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Bluetooth has a lot to offer with an increasingly

difficult market place.  Bluetooth helps to bring

with it the promise of freedom from the cables and

simplicity in networking that has yet to be matched

by LAN (Local Area Network).

In the key marketplace, of wireless and handheld

devices, the closest competitor to Bluetooth is

infrared.  Infrared holds many key features, 

although the line of sight it provides doesn't go

through walls or through obstacles like that of the

Bluetooth technology.

Unlike infrared, Bluetooth isn't a line of sight and

it provides ranges of up to 100 meters.  Bluetooth

is also low power and low processing with an 

overhead protocol.  What this means, is that it's 

ideal for integration into small battery powered

devices.  To put it short, the applications with

Bluetooth are virtually endless.  


Bluetooth has several positive features and one

would be extremely hard pressed to find downsides

when given the current competition.  The only real

downsides are the data rate and security.  Infrared

can have data rates of up to 4 MBps, which provides

very fast rates for data transfer, while Bluetooth

only offers 1 MBps.

For this very reason, infrared has yet to be 

dispensed with completely and is considered by

many to be the complimentary technology to that

of Bluetooth.  Infrared has inherent security due

to its line of sight.  

The greater range and radio frequency (RF) of 

Bluetooth make it much more open to interception and

attack.  For this reason, security is a very key

aspect to the Bluetooth specification.

Although there are very few disadvantages, Bluetooth

still remains the best for short range wireless

technology.  Those who have tried it love it, and

they know for a fact that Bluetooth will be

around for years to come.

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