Ever wanted to share your Internet via LAN to mobile and other devices? Sometimes, your PC itself can help you out. You can turn your WiFi adapter in to a hotspot so as to use in other devices.
We will take a look at the options provided by Windows itself and also see some of the third-party tools to do the same.
1. Command Line
Three simple commands and tada! Your hotspot is set up and managed effortlessly.
Hit Windows Key + X and select Command Prompt(Admin) to open the terminal window with administrator privileges. Click on ‘Yes’ in case a prompt pops up.
Once the terminal appears, copy the following command, modify it according to the need and paste it in the window (Ctrl+Shift+V to paste in command prompt).
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=YourHotspotName key=YourPassword
Replace ‘YourHotspotName’ with your desired name and ‘YourPassword’ with your desired password for the hotspot. Hit enter to run the command. If successful, three lines that describe setting the mode, SSID and key would be printed to indicate it.
Now your hotspot is configured according to your need. The following commands are used to start or stop the hotspot respectively.
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
Note: In order for the hotspot to share the Internet, a one time configuration step is required. Open Network Connections in Control Panel and select Ethernet in the list of connections. Right Click and select properties. In the sharing tab, check the ‘Allow other Internet users to connect through this computers Internet connection’ tick box. Also change the ‘Home networking connection’ box and set it to the name of the newly created hotspot(Sometimes shown as Local Area Network *).
This is a one time step and need not be down every time after starting the hotspot.
2. Mobile Hotspot Setting (Windows 10 only)
You might not believe but it’s true that Windows 10 has a built-in option to start a hotspot.
Open the Settings App and choose the Network & Internet option in the left bar. In the Mobile Hotspot option that appears, use the switch to turn it on. you can also edit the name and password for the hotspot. Choose your LAN Connection in the ‘Share my Internet connection from’ option.
3. mHotspot (Windows | Android | Linux)
mHotspot is a third-party software package that offers features such as usage tracking, converting WiFi into a repeater and more in addition to the core hotspot creation feature. It allows to connect up to 10 devices in its hotspot.
The software also lets you share files and also stream music and video over the WiFi network. It can also turn your adapter into a repeater to extend the range of an existing WiFi network. mHotspot also supports Android and Linux. If you think android has this feature built-in to it, does it let you to monitor and track individual usage? This one does. You can meter the amount of data usage of every client connected to the hotspot.
4. MyPublicWiFi (Windows only)
MyPublicWiFi is a simple and lightweight application that serves the purpose. Additionally it allows to track all the visited pages by the clients that are connected to the network.
It is a completely free software and supports sharing of ethernet, WiFi, DSL/ADSL, 3G/4G etc. And it can act as a repeater too(without spending an extra penny). The firewall facility allows to block users from accessing certain specific websites as well.
A Worthy Mention: Baidu WiFi Hotspot
This one provides some of the premium features for free. You can also take a look at Baidu PC Faster toolkit that includes PC cleaner, anti virus and a secure browser. All these tools are free and easy to use.
Most of the people who have tried setting up a hotspot already would wonder why didn’t I mention about Connectify. Connectify is also a good software but it gets buggy on the long run and most of the features are premium.
Choose any of these tools that you find would suit you and enjoy WiFi on your portable devices. If you have any other tools other than the ones mentioned above, let us know in the comments section below.