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Review of Bluetooth Headsets

Get the scoop on bluetooth headsets with this guide.

You can't deny the convenience of a Bluetooth mobile phone headset, but how do you choose one? There can be trade-offs in weight, battery life and cost. Fortunately, you don't have to figure it out for yourself: E-commerce technology retailer The Essentials Networkfeatures a guide on its site to help you determine which head-set will suit you best.

The "Bluetooth Headset Guide" covers everything from features to security. A recent study conducted by The Essentials Network showed that increased price and lower weight correlated to reduced talk time. Extra features like vibrating call alerts can also chisel away at talk time.

The study found that the Palm Treo 650 Headset offers the best ratio of talk time (seven hours), weight (17 grams) and price ($59.99 street) among rechargeable Bluetooth headsets. Among headsets that are powered by a AAA battery, the Motorola HS805 performed well. It features up to 22 hours of talk time and runs about $60. The moral of the story: When choosing a Bluetooth headset, entrepreneurs should carefully compare weight, talk time and features to find the one that fits them best.

That's the Spot
Wi-Fi the way you need it

When you need internet access on the road, you can either locate a Wi-Fi hot spot ahead of time or find one on the fly. For those who like to plan ahead, websites like JiWireand WiFindercan help you locate hot spots before you hit the road. JiWire also offers a free download of its HotSpot Locator software, which includes a directory of more than 70,000 hot spots in 103 countries.

For those searching for hot spots on the fly, Wi-Fi detector hardware can help. On the high-end, Hawking Technologiesoffers the HWL2 Hi-Gain WiFi Locator Professional Edition for about $75 (street). It includes a Wireless-G USB 2.0 network adapter and can indicate if the wireless networks it finds have security enabled. Wi-Fi locators are also available from Kensingtonand Smith Micro, among others.

In a different twist on Wi-Fi detection, Wireless Buildershas unveiled a wireless intrusion-detection system aimed at businesses that need to keep their wired networks free of unauthorized wireless hot spots. The Linux-based system has a standard web interface that alerts the administrator to the possible existence of rogue access points.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the February 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Listen Up!.

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