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What is Bluetooth? 

Added: 07/19/2007, Hits: 3,211, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15.1), originally developed by Ericsson and later formalized by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), is a specification for wireless personal area networks that facilitates the exchange of data between electronic devices, such as mobile phones, PDAs, laptops, personal computers, printers and digital cameras. The devices, containing a low-cost transceiver, connect to each other using a short range radio frequency (2.45 gHz) of up to 328 feet. Each Bluetooth enabled device is assigned a unique 48-bit address and a 24-bit class identifier. The class identifier provides information as to the nature of the device (phone, PC, etc.) and is transmitted to other devices performing an inquiry.

Bluetooth was developed out of a demand to create networks that were easy to install, configure and use without using the standard cabling. There have been three major versions of Bluetooth released: 1.1, 1.2 and 2.0. Each release increased the transmission speed and the 2.0 release also decreased the power consumption.

Bluetooth is not without security vulnerabilities. In 2004, a proof-of-concept virus that spread via Bluetooth enabled devices appeared, though it never propagated outside of the test environment. Active Bluetooth devices can be detected using directional antennas, allowing unattended devices to be located and stolen. Experiments to reverse engineer the device PIN have also been successful.

Bluetooth is competing against two other major methods of wireless networking: IrDA and WiFi. However, WiFi is most useful as a replacement for LANs and IrDa is limited by its need for an unobstructed line-of-sight between connecting devices.

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