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Bluetooth vs Wireless for ad-hoc personal network

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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November 8, 2012 6:55:37 PM

Hi
I have a laptop and a desktop, and I want to network them wirelessly without going through a router (the router in my accommodation is shared and sometimes becomes congested).
Range is not an issue really. I don't mind being limited to a few metres.

I'm looking for some comparisons here. I'm thinking of buying two (bluetooth|wireless) USB adapters for my machines.

I've tried with shoddy bluetooth v2 adapters, and it works, but is insanely slow.
I assume Windows 7 can wirelessly network two PCs together without a hub in the middle (I spy some ad-hoc buttons in the sharing centre), so it looks like both options are viable.

My main uses are running Synergy/Input Director. So latency and consistency are important.

Questions:

Which setup (BT or WiFi) has better:

i) Latency,
ii) Throughput (not as important),
iii) "support" in Windows (for general interpretation of the word)?

Any comments on versions (Wireless B/G/N, Bluetooth v3, v4?) would be appreciated too.

The machines will probably be connected to a router with standard wireless adapters... though I don't know if that's relevant or not (interference?).,

thanks!
a b F Wireless
November 10, 2012 1:57:55 AM

What is it your trying to do by connecting the two computers wirelessly ? Are you trying to access files and folders on one of the computers or both , basicly whats the purpose of doing this ?
A wireless N connection would be the best if that's what you want to know.
November 10, 2012 9:09:47 AM

File transfer is one of my reasons, but my main use would be TCP KVM - sharing mouse and keyboard input over a network. This requires good latency and consistency. Throughput is not as important.
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a b F Wireless
November 10, 2012 3:36:43 PM

The bluetooth has a limited range and if the network is in close proximity then it would work but if range is a need then the wireless G or N would be a better choice.
I think that with file transfer you want wireless and with latency you want N.
November 10, 2012 7:12:41 PM

Okay, thanks.
Is wireless just overall better than bluetooth then?
Is there any performance advantage of bluetooth?
Or is bluetooth just a cheap/easy/low power version of wireless?
a b F Wireless
November 10, 2012 8:57:57 PM

Bluetooth has it advantages and it's disadvantages , once you make the discovery between two decices they will connect every time they are in range and the range is the limitation that you have with bluetooth. While it's very convienent to have the two devices connect when they are in range if your cell phone for exsample is one of the devices and you walk away then the connection is seperated.
A funny instance was I have a smartphone with bluetooth and it connects to my car and I can listen to things like Pandora through the cars radio and one day I stopped to go into a store and my wife was in the car with me and she was listening to a song she likes and not thinking I got out of the car with my phone and when aI went into the store the connection was seperated amd no more Pandora. When I got back in the car I was greeted by what happened ?
Anyway the wireless N might be a better way to go and you can connect multiple devices at the same time and the thoughtput is much faster and the larency is lower. It might also be more convienent for the connections and ease of use if this is an office environment.
November 12, 2012 6:15:35 PM

Thanks for the thorough response.

For reference, I went with a pair of tiny Wireless N adapters (just under £8 each).
The ad hoc network was not difficult to set up.

You get to pick your settings on a per-adapter basis (though it wasn't completely intuitive at first).
I spent about an hour configuring it all properly afterwards - bit tricky to get stuff automatically connecting and so on.

Both machines are also connected to a home Wifi network for internet purposes.

The latency is between 1ms and 3ms (haven't seen double digits at all) according to cmd ping. As for throughput, I can get 3Mb/s using Windows 7 Explorer file copy, which is pretty good! I can now transfer stuff between my machines without congesting the actual internet connection.

My main objective, software/network KVM is working beautifully. It's as if my other PC is a second monitor (well, can't drag windows across of course, but the input is smooth enough to forget that it's going over a wireless network).

For the weary traveller, this may help for removing the password prompt:
http://thehunk.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/save-and-automati...
!