Connect smartphone to laptop using Bluetooth and turn Windows Mobile phone into a wireless modem



You can use your Windows Mobile phone as a wireless modem by connecting to your laptop using Bluetooth. This method is more complex to configure, initially, than connecting your phone to your laptop with a cable, but when you have it set up, this method gives you the flexibility of having a wireless Internet connection. After your laptop and smartphone are connected, you can put your phone back in your pocket or jacket and leave it there the connection is wireless.

The downside to this method is that extended Internet access sessions dramatically reduce the battery life of your phone. Your laptop also needs to have Bluetooth hardware installed. If it doesn't have it, you'll need to add a Bluetooth adapter.

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Stage 1: Pairing your smartphone and laptop

First, you will need to pair your Windows Mobile phone with your laptop. Pairing creates a software bond between the phone and the laptop so they can recognize each other automatically in the future. Because Bluetooth software on laptops varies, the following steps are general purpose the exact steps you follow may differ slightly. On my laptop running Windows Vista, the Bluetooth software is most easily accessed via the small, blue Bluetooth icon in the system tray, but it can also be accessed by clicking Start > All Programs > Bluetooth.

After you have accessed Bluetooth, pair your Windows Mobile phone with your laptop:

1. Turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone by accessing the Wireless Manager. On a Windows Mobile Standard phone, press the power button and click Wireless Manager on the menu. On a Windows Mobile Professional phone, click Comm Manager in the Settings panel. (The names of the programs are different in Windows Mobile Standard and Windows Mobile Professional phones.)

2. When Bluetooth is turned on, you should see the Bluetooth logo appear somewhere at the top of the Home screen this tells you that Bluetooth is active. Next, you'll need to dig into the Bluetooth settings to find a setting called Make Device Visible. Turning on this setting allows your laptop to see your smartphone.

3. Right-click the Bluetooth icon on your laptop, and look for an option that says Add a Bluetooth Device (or something similar). The Add Bluetooth Device Wizard opens.

Follow the instructions in the wizard (the software scans for any nearby Bluetooth devices and displays what it finds).

4. Select the device you want to pair with. If you see multiple devices, make sure you select the right device typically it is the make or model of the smartphone. In this example, I want to pair with my Samsung Blackjack II, which is also known as the SGH-i616. After you select the smartphone you want to pair with, click Next.

5. The next step involves security. To prevent just anyone from accessing your smartphone over Bluetooth, you'll set up a passkey. A passkey is a short series of numbers that you only need to enter once. You can choose your own passkey, but it's generally easiest to let the software select a random passkey. Click Choose a passkey for me, and then click Next.

6. When the passkey is generated, the laptop attempts to connect to the smartphone. On your phone, an on-screen prompt appears that asks you if you want to allow a Bluetooth connection from your laptop. Click Accept, and enter the passkey when prompted. This process has to be completed within a short period of time (usually less than 60 seconds) or it will time out and have to be redone.

7. After the passkey is entered on the phone, the process continues automatically on the laptop, and your phone and laptop should inform you that a successful pairing has been completed. The pairing process should not have to be repeated unless the pairing is deleted for some reason.

Stage 2: Connect to your laptop using Bluetooth

The initial pairing is the hard part, and thankfully it only has to be done once. Now you're ready to connect your laptop to your smartphone:

1. Ensure that Bluetooth is activated on both your smartphone and your laptop. On your smartphone, find the Internet Sharing program and open it. Change the PC Connection setting to Bluetooth PAN. The default connection setting should be fine for the Network Connection (it will be the same connection your phone uses to check e-mail). Click Connect, and the Status will change to Device setup finished. On the PC, connect Bluetooth PAN. Your smartphone is now ready to accept a Bluetooth connection from your laptop.

2. On your laptop, right-click the Bluetooth icon, and look for a menu option called Join a Personal Network or Join a PAN. Click that menu option.

3. You'll probably only see one device (your phone) listed there. Select the device, and click the Connect button in the lower-right corner.

Everything should proceed automatically from this point. You'll see the software make a connection with the smartphone, and within a few seconds, you should have a live Internet connection. Open your web browser for a quick test, and you're good to go.

4. When you're finished with the Internet connection, on your phone go to Internet Sharing, and click Disconnect. That puts your phone back to its normal state and terminates the active Bluetooth connection between your laptop and your smartphone.


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