How to Connect Mobile Devices to a Network

Getting Started

A number of connection possibilities exist that allow a mobile device, your iPhone, iPad or portable game console, to connect to a network and get a public IP address or a private IP address from a local network.

Ethernet cable or the wireless LAN

One of the easiest ways is to use the traditional Ethernet cable or the wireless LAN. When using this method, you will need to fill in the IP address or set it to automatically pick an IP from the DHCP server assigning the addresses. LAN networks are always reliable and easy to configure even for network novices.


Bluetooth technology can be implemented for ad-hoc or point-to-point communication where devices within a Piconet, or Bluetooth network, can communicate with each other. This is possible since Bluetooth defines specific profiles for specific communication scenarios. But did you know that it is also possible to connect to a TCP/IP network using Bluetooth? In order to do this, a Personal Network Profile (PAN) must be enabled on your mobile device and the gateway computer must also offer a Bluetooth stack to allow communication to take place.


GPRS is data service that is offered by wireless operators allowing mobile devices to access the Internet. The downside to using this method is that the device cannot be accessed directly from the Internet.

Serial connections, typically, IrDA and sometimes Bluetooth serial profiles, can also be used to connect a mobile device to a TCP/IP network. This is a physical communication that exists and most commonly employed to tunnel the dial in modems for Internet access.

ActiveSync is synchronization software that uses TCP/IP to handle communication between a desktop system your mobile device. To access your device on the network you just need a USB sync cable. A fixed private IP address is automatically assigned to both your mobile device and the desktop system to allow communication.

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