What is a Bluetooth Dongle – A quick look at Bluetooth dongles


Those who appreciate the freedom of wireless electronics probably know something about Bluetooth, but may not have encountered a Bluetooth Dongle. The Bluetooth protocol allows micro-networking between Bluetooth-enabled devices.

This convenient technology permits access to one device by multiple users on the Bluetooth network, which in turn makes for economic and efficient sharing of resources. Perhaps the most popular application of this process is the audio-streaming of music tracks on several smartphones via one wireless Bluetooth speaker.

This is what a bluetooth dongle looks like

With the above example, music tracks could also be streamed to one computer, perhaps to take advantage of its superior audio facilities. But what if that computer is not Bluetooth-enabled? If that’s the case, then a very affordable USB 2.0 Bluetooth Dongle must be purchased to add this feature to your computer.

So what is a Bluetooth Dongle? Simply, a tiny Bluetooth adapter which slots into a free USB port on your computer, just like a flash drive. However, unlike a flash drive, your Bluetooth Dongle is very user-friendly and will protrude only a tiny amount. Once the dongle is installed, your computer will transmit and receive wireless signals via Bluetooth, and thus will be able to pair with a range of Bluetooth devices.

When a dongle is inserted for the first time, Windows 8 users can expect a ‘plug & play’ response: your computer should recognise the dongle and automatically configure it in seconds. However, users of Windows 7, or earlier, may need to load drivers from a CD or online source. Where applicable, this process will be fully described in the dongle’s accompanying documentation.