Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/188660/can-a-wireless-keyboard-and-mouse-work-with-a-laptops-wi-fi-versus-their-own-usb-receivers/
Available USB ports on laptops are at a premium even if you have few things to actually plug in, but what do you do if you are using wireless accessories and need those precious USB ports for other uses as well? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post looks for answers to one reader’s USB port dilemma.
Note: Not all Bluetooth is the same - and neither is all WiFi for that matter. Some manufacturers (e.g.: Sony with their PS3/PS4 hardware) use proprietary protocols which, while technically still "Bluetooth" or "WiFi", are incompatible with systems not specifically designed to work with them. If you want to get a keyboard/mouse that won't require extra hardware to connect, do some Googling to make sure it's using a universal standard.
I think there might be some wifi usb hubs out there that can allow you to put stuff from that hub onto the wifi network.
Of course, it will end up taking up usb ports, but at least not on your computer?
One important thing to consider about Bluetooth devices: They don't kick in until the operating system is booted up. So, if you were planning to use that keyboard to navigate through BIOS settings, forget it.
Moreover, Bluetooth can be pain at times. There's whole pairing issue. USB receivers, on the other hand, are just plug and play.
I use a USB hub, that turns 1 USB port into 4 ports. Keyboards and mice don't need to be direct for them to work properly. Also, I don't have Bluetooth on my laptop, I use a USB dongle.
I've had several problems with both USB and Bluetooth mouse/keyboard set-ups.
- If you do NOT put a USB mouse/keyboard in a direct port, i.e. if you use a hub, keystrokes and mouse clicks may be randomly dropped. I've stopped trying to use my hub for the keyboard/mouse.
- As to Bluetooth, the driver support for all of the mice that i have tried on my Toshiba laptop is very bad - jumpy or stuttered, making it almost impossible to click on a button - in fact, when you near a button, there seems to be some sort of computing load that stops the mouse from responding and invariably the cursor jumps past the button i was trying to select. For "last centimeter" navigation, i often have to resort to my trackpad to be able to click anything!
I just bought a Dell latitude 10 tablet and can't find a bluetooth keyboard with lighted,spillproof & pad in the middle. Any suggestions ? THANKS.
The simple solution is a usb hub. For keyboard and mouse almost any (1.1, 2.0, or 3.0) will do, but 3.0 is overkill (and would require a 3.0 port on your pc to get full usb 3.0 throughput). If you should encounter skipping or dropping of info (unlikely with keyboard or mouse, but possible) a powered hub will usually solve it. They need to be plugged into a wall socket and are a bit more pricey, but will drive several peripherals simultaneously with no problem. The old usb 1.1 is also problematical as many new devices will need 2.0 or better to perform adequately,
Remember the golden rule of usb - the performance you get will be equivalent to the slowest link in the chain, from device through hub to pc. For example, to get usb 2.0 performance each link in the chain must be at least usb 2.0. If any link is usb 1.1, the throughput will be limited to usb 1.1 speeds.
You need a different hub. I bought a "squid" 7-port USB hub, which would randomly drop connections and pop up "This device has malfunctioned" errors at random. It's in the dust bin. I replaced it with a 3-port swivel hub, which has worked flawlessly.
Don't blame problems with one cheap, POS hub on all hubs...good-quality USB hubs will work very well with a wide range of peripherals (I've got an Adesso USB keyboard, a Logitech M570 trackball's mini-receiver, and a printer connected to the 3-port hub, and all of them work flawlessly).
I've seen a lot of devices, and I've never heard of any USB device connected through WiFi, although "wireless USB" has been in the works for several years.
Bluetooth uses the same 2.4GHz spectrum as Wireless 802.11 b/g (and single-channel 802.11n), although they are not compatible; Bluetooth is essentially a low-speed, short-range IP network, with pairing for security. A single Bluetooth receiver can connect several devices simultaneously, including A2DP stereo audio (Bluetooth speakers and headsets), keyboards, trackpads, mice, and PAN (Personal Area Network) connections; for example, you can pair your iOS devices for iTunes syncing via Bluetooth, an Android device for the same, etc. Bluetooth 3.0+HS gives connection speeds of up to 24Mbps (802.11g has up to 54Mbps), which is enough to handle all of the above connections simultaneously; you only need one receiver in your tablet, laptop or PC to handle all of them, and a mini-USB receiver is as little as $2 and only takes up one USB 2.0 port.
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