Customer Reviews: IOGEAR USB 2.1 Bluetooth Micro Adapter (GBU421)
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on December 11, 2009
I am very frustrated with this product and the poor customer support I am recieving. I was able with difficulty to get this product working on my PC with Vista. We were using it to synch the PC to a Palm device. When we upgraded to Windows 7, it no longer worked. Ok, so I went to their website, downloaded and installed the driver that says it supports Win 7. It installs, but doesn't work. I have called tech support on two separate occasions and held for 20 minutes at the end of that time, it sends me to voicemail. That's frustrating. What's more frustrating is that they haven't bothered to call me back. I've only had the product for a few months. If they want to be in this business, they have to support Windows 7 and they have to support their customers. They have certainly lost my business and I recommend you steer clear as well.
2121 comments| 92 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 6, 2009
*** My comments (below) are from January 2009. One of the more recent comments (April 2010) states that my issues are no longer valid. Just a heads up that things change/improve over time. ***

The product works (eventually) and is low priced and is tiny. But, before you install it, please consider the following. Customer care by Iogear is horrendous.

The first hurdle is bad instructions. Step 1 for Vista says you MUST insert the device. Then step 8 says DO NOT insert the device. 8 is correct, by the way.

Still, the included ver. 5 drivers do not work with Vista. When you contact the vendor for help, they'll tell you where the ver. 6 drivers reside. They're marked 221 thru 321 so you think they don't work with the 421, but they do. Oh, you need the revised instructions, too. By the way, the included disc says nothing about the software version. You have to watch for it after launching setup.

So, get ver. 6 drivers or later, get the latest instructions, and don't plug in until the drivers are fully installed in Vista.

I asked if the drivers were necessary since Vista wants to provide its own, and tech support said yes, you need to install them.

I tried tech support's live chat. They pointed me to newer instructions that said to wait before connecting, but they said nothing about the ver. 5 drivers and Vista incompatibility. After wasting 2 hours installing and uninstalling, I emailed to tech support. I wrote at midnight and when I got up bright and early, I had a URL for the proper drivers and instructions. The final installation was flawless and the device works fine.
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on November 1, 2008
I have purchased both the Cirago and this IOGear. Both work perfectly with Windows XP and Vista. The Bluetooth drivers auto load and it makes sharing files and pairing very easy. On your task bar will be a BT icon that you right click for a list of options. The IOGear claims to work with MAC but the Cirago doesn't. I don't have a MAC so I do not know if this is true or not (Sorry). The Cirago has a brighter blue light than the IOGear. Also, the IOGear is smaller (But not by much). Both are so small in size they can be left in the USB slot and not removed. The IOGear is easier to remove from the slot than the Cirago (it is the shape of the exposed area that determines this). Here is one other interesting thought. Take a look at the picture of the IOGear. When plugged into the USB the metal part slides all the way in so only the black plastic area is sticking out. That is nice, eh? The Cirago goes in the same but sticks out just a little more than the IOGear (Some metal exposed). However, both function perfectly with USB BT 2.0 and early versions 1.0 & 1.1! Both are backwards compatible. The range doesn't seem to be different - I have tested both from 20 feet and they work (Document sent to printer). You choose.
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on January 31, 2011
I don't normally write reviews but I think it is worth it to help the many people who may be as frustrated as I was with this product. Skip below to "INSTRUCTIONS" for how to get this product to work.

This device would be great if it actually worked out of the box. I tried installing it on a Dell 700m running Windows XP Service Pack 2. First thing I noticed, according to the instructions Windows XP should have bluetooth drivers already configured...I have SP2 and it did not have drivers for bluetooth anywhere. Windows would not recognize the device as a bluetooth headset nor configure it by just plugging it in.

So I went to option 2 which was use the install [mini]disk to load the drivers. My computer would not read the CD at all, I'm assuming because the CD was blank when I explored it in My Computer :/ So no drivers on the CD. As an alternative, I went to IOGear's website to download the appropriate drivers. Typed in my product info and started the download...... 4 hours it took!!! This is incredibly unacceptable considering the file was "52Mb" according to the website. Anyway, when it finished installing I unzipped the files and ran the Setup.exe. It appeared to load the "BTW" bluetooth software properly, and windows recognized the usb adapter as a bluetooth device, but the bluetooth manager would not allow me to do anything. I would go to "add new bluetooth device" and it would say "no bluetooth devices detected. Make sure they are powered on and connected" I got so frustrated and spent 3 hours searching the web for answers and none fit my problem.

Enter the solution:
I noticed when you install the BTW software package/drivers from IOGear's website, it download broadcom/widcomm drivers for bluetooth. But these don't work for some reason. So I did a little research and came upon broadcom's website and downloaded THEIR bluetooth software package/drivers and it works great now. I guess the IOGear USB dongle uses drivers from broadcom, but the ones they have listed on their website re way out of date or incompatible.

Go to Broadcom's website and download their USB Bluetooth Driver/Install Package

During the install you will notice it looks different than the useless driver package IOGear tried to supply. When you start the install package make sure the USB dongle IS plugged in so it can be detected and the driver package will take care of the rest.

NOTE: you don't have to worry about un-installing any old bluetooth drivers on your computer. The broadcom driver package will remove them automatically and replace them.

Hope this helps all of you that had trouble. My choices were to write a review on amazon or write a nasty letter to IOGear!
1010 comments| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 15, 2008
This bluetooth dongle is very nice and small, it has a blue led on it but its not too bright as to bother when used on a laptop.

I use it with my plantronics 520 bluetooth headset on skype and it works good, I can't use it too far from the computer (< feet) because I start to get static but that might be the headset I dont know.

I don't know why the other reviewer is saying it doesn't work on Vista 64-bit, I use it on my new HP dv4t with 64-bit Vista Home Premium with no problems at all.

UPDATE: I contacted IOGEAR tech support and they gave me this url ([...]) you should be able to download an update to get Widcomm version 6.x drivers. This is necessary to use Nokia PC Suite on Windows Vista for those Nokia users like me :)
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on January 12, 2009
Long story short, the most difficult thing about installing this product is getting it out of the blister pack in the first place.

The provided instructions (you can actually download or read the manual on the web while you're waiting for the Bluetooth dongle to arrive) are very clear, the install is a snap....but you've read other reviews and know that already.

Here's the true beauty of this tiny piece of hardware. It links to practically everything! Because it is not only Bluetooth 2.0 compliant but also backward compatible to Bluetooth 1.1 and also supports stereo audio you won't have any issues connecting to a Bluetooth mouse or stereo headset.

Within minutes of the install I had the little (and I mean tiny) GBU421 linked to my Motorola cell phone (audio and dialing from the laptop, no need to ever get the phone out of pocket or purse), a PDA, Garmin GPS Mobile10, Bluetooth headset and a mouse. The crazy thing is IOGear has managed to make this thing work with all the above simultaneously.

Anyone considering a 'look alike' Bluetooth dongle featured by some eBay and other sellers, don't bother. Either they aren't 2.0 or aren't backward compatible (you lose the use of most Bluetooth mice) won't handle stereo audio and sometimes all the above.

Very impressive IOGear...and did I mention it's really tiny?

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on January 1, 2009
I got this adapter to use with my new Acer Aspire ONE netbook (one of its few shortcoming being the lack of built-in bluetooth). WOW, is this device tiny! It fits very snugly into a free usb port -- it won't fall or slip out easily, and you can't even see any of the metal from the usb plug -- its just a tiny blue wart on the side of your machine. You'll hardly know its there! The seems to be little chance you could snag anything on it or break it off like with a larger dongle. The blue LED is easily visible but not excessively bright like on some dongles and devices. It also shuts off when not in use. Seems to be very power efficient, you can just leave it inserted all the time. Range seems fine, comparable to larger bluetooth dongles. Includes excellent Widcomm bluetooth stack software (using with XP) and supports A2DP for my bluetooth headphones. I highly recommend this product for anyone who wants to add unobtrusive bluetooth support to a notebook or netbook.
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on May 11, 2010
I got this to add bluetooth to my desktop that runs Linux Ubuntu 10.04. It should also with with older versions and other Linux distors because the driver is in the kernel. I plugged it and it started working right a way.
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on March 25, 2010
This is a great tool. I am an IT manager and I use it on my laptop at work. I connect my keyboard, mouse, and Bluetooth headset to it. It's small enough that I don't have to remove it when I place my laptop in the case, but still strong enough to have my earpiece still work when I go to the bathroom (four walls away). I did have to go to the web site to download the latest driver to get it to work better with Windows 7. It's very cool because I get to use my Bluetooth earpiece for my cell phone as a wireless headphone for the laptop when I'm not in a call. I have two Bluetooth headsets at work that I swap between because I have music streaming to them for the whole eight hours. It's a very good product that I have had no problem with using 5 days a week eight hours a day.
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on December 5, 2009
Warning for Windows 7!
I installed this on a new Toshiba computer with Windows 7.It became a nightmare! It froze windows explorer(windows explorer is not responing) every time I tried to open the Iogear file.It screwed up my registry(according to Norton Utilities)and I cannot clean the errors out.Now I am in the position where I cannot uninstall the Iogear program.It stars to uninstall and gets to 16% left and freezes the computer.I have to crash the computer by a hard power off and go to a restart.
This probably works fine on other operating systems but but I would check if it is compatable for windows 7 before purchasing it.
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