How to Share WiFi from a Laptop

Almost any laptop or PC with a WiFi adapter can be turned into a portable WiFi router and can be used to share the Internet with all compatible devices (including Smart TVs or Android set-top boxes). This can be used as a temporary solution when your router fails (until a new one is installed). But how to set up a WiFi Internet connection on your PC, what do you need and what are the problems you might encounter?

What do you need

You'll need a PC with a WiFi adapter or a Windows laptop. Also, make sure that the latest driver for WiFi is installed beforehand. Additionally it is recommended:
  • disable the firewall (it may block network connections);
  • disable antivirus (only for the period when WiFi is active)
Laptops with Windows XP do not always work correctly because of outdated and unsupported drivers for WiFi adapters. In newer versions of Windows with current updates installed such problems do not occur.

What methods of sharing WiFi exist

How do I share WiFi with my laptop?
  • through CMD (or terminal);
  • manually creating a wireless network by enabling "sharing";
  • through third party utilities (they create a wireless network but have a much more user friendly graphical interface that even a new PC user can understand);
  • through "mobile hotspot" (only in Windows 10).

Give WiFi through the command line

You can also give out WiFi through the command line. The advantage of this method is that you don't need to install any third party software. And it works correctly with Windows Vista and later versions of the operating system.
  • open cmd (enter Start and click Run);
  • enter netsh wlan start hostednetwork.
This will automatically start a new network connection and create a shortcut in the tray. You should open its properties and make sure that in the tab "Access" the connection for other users is allowed.

If you also have to specify the SSID and password for the created WiFi (the default name is assigned automatically and there is no password at all), you should use the command netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=99999999 key=2222222222, where 999999 is SSID and 22222222 is password (you can specify your values but definitely without Cyrillic).

If you experience any difficulties, we recommend repeating the instructions but running the command line as an administrator.

Remote WiFi using third party programs

There are simple programs to create access points. Most of them are free. The most commonly recommended ones in the thematic forums are:Once you have installed and launched the app, simply provide your SSID and access password, and then you can grant permission to create a new virtual connection. Logging into Windows must be done under an administrator account.

Distribute WiFi through a manually created connection

It is done as follows:
  • open "Network Control Center" (via Control Panel);
  • select "Create New Connection";
  • select "Create New Network";
  • specify the WiFi adapter (only those not currently in use);
  • enter the sharing settings (if necessary);
  • save the connection.
And then in the 'Properties' of the connection, you need to allow other users to access the internet. Make sure to turn off the firewall beforehand, and also disable encryption for network traffic (if enabled).

Distribute via mobile hotspot in Windows 10

This function works only with LAN connection or via WiFi (i.e. laptop can be turned into a repeater, if the adapter supports such functionality). To set up sharing
  • open Settings, and under Network and Internet, enable the Mobile Hotspot
  • input the current connection in Sharing
  • choose Edit and specify the login and password for the newly created WiFi hotspot.

Afterwards you can quickly turn the hotspot on and off via the network settings (from the tray).

Буздалов Максим Викторович
Author of the site

- PhD in Technology, Associate Professor of "Computer Technologies" department, expert in the field of computer networks, more than 12 years of experience.
Author of all our information articles, happy to answer your questions in comments.

reload, if the code cannot be seen
You will also like it:
How to Share the Internet from Your Phone

Giving away WiFi from your phone is difficult? Wrong, just a few taps separates you from your cherished goal. Use our detailed guide to share Internet with everyone, it's up to you! Instructions are suitable for Android and iOS.

How to measure wifi speed

Measuring the wifi connection speed on your computer, smartphone, tablet. There are a lot of tips on the Internet, we've chosen the most effective ones that will work even for beginners. Go to the article right now - become a network analyst who does not need any help.

How to find out Wi-Fi password

Find out your wi-fi password - what could be easier! Have doubts? Check out our article with all the tips and tricks you need to know the ∕ passwords of different devices and operating systems. Be brave and use it!