Looking for a way to turn your laptop or desktop into a wireless router? You may find yourself in a situation where there is no wireless router nearby that everyone can connect to. If you have only one computer connected to your cable or DSL modem, you can convert that computer to a router or wireless router if your computer has a wireless card.
Before we talk about the setup process, it’s important to know the requirements. The main requirement is that at least two network interfaces must be installed on the computer. You can have two network cards or one network card and a wireless card. If you only have one network interface, you cannot turn your computer into a router.
Also, on Windows computers, the process of setting up this router feature is called Internet Connection Sharing. However, in order for clients to connect to the host computer wirelessly, you also need to set up an ad hoc wireless network that connects to the Internet using a different network interface installed on the machine.
For a better understanding, here are the tasks we need to complete to turn your computer into a wireless router:
Step 1: Turn on Internet Connection Sharing in the Local Area Connection interface
Step 2. Create a new peer-to-peer wireless network
Step 3. Connect to the new wireless network on the host computer
Step 4. Connect each client to a new peer-to-peer wireless network
Step 1 – Enable ICS
To enable ICS in Windows, open Control Panel and click Network and Sharing Center. Make sure you are in icon view, not category view. Click “Change adapter settings” in the left menu.
Now right click on Local Area Connection and select Properties. Note that some other sites tell you to right-click on “Wireless Network Connection”, but this will mean that the wireless connection will be shared and all clients will need to connect over Ethernet. It’s a lot more complicated and I’ve never even managed to get it to work, so stick with a LAN connection if you want to make your life easier.
Click on the Sharing tab and you really can only check one box: Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.
When you check this box, a drop-down list under Connect to home network becomes available. Here you want to select the wireless network connection for your wireless card.
If you have several in the list, perhaps one of them is a virtual adapter. Make sure you don’t select this. You can determine the presence of a virtual adapter by looking at all adapters after clicking the “Change adapter settings” button at the beginning of this article.
Click OK and close the properties window. The LAN connection will now be shared and we can proceed to step 2.
Step 2 – Create an Ad Hoc Wireless Network
To create an ad hoc wireless network to which client machines will connect, we need to go back to the Network and Sharing Center and click on “Configure a new connection or network.”
Now scroll down and click on “Wireless Peer-to-Peer Network Setting (Computer-to-Computer)”.
Click Next and give your network a name. This name will be the SSID of the network that other users will see on their computers. Select None as the Security Type and leave the Security Key field blank.
Also don’t forget to check the Save this network box. Click Next and it will configure a new wireless network and tell you that it is ready to use. Click Close and go to step 3.
Step 3 – Connect to the Ad Hoc Network
Now that the new network is set up, we need to make sure we are connected to it on the host computer. To do this, click the network icon in the notification area on the taskbar.
As you can see, my network is called Public and the status is Pending Users. This means that the host computer is already connected and is waiting for other users to connect. You can click on the network name and click “Connect” if the system did not connect automatically. After connecting another user, the status should change to “Connected”.
Step 4 – Connecting Clients
The last step is the easiest. Just go to the client computer, click the network icon and click the name of the peer-to-peer network. You should connect automatically without any problem.
The only change you need to make on the client machines is Internet Explorer. Open IE, then click the gear icon and select Internet Options.
Go to the “Connections” tab and then click “LAN Settings” at the bottom.
You want to go ahead and uncheck all the boxes checked here. Most likely, the “Automatically detect settings” checkbox will be checked, so be sure to clear this checkbox.
Note that you should only perform this procedure on client computers, not on the host computer. At this point, you should be able to connect to the Internet from the client computer.
find the mistakes and resolve it
If you are connected to a peer-to-peer network but cannot access the Internet on the client computer, there are some troubleshooting tips you can try.
After playing around with ICS on multiple computers, there were times when I could open a command prompt and ping a website like Google.com, but couldn’t access it through a web browser. If you are having a similar problem, try resetting Winsock. To do this, open an administrative command prompt by clicking the Start button, type cmd, then right-click cmd and select Run as administrator.
Now type netsh winsock reset and press Enter. The command will exit and you will be prompted to restart your computer.
If you are still having problems connecting clients to the Internet, please post your situation here and I will try to help. The process is a little tricky, but if you can get it to work, this is a great way to connect multiple clients without additional software or hardware. Enjoy!