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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.

Treo 650 "Using Dial-Up Networking" PDF Guide [palmOne Support]
TRENDware Bluetooth USB Adapter [Amazon]
Belking Bluetooth PC Adapter Card [Amazon]
Unlocked Treo 650 GSM [palmOne Store]

Treonauts like to get things DUN...

Posted by Andrew on February 9, 2005 at 12:43 PM

Treo 650

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by J. | Feb 9, 2005 2:35:01 PM

Thank you for this post--it is very helpful to those who have never had a bluetooth device before.

by Leon | Feb 9, 2005 3:24:16 PM

Great article! I'm with you, but with one clarification and a snide remark. :D

Owing to palmOne's $100 price hike on the unlocked Treo 650 GSM, the difference in cost vs. the Cingular locked Treo 650 is actually $200 if ordering through palmOne. The cost difference is $250 if ordering through Cingular.COM and could be $300 if the buyer is allowed to take advantage of Cingular's $50 rebate, yielding a $399.99 price tag.

The snide remark is in reference to "brilliant experience to launch Internet Explorer connected via Bluetooth" -- I can't see why anyone would get exited about Internet Exploder (a.k.a. "Virus petri dish of the Internet") under any technology. Ditch it and get Mozilla or Firefox+Thunderbird. :P


by dustin | Feb 9, 2005 3:37:44 PM

Question for all: Does the 650 support being used as a modem connected via USB cable? For all the posts I see about the disappointment in not having Bluetooth DUN enabled, can't you just connect via USB anyway?

by Dave | Feb 9, 2005 3:45:39 PM

Thanks for the Bluetooth DUN update. I notice that the atrticle underneath mentions that the WiFi is also unlocked. Would you please discuss wha t you can do with the Treo using WiFi that would be different from using Bluetooth?


by b0tes | Feb 9, 2005 4:55:05 PM

just to clarify: wi-fi isn't available on the 650 without the wi-fi hack or the upcoming wi-fi sled. the hack uses an alpha driver originally for the p1 t5, custom fitted for use with the treo 650. btdun, on the otherhand, was always natively available on the 650, but was crippled by p1 on the subsided versions of the device due to pressure from the wireless carriers wanting to promote the use of their own, more costly, data services.

by b0tes | Feb 9, 2005 5:03:35 PM

leon: yes, of course, but why why deal with the hassles of being tethered down when you can do it wirelessly?

by skfny | Feb 9, 2005 6:00:05 PM

A comment on the 2-meter proximity note:

I had very limited range with a D-Link DBT-120.
Then I got a Linksys USBBT100, and the BT range is better range than it is with my 802.11b wireless router!!!

We're talking hundreds of feet!!!

by dstroot | Feb 9, 2005 9:45:31 PM

COOL! I even got in on the "price mistake" - I'm just sitting here waiting for the damn thing to ship! Cmon, cmon baby.

by Rotax | Feb 10, 2005 7:57:54 AM

Thanks for the report. If anyone is a Mac user and has the unlocked GSM what I would like to know is; does Salling Clicker, BluePhone Elite, and bluetooth linking from Address Book work?

On my Cingular 650 none of the above work and all did on my SE T616. Does it make sense that the Cingular DUN profile would affect the ability of these apps to work properly?

Also, now that the unlocked phones are out, would it not make sense just to copy the BtManager.gsm-dun.prc file from one of these phones into a Cingular / Sprint phone?

by Antoine/d-roC | Feb 10, 2005 9:04:34 AM

Great article, I couldn't have said it better myself. I didnt know about that icon, that was a nice touch on P1/PS's side.

I do think that the pricing issue was a shot in the foot. P1 has turned away plenty a buyer already because the Treo line is $100-$150 too much, that issue just makes it worse.

Unlimited data: Cinuglar is getting better, but it still isnt cheap. I guess that is their way of keeping too many people from signing up for it.

Keep up the great work on the articles Andrew, very good reading.

by Chase | Feb 10, 2005 2:47:51 PM

i ahve a question for anyone with the unlocked treo 650 and a mac. when setting up DUN on a mac it gives the option of using the data or voice connection with DUN so i was wondering if you still have that option with a mac unlike what what said about only being able to use data on a pc

by Andrew | Feb 10, 2005 2:57:57 PM


Yes, both Mac and PC will provide you with the option to use either the data or voice channel. However, connectivity speed via the voice channel will be significantly slower than the data one.

Cheers, A.

by Robert Fisher | Feb 15, 2005 6:51:55 AM

How does the GSpda Xplore™ M68 compare to the new Treo 650?

by Michael | Oct 12, 2005 9:45:13 PM

If im not mistaken, My sprint treo with the 1.12 ver. has DUN on it. I didnt have to buy an unlocked treo.

by TN Treo User | Nov 21, 2005 11:45:31 PM

Can this Bluetooth DUN approach via Treo and PC be used on a Verizon Wireless version of Treo?

by Ken Thomas | Nov 22, 2007 11:47:33 PM

In case anyone looks at this again, yes, the newer firmware has DUN enabled on a 'locked' 650.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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