How to turn your Windows PC into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E use WPA3, which enables encryption on public Wi-Fi networks. But not all networks you’ll encounter use those standards yet. If you want to encrypt all of your wireless traffic on a Wi-Fi network, you can fire up a VPN on your PC (probably a laptop), then connect all of your wireless devices to that laptop’s hotspot. Then all of your traffic will be encrypted, and you don’t need to worry about whether or not someone is snooping on your online activity.

Circumvent Per-Device Fees

Sometimes you’ll be in a hotel room, on a plane, or elsewhere, and you’ll find that the Wi-Fi network has per-device fees. Not interested in that? This is another great application for using the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.

Sign up for the plan with one device — your laptop — and create a mobile hotspot. Then connect your other devices to your Windows PC’s hotspot instead.

How to Share an Ethernet or Wi-Fi Connection in Windows 11

To share your internet connection in Windows 11, first open up the Settings app by pressing Windows+i or searching for “Settings” in the Start Menu. Once Settings is open, click “Network & Internet,” and then select “Mobile Hotspot” from the list.

Select the adapter you want to share your connection from, and then select how you’d like to share the connection with another device.

  • For example, if your PC were plugged into an Ethernet cable, you could select “Ethernet” from the dropdown list next to “Share My Internet Connection From,” and then select Wi-Fi from the “Share Over” dropdown menu.
  • Click “Edit” to set your network name, password, and select the band (2.4 GHz, 5GHz, or 6GHz) you want to use. Your choices will be limited by the hardware your PC has, and you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6E-enabled device to use the 6GHz band.
  • Once all of that configuration is done, click the toggle near the top to enable your network.
  • You will be able to connect to your Windows mobile hotspot just like you would any other Wi-Fi network you might encounter.
How to Share a Wired or Wireless Internet Connection in Windows 10

Windows 10 introduced a single switch for turning any PC with Wi-Fi into a hotspot with the Anniversary Update, which was released back in 2016. The best part is that it doesn’t matter whether the Internet connection you want to share is wired or wireless.

  • First, fire up Settings by pressing Windows+I on your keyboard. On the main Settings page, click “Network & Internet.”
  • On the Network & Internet page, on the left-hand side, click “Mobile hotspot.”
  • On the right-hand side, turn on the “Share my Internet connection with other devices” switch. If you want something other than the default network name and password, click the “Edit” button.
  • In the Edit window, type whatever network name and password you want to use and then click “OK.” You can also specify the network band if your wireless adapter supports that option.
Share a Wired Internet Connection in Windows 8

Unfortunately, Windows 8 stripped away the graphical interface for setting up an ad-hoc network, so it’s not quite as easy to set up as it is in Windows 7 or 10. The underlying feature is still present, though. You just have to resort to a little command line trickery.

First, you’ll need to make sure your existing wireless network is shared with other network users. Press Windows+R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box, type “ncpa.cpl”, and then hit Enter.

In the network connections window, right-click your Wireless network and select “Properties” from the context menu. Switch over to the “Sharing” tab and enable the “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection” checkbox. Go ahead and clear the “Allow other network users to control or disable the shared Internet connection” checkbox while you’re at it and then click the “OK” button.

Next, you’ll need to launch the Command Prompt with administrative privileges. Right-click in the bottom left of your screen (or hit Windows+X) and then select “Command Prompt (Admin)” on the Power Users menu that appears.

With the command prompt open, your next step is to set up the wireless network using the netsh like so:

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=”<SSID>” key=”<PASSWORD>”

Where <SSID> is the name of your network and <PASSWORD> is the password you want users to connect with. The access point is created with WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption.

Next, you’ll start broadcasting our network with the following command:

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

And at any time, you can use this last command to show information about the connection. It lists things like the channel your connection uses, ssid name, authentication type, radio type, and the number of clients connected to your network.

netsh wlan show hostednetwork

When you’re done, you should be able to connect any Wi-Fi device to your new ad-hoc network.

[mai mult...]