SituationI connect to the Internet via a separate router box over the Local Area Network. I have two computers; one desktop which is always connected to the LAN, and a laptop which intermittently connects to the LAN. Our LAN has fixed IP addresses in the 192.168 range, for means of tracking users.
ProblemI wanted to set up a wireless network via Bluetooth, so I could browse the Internet/LAN on my Laptop while it was disconnected from the rest of the network.
I couldn't get this to work with the built-in Bluetooth support of Windows XP SP1/SP2. The problem was that Windows would present the Bluetooth network as a "Personal Area Network", which could not be network bridged with my existing Local Area Connection. I could not share my Local Area Connection with Internet Connection Sharing; even if I wanted to, this would force an IP change, which was already being used. I also couldn't install the Bluetooth device on the server, because it is too far away.
SolutionInstall the BlueSoieil Bluetooth software on both machines. Yes it's awful, but it will do.
Once installed on the server (in this case my desktop):
- Go View > Service Window
- Right click on "LAN Access" and enable it. This will open up a virtual COM port on your machine (in my case, COM11).
- Go into Network Connections; there should now be an "Incoming Connections" area. Right click on it and select Properties.
- Make sure the virtual COM port is enabled.
- Go to Users and select the Users that you want to give access.
- Go to the Networking tab, select TCP/IP, select Properties, and specify TCP/IP addresses that are equivalent of your network settings.
- What we are doing is creating a virtual dial-in connection. The client will connect to the server and be assigned an IP address from this range, appearing as a new client in the network with the new IP address.
- Click the big red circle to find the devices in your Bluetooth network
- Find your server machine, double click it to automatically discover its services
- Once refreshed, click it, and then click the LAN Access button above.
- Fill in your username and password and click connect.
- You should now be able to connect via the magic of Bluetooth.
- I had to set up custom DNS settings on the client machine so that DNS would work - it looks like DNS settings are not automatically passed along on the wireless connection. I simply used the same DNS settings (and gateway, if you allow the client to specify its IP address) as the server machine.
- I purchased three "billionton Class 1" bluetooth USB adapters for cheap; however it looks like they are all illegal copies, and all have the same network address (00:11:f6:00:00:06). Luckily I had an extra adapter lying around, which I used for the server; in theory, this will allow multiple identical devices to connect only to the server.