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Windows 7: Bluetooth vs. USB transmitter--mouse/keyboard?

20 Feb 2019   #1

Windows 7 & Windows 10
Bluetooth vs. USB transmitter--mouse/keyboard?

Why would someone (me) buy a wireless input device using a USB transmitter when you can buy a Bluetooth device(s) that do not eat up a USB port?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2019   #2
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Not everyone has BT (Bluetooth) native to their computer and BT dongles are usually less than stellar. Also, some companies put out a series of devices that can run off one USB dongle (transmitter, Receiver, gizmo, whatever). Logitech has their Unifying Receiver that can be paired up to as many as six compatible Logitech devices, such as mice, keyboards and trackballs on just one dongle. Pairing is much easier with the Logitech dongle than with BT devices. Also, once on or more Logitech devices has been paired with the Logitech dongle, the dongle can be moved to another machine and the devices paired to it will remain paired to it until one decides to "unpair" them.

Also, devces with their own dongle tend to be less subject to interference or hacking than BT.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2019   #3

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)

I'm a big fan of BT and have never understood why someone would choose a wireless device over BT. With a wireless device you basically can connect to a mouse and/or a keyboard (I don't separate out a trackball since it's more or less a mouse), that's it. With BT, you can connect mice, keyboards, speakers, headphones, GPS, audio transmitters, etc... You can also send/receive files between devices using BT. It's a far more versatile platform.

I prefer using built-in BT since it doesn't take up a USB port but have used BT dongles on computers without built-in BT and even the cheapest ones I've used worked flawlessly.

BT is a standard and a device labeled as BT must meet those standards. In my experience a BT device made by one mfr will be compatible with a BT device made by another mfr, there is no such compatibility assurance with wireless devices from different mfrs.

To my knowledge, wireless devices are LESS secure than BT, not the over way around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Feb 2019   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Something I didn't mention is BT is terrible for music (for more on this, read here:

I'm not the only one who isn't exactly enamored with BT (for some reason, I can't insert links on here). Check this one for an example:

Why Bluetooth has so many problems and issues - Business Insider

Do a search on BT problems and you will get page after page on how to fix them (none of which ever worked for me, btw).

BT5.0 is supposed to better but just try and find a USB BT dongle with 5.0. They just don't exist. About the best you can do is 4.0 or 4.1. There are BT 5.0 transceivers available but they are bulky things that connect to the computer via a USB cable, not a nice, compact dongle that doesn't get in the way.

I've owned three BT dongles in my life. One I never could get to work. Period. The other two, both ASUS, worked just fine but, the first time I tried to pair one up with my cell phone so I could download pictures on the phone to my Win 7 desktop computer, it took me hours (and some pretty colorful language) to figure out how to do it. None of the directions I found online would work. Even after the first time I finally got it to work, the settings wouldn't "stick" and it took a while to get figure out how to get them to "stick" so I wouldn't have to start over again every time I wanted to download a picture from the phone.

Getting the second ASUS dongle to work on a Win 7 notebook took less time since I already had an idea how to do it but it still took a bit of doing.

The only reason I bothered with BT is it was the only way to get photos off my phone. Btw, the phone's directions for connecting the phone to a computer via BT didn't work.

In contrast, the RF Logitech Unifying Receiver is simple to use. Install Logitech's Unifying software, then follow the prompts to easily and quickly pair the dongle with up to six any of Logitech's compatible devices. Once paired up, one can move the dongle from computer to computer and the devices will stay paired up (sadly, a device can be paired to only one dongle). No hunting for obscurely named MS programs, like fsquirt.exe (seriously, MS? fsquirt?) that no place I found online knew about.

The reason BT is less secure than proprietary RF dongles is more devices are likely to have BT connectivity than with a proprietary dongle.

It might be different for a computer that has BT built in but, for those that do not, BT is a pain in the neck (polite term).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2019   #5

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)

I'm sorry to hear that you've had issues with BT. I use BT in some form on a daily basis and don't have anywhere near the problems you described. I use it with my personal and work laptops, my desktop, my Windows & Android tablets and my Android phone without issue. I find the audio quality perfectly fine for me.

IMO, if you only need to be able to attach a mouse and/or keyboard, consider a wireless device but, if you'd prefer to be able to connect a myriad of devices, then use BT.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Bluetooth vs. USB transmitter--mouse/keyboard?

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