Turn Your Laptop Into a WiFi Access point


WiFi hotspotIf you used Windows 7 or Windows XP, you know that these operating systems allow you to create ad hoc wireless connections between computers. You could use those connections to create a wireless network between multiple computers or to share the Internet connection that was available on one of them. If you use Windows 8.1 or if you just migrated to Windows 10, then you might have noticed that this can no longer be done, at least not using a visual interface. However, with the help of the Command Prompt and a few commands, you too can turn your Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 laptop or hybrid device into a WiFi access point. Here’s how:

Create A Virtual WiFi Network

1Open Command Prompt with administrative privileges and use a command to create a virtual wireless network that is broadcasted by your device.

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To show you how this is done, we will create a wireless network called Hotspot. The password for this network will be “AvaNetwork”.

Inside the Command Prompt window, type the following command:

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Hotspot key=AvaNetwork

Notice that the name of the network is set using the SSID parameter and the password is set using the KEY parameter. Obviously, you can set your own values for them.

To create the access point, press Enter. If all goes well, you should see that the hosted network has been set.

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2Now you have created a virtual adapter that can function as a wireless access point for other computers and devices in your area. However, in order for it to work, you need to take one more step: turn this virtual adapter on.

Do not close the Command Prompt. Keep it open and enter the following command:

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

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Then, press Enter.

The virtual wireless adapter is now started and shown in the Network and Sharing Center.

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You can connect all your devices to the newly created wireless network. However, it has no Internet access. If you stop at this point, when you connect other devices and computers to the newly created access point, you can create a network between them and use it to share files and resources, but they won’t have any Internet access.

Allow Internet Access For The Devices That Are Connected To The Virtual WiFi Network

If you want to share internet for other devices, your device(laptop) must have at least 2 network cards installed and one of them must be a wireless network card. One of them must be connected to the Internet ( The Devices connect from wireless network card and the laptop is connecting to internet from the other network card which could be a usb modem, Ethernet or another wireless network card).

1Open the Network and Sharing Center (from Control Panel). Notice that the virtual network adapter you just created is displayed as active, but it has no Internet access at this time.

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2Click or tap the connection of the physical network adapter that currently has Internet access. In our case, it is an Ethernet connection.

laptop ap 6This opens the Status window for the selected network adapter. Click or tap Properties.

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3In the Properties window, go to the Sharing tab.

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4In order to give others Internet access to the virtual WiFi adapter that we created earlier, check the box near “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”.

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5Then, select the virtual adapter that was created earlier.

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Click or tap OK and Close to save the settings you’ve made.

If you go back to the Network and Sharing Center, you will notice that the virtual network adapter now has Internet access.

Connect your wireless devices to the virtual WiFi access point and use them to access the Internet. Also, the devices that are connected to your laptop or hybrid PC, are placed in the same network with the access point. You can use that network to share files and folders between devices.

If you want to end this and stop sharing your WiFi, follow these steps:

Open Command Prompt with administrative privileges and enter the following command:

netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

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There is also some third-party app you could use like Connectify, but you must pay for most of them.

 

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