Windows WiFi wireless hotspot

October 22nd, 2012

Wizard Do you know your Windows 7 (or newer) can act as a wireless router? It is very easy to share your internet connection with your other wireless devices (your tablet, phone or game console), as if you had an actual wireless router device.

Typically, if you have a laptop with Windows 7 and cable internet you most probably can turn it into an access point for your wireless devices.

Prerequisites:

  • Windows 7
  • Working internet connection (most probably cable, otherwise you wouldn’t need to set up a wireless access point in the first place, you’ll already have one)
  • Wireless card

You need to do the following:

  1. Open Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center and select the link Change Adapter settings in the left column, near the top.
  2. Make sure you see at least 3 connections – (1) the cable internet connection, most probably through your ethernet adapter, (2) the physical Wireless Network (its adapter will be something like Intel or Atheros or Broadcom or whatever your laptop has) and (3) one virtual Wireless Network with the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter. Take note how each one is called – we will be further calling them (1), (2) and (3).
  3. Right-click (1) and select Properties. Go to the Sharing tab and make sure Allow other users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection is checked. Then select the name of the connection (3) from the drop-down list below.
  4. Open Notepad and paste the following two lines:

    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=MyNet key=MyPass
    netsh wlan start hostednetwork

    Change MyNet to the name you would like to call your network and MyPass to the respective password to access it. Save the file as wireless.bat (or whatever you like) selecting Save as type: All files(*.*).

  5. Make sure your laptop’s wireless card is switched on.
  6. Right-click the file you created in the previous step and select Run as Administrator. Windows will automatically create the wireless network for you and secure it with a WPA2-PSK password.

You should now be able to connect with another device to the newly created wireless network. It will remain active until you switch off your wireless card or reboot windows. If you want to take down without switching off your wireless card, you can do so by pasting

netsh wlan stop hostednetwork



To take this one idea further, you can set this up to share not only your cable network, but your wireless one as well. You would want to do this, if for instance you would like to create a guest network to give your clients or visitors access to the Internet, but not to your main network. The setup is pretty much the same, only instead of (1) you would use (2) in the above example.

Gmail new interface with themes

February 6th, 2012

Google have introduced the new Gmail with cleaner, nicer interface. What is available in the settings is a new feature – Themes.

Gmail themes

If you prefer this over your plain old email look (I sure do):

  1. Go to Settings (the gears icon in top right corner) – Themes
  2. Select your favorite theme
  3. Go back to your Inbox

Enjoy!

One click switch network settings

December 16th, 2011

Wizard The last tip One-click switch between network settings for different locations (Windows) has gained a lot of attention from people searching to make their lives easier. Through testing in Windows 7, I found it not so convenient. I now present a simpler, more robust solution for Windows 7.


(0) I strongly suggest you rename your existing connections to something shorter and simpler. Microsoft have introduced naming of the type ‘Local Area Connection’, ‘Wireless Network Connection’ etc. While there certainly is reason behind that decision, for a home/office computer I personally find LAN and WIFI better. Go to Start button and type View network connections in the search field. Click on View network connections contol panel widget. Then rename ‘Local Area Connection’ to LAN and ‘Wireless Network Connection’ to WIFI.

(1) Open Notepad and copy the following 3 lines. Each line should start with the command netsh:

netsh interface ip set address LAN static <ipaddress> <subnetmask> <gateway> <metric>
netsh interface ip set dns LAN static <dnsaddress1>
netsh interface ip add dns LAN static <dnsaddress2>

On the blog the <gateway> and <metric> are on a second line, but they belong to the first.

Substitute <ipaddress>, <subnetmask>, <gateway>, <metric>, <dnsaddress1> and <dnsaddress2> with the values, provided by your ISP or corporate network administrator. Metric can be substituted with 1.

Example:

netsh interface ip set address LAN static 192.168.0.100 255.255.255.0 192.168.0.1 1
netsh interface ip set dns LAN static 192.168.0.1
netsh interface ip add dns LAN static 192.168.0.2

(2) Save the file as something descriptive for the location, e.g. home.bat, office.bat or university.bat, giving it a .bat extension, instead of the default .txt. Make sure Save as type: is set to All files (*.*), otherwise Notepad will append a .txt extension automatically.

(3) Now open a new Notepad window and paste the following lines to have the settings automatically acquired by the network:

netsh interface ip set address LAN dhcp
netsh interface ip set dns LAN dhcp

(4) Save as auto.bat, again observing the Save as type: All files (*.*).

(5) Keep all the files together at a convenient place (e.g. a folder on your Desktop or elsewhere).

(6) Activate the appropriate settings by right-clicking the corresponding file and selecting Run as Administrator from the context menu.

Same approach can be used for creating WiFi presets, substituting the word LAN from the commands with WIFI.

Note: In the commands above, LAN is the name of the network connection. If you have not changed it, substitute with the default ‘Local Areas Connection’ or any other name you have chosen. If the name contains spaces, make sure it is surrounded with quotes, otherwise they can be omitted.


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