finished transferring files. Click the Devices icon in either computer's notification area and choose "Join a Personal Area Network." Choose the connection you want disconnected In the Devices list box, then click the Yes button in the warning box that appears.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your computer doesn't have Bluetooth built in, connect adapter to it. This adapter connects through the computer's USB port.
  • Don't leave the Discovery option on if you're not currently adding a new Bluetooth device. Leaving it on leaves your computer vulnerable to unwanted connections. Uncheck the "Allow Bluetooth Devices to Find This Computer" box to disable Discovery.