We describe the full characterization of the biaxial nonlinear crystal BiB3O6 (BiBO) as a polarization entangled photon source using non-collinear type-II parametric down-conversion. We consider the relevant parameters for crystal design, such as cutting angles, polarization of the photons, effective nonlinearity, spatial and temporal walk-offs, crystal thickness and the effect of the pump laser bandwidth. Experimental results showing entanglement generation with high rates and a comparison to the well investigated β-BaB2O4 (BBO) crystal are presented as well. Changing the down-conversion crystal of a polarization entangled photon source from BBO to BiBO enhances the generation rate as if the pump power was increased by 2.5 times. Such an improvement is currently required for the generation of multiphoton entangled states.