Unlocked Treo 650: The Undeniable Value of Bluetooth DUN
Following on a number of emails, comments and conversations that I've had, it appears that many Treonauts are still unaware that the unlocked Treo 650 GSM has Dial-Up Networking (DUN) fully enabled nor do they necessarily know what this means so I thought that it would be useful to run through it.
As you can see in the picture below, my unlocked Treo 650 GSM shows that Dial-Up Networking is 'On'.
When selected, the DUN icon (a laptop + Bluetooth logo) appears at the top of your screen. However, the fact that the icon appears doesn't mean that your laptop (or desktop) has been properly setup yet. You'll need to pair your Treo with your laptop first as well as complete a number of other settings on your PC. Luckily I found a very good step-by-step PDF guide on palmOne's support site which greatly helped me to set everything up.
Below, my Bluetooth-enabled laptop - which I named 'Treonauts' - appears in the list while performing the initial Bluetooth 'Trusted Devices' setup (please note that if you do not have BT built-in on your PC you will need to buy either a USB BT adapter or PCMCIA BT card).
After a few failed attempts (I hadn't properly enabled Bluetooth connectivity on my laptop) and about 30 minutes to set everything up properly I finally managed to launch my Treo's DUN and connect to the web at 115.2 Kbps (the speed will vary by carrier but the maximum throughput settings of my Bluetooth modem is 115 Kbps). I have to admit that it was a brilliant experience to launch Internet Explorer connected via Bluetooth to my Treo 650 for the first time ever.
I am absolutely over the moon with DUN enabled because it is so incredibly useful, simple and fast to use - I just have to a) make sure that my Treo is relatively close to my laptop (I tried it with my Treo 2 meters away and it still worked perfectly); b) double-click the Treo DUN icon on my laptop and c) click 'Connect' and I'm up and running. Now I can take my laptop anywhere I want and connect to the web within two clicks - all without the clutter and hassle of any cables and with pretty decent speed to boot.
In the process of setting up my DUN I also learned something else. Namely that DUN runs on your carrier's 'data' network and not 'voice' network. This means that you'll need to make sure to have signed up with the right data plan (ideally 'unlimited') if you don't want to face up to a nasty surprise on your bill at the end of the month.
I guess that this also brings us back to the question as to whether it is worth paying $150 more for the unlocked Treo 650 GSM than Cingular's Treo 650... There's no straightforward answer and I guess that it will depend greatly on your budget, your needs and your view on 'freedom'.
If you can afford $699 for the unlocked Treo 650 the primary benefits will be that you'll have DUN enabled, you'll be able to switch carriers whenever you feel like and if you frequently travel internationally you'll be able to insert any SIM card that you want which will likely save you a significant amount of money over standard international roaming charges.
Treonauts like to get things DUN...