Use Your Laptop or Phone as a Wi-Fi Hotspot to Share Internet Connection


If you want to share your internet connection that you have on your laptop or desktop then it is possible to make it behave like a Wi-Fi hotspot. This allows other devices like smartphones and tablets to connect to the internet using the Wi-Fi broadcasted by your laptop. This neat trick works in almost all systems—whether you have a PC, a Mac or a Linux based system—as long as the wireless card in your laptop supports it, and most cards do.

There are different software or apps that allow us to share our internet connection by creating a new ad-hoc wireless network. Using apps simplifies it, but if you prefer, you can simply use your command prompt or terminal to share your internet connection.

In this tutorial, I show you how you can do it in Windows machines. Here are the steps:

In PC (Windows Based Machines)
Without using or downloading Software

  • Open up your Control Panel.
  • Click on Network and Sharing Center.
    Network and Sharing Center
  • Click on Change Adapter Settings.
    Change Adapter Settings Option
  • Right click on your active Wi-Fi or wired internet connection and go to Properties.
    Properties of your Wi-Fi Connection
  • In the Sharing tab check the box that says

    Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection

    WiFi Properties

  • Click on OK to save your changes.
  • Open up your command prompt as an administrator
    • Go to start and type cmd.
    • Right click on cmd.exe and click on Run as administrator.
      Run CMD as Admin
    • Authorize it when prompted.
  • In the command prompt type

    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=”InternetName” key=”Password
    netsh wlan start hostednetwork

    netsh commands in Command prompt

Note:

  • It should be typed in two lines.
  • Replace InternetName with a network name that you want to give.
  • Replace Password with the password that you want for your new network connection.

Your new Wi-Fi connection should be up and running. To turn it off, run the following line in command prompt as the administrator once again:

netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

Using Software: Virtual Router

Download the software from http://virtualrouter.codeplex.com/, install it and then the simple interface allows you to create a new virtual Wi-Fi connection.
Virtual Router Manager Screenshot

It shares the internet connection that you already have in your laptop.

Bonus Tutorial: In Android

Depending upon your phone model, OS version and mobile network possibilities, you can easily create a new Wi-Fi hotspot. This allows you to share the data connection that you have in your phone with other devices or users. That means you can use your laptop to connect to the Wi-Fi that your phone broadcasts.

Here’s how you can do it.

  • Go to your Android phone’s Settings.
  • Under Wireless & networks, you will find an option that says More; tap on it.
    More Wireless and Networks Settings
  • In the next screen, tap on Tethering & portable hotspot.
    Tethering and Portable Hotspots
  • Slide the Portable Wi-Fi hotspot so that it is turned on.
  • Tap on Set on Wi-Fi hotspot.
    Setting up Wi-Fi Hotspots
  • Set your network name, security type and give it a password. Save it.
    Wi-Fi Username and Password

Once you’ve complete these steps, your phone will broadcast a wireless network that other devices can connect to. Your mobile network provider must allow wireless tethering for this. In the Tethering & portable hotspot settings screen, you will also find other tethering options like Bluetooth and USB tethering.

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