June 13, 2005

Curious George: Bluetooth WiFi network? Can you connect to a WiFi network through bluetooth? I assume that there might be some hardware involved(?)

I'm thinking about getting a treo 650 for software development purposes, but Verizon (grrr) wants me to get an entirely new data service to connect to the internet. This device has bluetooth built in, and I'm unfamiliar with the technology. I have a WiFi (802.11g) network at home and would rather use that then pay Verizon for using their service. Is there a way (through an adaptor I assume) to connect this device to my home network? Is this even possible?

  • No...can't do it. Completely different technology, which is why critics of the Treo are upset that, while containing Bluetooth, the developers omiteed wifi.
  • ooooops "omitted".
  • I understand that bluetooth and wifi are totally different, but I'm wondering... -is there an external wifi antenna that is bluetooth compatible. Like something that runs on batteries, hooks into a wifi network and also allows bluetooth devices to hook into it. -how about a bluetooth adapter that hooks into an ethernet port. My wireless router has open ports. I would prefer a more mobile solution (above) but would consider this as well.
  • Nope. Like tennenho says, they're very different. WiFi's standard is 802.11b (usually) while Bluetooth is 802.15. Here's an article that explains more. They serve very different purposes and are not compatible. A google search for "bluetooth ethernet" brings up some good possibilities for an ethernet-bluetooth adaptor, though. I know nothing about how they work.
  • hmmm... I have been googling this for awhile, but didn't get that ivt link before. All the links to the product pdfs are broken, however. So the only solution I've come up with is a thumbstick usb/bluetooth adaptor for under $20. Damn you, Verizon! You've scratched out another victory. However, I will never give up and will find a way around your horrible proprietary business models of BREW and "Get It Now!"
  • there are bluetooth to ethernet bridges that are available (as tracicle pointed out) - just grab one and set it up. you may be able to get one off eBay for cheap. unless you're on a Mac I would recommend that over like a D-Link USB BT adapter, since bluetooth on windows (unless you just want to use a keyboard and mouse, and even then it's not much better) is an exercise in stupidity, IMHO. a dedicated device will most likely lead to success whereas trying to get BT working on Windows will probably lead to you buying a Secure Digital 802.11b WiFi card.
  • FWIW it'll probably be easier to just get the palmOne SD wifi card, as bluetooth has very limited range and is very slow. quite a bit more expensive, though.
  • I agree that the SD wifi card would be a great solution (cheaper than buying the data package from Verizon as well). I read on the palmOne forums that the SD WiFi card didn't have drivers for the treos and that palm had no plans to create them. Did someone get the card to work with the treo?
  • sweet! Thanks for the additional prod in the sd wifi card direction mrg. Some guy hacked the drivers to allow the sd wifi card on the treo 650: link (at the bottom)
  • well, that's awesome.. I didn't even realize the treo didn't support the SD wifi card. glad to see there's a hack though :) fwiw, sandisk and socket make similar cards (sandisk's cards even have storage built in) but I think they only support Pocket PCs, which is lame.
  • Don't buy the 650 with the intent of using Shadowmite's hacked wifi drivers. There are many specific caveats with respect to the model that he developed the hack for, and he is quite upfront about them. I believe he developed it for the Sprint model, and it is (was?) established that the hack does not work on the Cingular model. You'll need to determine if the Verizon distro is the same as either or a new flavor all its' own. I was able to use a USB cable to connect to my wifi network by connecting the Treo to my Mac and using the pay-only internet sharing feature in the Mac version of The Missing Sync, but that is suboptimal. Much cooler is Shadowmite's hack that reactivates DUN, allowing you to use the phone as a wireless modem for your BT laptop. Only do this, however, if you have unlimited data.