How to Share Your Internet Connection on Windows

Windows has a built-in feature to share its connection

Hotels, virtual offices, and other locations provide a single wired Ethernet connection. To share that internet connection with several devices, use the Mobile Hotspot feature in Windows 10, or the built-in internet connection sharing (ICS) feature in Windows 8 and Windows 7, to allow other computers or mobile devices to go online.

This procedure requires your host computer to be connected via cable to the internet modem (DSL or cable modem, for example) or a cellular data modem on your computer. To share a wireless internet connection with other devices, turn your Windows laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot using Connectify.

Use Your Windows 10 Computer as a Mobile Hotspot

To turn your computer into a wireless hotspot or wired router for other devices nearby:

  1. Select Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile hotspot.

    Mobile Hotspot in Windows settings
  2. Select the Share my Internet connection from drop-down menu and choose the connection you intend to share.

    "Share My Internet Connection From" option in Windows
  3. Under Network Name, select Edit.

    Edit button in the Mobile Hotspot settings on Windows
  4. Modify the network name and password for this new connection as needed.

    Screenshot of Edit network info window
  5. When you're finished, Save your settings.

    Save button in Network Info
  6. Toggle Share my Internet connection with other devices to On.

    Share my Internet Connection toggle in Windows
  7. From any other device, search for the wireless network you just established to verify the connection.

Use Your Windows 8 or Windows 7 Computer as a Mobile Hotspot

To set up a hotspot from a Windows 8 or Windows 7 PC:

  1. Log on to the Windows host computer, the one connected to the internet, as an Administrator.

  2. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center and then click Change adapter settings.

  3. Right-click the internet connection that you want to share (for example, Local Area Connection) and click Properties.

  4. Click the Sharing tab.

  5. Check the Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection check box. For the sharing tab to show up, you need two types of network connections. One for your internet connection and another that the client computers can connect to, such as a wireless adapter.

  6. After ICS is enabled, set up an ad hoc wireless network. Or, use newer Wi-Fi direct technology so that the other devices can connect to your host computer for internet access.

Remember these considerations also:

  • Clients who connect to the host computer should have their network adapters set to get an IP address automatically. Look in the network adapter properties, under TCP/IPv4 or TCP/IPv6, and click Obtain an IP address automatically.
  • If you create a VPN connection from your host computer to a corporate network, the computers on your local network can access the corporate network if you use ICS.
  • If you share your internet connection over an ad hoc network, ICS is disabled if you disconnect from the ad hoc network, create a new ad hoc network, or log off from the host computer.
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