Today we’ll talk about how to distribute the Internet via Wi-Fi from a laptop or from a computer that has the appropriate wireless adapter. Why might this be needed? For example, you have purchased a tablet or phone and would like to access the Internet from home without having to purchase a router. In this case, you can distribute Wi-Fi from a laptop that is connected to the network both wired and wirelessly. Let’s look at how to do this. In this case, we will immediately consider three ways how to make a laptop a router. Ways to distribute Wi-Fi from a laptop are considered for Windows 7, Windows 8, they are also suitable for Windows 10. If you prefer non-standard ones, or don’t like installing additional programs, you can immediately proceed to the way in which the Wi-Fi distribution will be organized using the windows command prompt.
And just in case: if you meet the free Wi-Fi HotSpot Creator program somewhere, I really do not recommend downloading it and using it. in addition to itself, it will install a lot of unnecessary “garbage” on the computer even if you refuse it. See also: Distributing the Internet over Wi-Fi in Windows 10 using the command line.
Easily share Wi-Fi from a wired laptop in Virtual Router
Many who are interested in distributing the Internet via Wi-Fi from a laptop have heard of a program such as Virtual Router Plus or just Virtual Router. Initially, this section was written about the first of them, but I had to make a number of corrections and clarifications, which I recommend to familiarize yourself with and then decide which of the two you prefer to use.
Virtual router plus. A free program that is made from a simple Virtual Router (they took open source software and made changes) and is not much different from the original. On the official website, it was initially clean, and recently it has been supplying unwanted software to the computer, which is not so easy to refuse. By itself, this version of the virtual router is good and simple, but you should be careful when installing and downloading. At the moment (beginning of 2015), you can download Virtual Router Plus in Russian and without unnecessary things from the site http://virtualrouter-plus.en.softonic.com/.
The way to distribute the Internet using Virtual Router Plus is very simple and straightforward. The disadvantage of this method of turning a laptop into a Wi-Fi access point is that for it to work, the laptop must not be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, but either by wire or using a USB modem.
After installation (previously the program was a ZIP archive, now it is a full-fledged installer) and the program starts, you will see a simple window in which you need to enter just a few parameters:
- Network Name SSID — Specify the name of the wireless network to be distributed.
- Password. password for Wi-Fi, consisting of at least 8 characters (uses WPA encryption).
- General connection. in this field you should select the connection through which your laptop is connected to the Internet.
After entering all the settings, click the “Start Virtual Router Plus” button. The program will minimize to the Windows tray and a message will appear stating that the launch was successful. After that, you can connect to the Internet using your laptop as a router, for example, from an Android tablet.
If your laptop is not connected by wire, but also via Wi-Fi, then the program will also start, however, it will not work to connect to the virtual router. it will fail when receiving an IP address. In all other cases, Virtual Router Plus is an excellent free solution for this purpose. Further in the article there is a video about how the program works.
Virtual router Is an open source virtual router program that underlies the product described above. But at the same time, when downloading from the official site http://virtualrouter.codeplex.com/, you do not risk installing yourself not what you need (in any case, today).
Distribution of Wi-Fi on a laptop in Virtual Router Manager is exactly the same as in the Plus version, except that there is no Russian language. Otherwise, everything is the same. entering a network name, password and choosing a connection to share with other devices.
After installing the application, the computer will need to restart, and the launch is performed on behalf of the Administrator. After starting, you will see the main program window, in which you should set the network name SSID, password for the connection, consisting of at least 8 characters, and also note which of the Internet connections should be distributed over Wi-Fi. After that, it remains to click "Set up and Start Hotspot" to start the access point on the laptop.
Also, on other program tabs, you can see who is connected to the network or set restrictions on the use of traffic-intensive services.
You can download MyPublicWiFi for free from the official website http://www.mypublicwifi.com/publicwifi/en/index.html
Wi-Fi Internet Sharing with Connectify Hotspot
The Connectify program, designed to distribute Wi-Fi from a laptop or computer, often works correctly on those computers with Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7, where other methods of distributing the Internet do not work, and it does this for a variety of types of connections, including PPPoE, 3G / LTE modems, etc. Both the free version of the program is available, as well as the paid options Connectify Hotspot Pro and Max with advanced functions (wired router mode, repeater mode and others).
Among other things, the program can track device traffic, block ads, automatically start distribution when you log in to Windows and more. Details about the program, its functions and where to download it in a separate article Distributing the Internet via Wi-Fi from a laptop in Connectify Hotspot.
How to distribute the Internet via Wi-Fi using the Windows command line
Well, the penultimate way in which we will organize distribution via Wi-Fi without the use of additional free or paid programs. So, a way for geeks. Tested on Windows 8 and Windows 7 (for Windows 7 there is a variation of the same method, but without the command line, which is described later), it is not known whether it will work on Windows XP.
Press Win R and type ncpa.cpl, press Enter.
When the list of network connections opens, right-click on the wireless connection and select "Properties"
Switch to the “Access” tab, check the box “Allow other network users to use the computer’s Internet connection,” then “OK.”
Run the command line as administrator. In Windows 8. click Win X and select "Command Prompt (Administrator)", and in Windows 7. find the command prompt in the Start menu, right-click and select "Run as administrator".
Run the command netsh wlan show drivers and see what is said about hosted network support. If supported, then you can continue. If not, then most likely you have not installed the original driver for the Wi-Fi adapter (install from the manufacturer’s website), or a really very old device.
The first command that we need to enter in order to make the router out of the laptop is as follows (you can change the SSID to your network name and also set your password, in the example below the password is ParolNaWiFi):
After entering the command, you should see a confirmation that all operations have been performed: wireless access is allowed, the SSID name is changed, the wireless key is also changed. Enter the following command
After this entry, you should see a message that "The hosted network is running." And the last command that you may need and which is useful in order to find out the status of your wireless network, the number of connected clients or the Wi-Fi channel:
Done. Now you can connect via Wi-Fi to your laptop, enter the specified password and use the Internet. To stop the distribution, use the command
Unfortunately, when using this method, the distribution of Internet via Wi-Fi stops after each reboot of the laptop. One solution is to create a bat file with all the commands in order (one command per line) and either add it to autoload, or run it yourself when necessary.
Using a computer-to-computer (Ad-hoc) network to distribute the Internet via Wi-Fi from a laptop in Windows 7 without programs
In Windows 7, the method described above can be implemented without resorting to the command line, and it is quite simple. To do this, go to the network and sharing control center (via the control panel or by clicking on the connection icon in the notification area), and then click "Configure a new connection or network."
Select "Computer-to-Computer Wireless Network Settings" and click "Next."
In the next step, you will need to set the network name SSID, security type and security key (password for Wi-Fi). So that each time you do not have to configure the Wi-Fi distribution again, check the "Save this network settings" item. After clicking the “Next” button, the network will be configured, Wi-Fi will be turned off if it was connected, and instead, it will wait for other devices to connect to this laptop (that is, from this moment you can find the created network and connect to it).
In order for the Internet to be accessible when connecting, you will need to provide Internet access. To do this, go back to the Network and Sharing Center, and there, on the left menu, select "Change adapter settings."
Choose your Internet connection (it is important: you must choose the connection that directly serves to access the Internet), right-click on it, click "Properties". After that, on the “Access” tab, check the box “Allow other network users to use this computer’s Internet connection”. that’s all, now you can connect to Wi-Fi on your laptop and use the Internet.
Common problems when distributing Wi-Fi from a laptop
In this section, I will briefly describe the errors and problems that users encounter, judging by the comments, as well as the most likely ways to solve them:
- The program writes that the virtual router or virtual Wi-Fi router could not be started, or you receive a message that this type of network is not supported. update the drivers for the Wi-Fi adapter of the laptop, not through Windows, but from the official website of the manufacturer of your device.
- A tablet or phone connects to the created access point, but without access to the Internet. make sure that you are distributing exactly the connection through which the laptop has access to the Internet. Also a common cause of the problem is that Internet access is blocked by antivirus or firewall (firewall) by default. check this option.
It seems that of the most important and frequently encountered problems I have not forgotten anything.
This concludes this guide. I hope you find it useful. There are other ways to distribute Wi-Fi from a laptop or computer and other programs designed for these purposes, but, I think, the described methods will be enough.