How to Turn Your PC Into a Router

Use your computer's built-in hotspot feature

What to Know

  • You'll need two network adapters: One for internet source and the other to use as hotspot (must be Wi-Fi).
  • Access the computer's Hotspot configuration in Network & Internet settings.
  • Once enabled, you can use it to connect to the internet through your computer with any other nearby device.

This article explains how to turn your computer into a router so that other devices can access the internet through your PC.

How Do You Turn Your PC Into a Router?

Connect your PC to the internet using either your primary ethernet or Wi-Fi card. Once you have an active internet connection, follow the steps below to enable your second Wi-Fi card as a hotspot.

For better performance, connect your ethernet adapter to the internet source. Ethernet connections are capable of greater bandwidth, which will improve the overall performance of your shared Wi-Fi network. This is especially true if you plan to connect several devices to the internet through your PC "router."

  1. Select the Windows Start menu, type "Settings" and select the Settings app.

    Open on Windows settings

    In the Settings window, select Network & Internet.

    Network & Internet in Windows Settings
  2. Select Mobile hotspot from the left navigation pane. This will open settings to enable a Wi-Fi hotspot from your computer.

    Mobile hotspot on Windows 10
  3. In this window, enable the toggle switch under Share my internet connection with other devices. Make sure the dropdown box under Share my internet connection from has the correct adapter selected. If your internet connection is from your Ethernet adapter, you should see it listed here. Typically your computer will have only one internet source so there should be only one item listed here. Finally, select the Edit button to customize the security for your Wi-Fi hotspot.

    Share my internet connection toggled to On
  4. Give your new hotspot network a Network name, Network password, and choose a Network band (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, or Any). It's usually best to leave the band set to the default of Any so that any device can connect to your hotspot regardless of its band capability.

    Screenshot of mobile hotspot password
  5. You're now ready to connect any other device in your home to the new Wi-Fi network created by your computer. For example, on an Android device, open Settings, tap Connections and then tap Wi-Fi. You should see the Wi-Fi network name you created with your new hotspot.

  6. Tap that network name, and then type the password that you entered when you created the Wi-Fi hotspot. Tap Connect to connect to that network.

    Selecting hotspot and connecting on Android
  7. If you have a iOS device, you can follow the same process following the procedure for connecting iOS devices to a Wi-Fi network. You can repeat this procedure with any other device in your house to connect to the internet through your computer's new hotspot, just like your computer is the main household router.

Can You Turn Any Computer Into a Router?

You can turn your computer into a router if you have two network cards available on the device. You'll need at least an ethernet adapter or a Wi-Fi adapter for your computer's internet source. However, to create a wireless hotspot like a router, you'll need a second Wi-Fi adapter.

Make sure your computer has a good internet connection via an ethernet or Wi-Fi adapter. Then, you'll need to adjust the settings for the second Wi-Fi adapter to enable your PC as a hot spot. Once you've allowed this, other devices will be able to use your PC to access the internet, just like a wireless router.

FAQ
  • How do I log into my router using a PC?

    To connect to your home router as an administrator so you can access its settings and make changes, you need to know the router's IP address, which varies by brand. First, enter the IP address in a web browser, and then enter the administrative user's password and username.

  • How do I log into an Apple Airport Extreme router on a PC?

    First, download and install the Airport Utility application for Windows. Then, go to Start > Airport Utility > select the Private Networks checkbox > Ok, and double-click the Airport network to log in.

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