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.
- 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:
- Open Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center and select the link Change Adapter settings in the left column, near the top.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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(*.*).
- Make sure your laptop’s wireless card is switched on.
- 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.