One wireless device to rule them all

Staying at the hotels too much, sometimes I am facing penny-pitching network policies like “pay for each device separately” or having just a cable network. With the advent of smartphones and tablets such policy is smart move as we think of sucking down clients’ wallets. If you are traveling in business, chances are you have a laptop with WiFi and Windows 7 or newer; with that equipment and without additional software you can turn your laptop into wireless router sharing network for other devices.

Once having internet connection (to WLAN) you can use your WiFi radio to share it with other devices in sub-network, and it does not matter whether WLAN is cable of wireless, as the single radio adapter can work simultaneously in as client of WLAN and access point for other devices.

You just need couple minutes to set it up:

  1. Open command prompt with admin access rights
  2. Create hosted network adapter giving your own name for wifi (ssid) parameter and password (key) for authorization:
     netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=mywifinetwork key=mysecretkey
  3. In the network panel (control panel / network and internet / network connections) make sure adapter with your name is enabled.
  4. Start the adapter:
    netsh wlan start hostednetwork

    If your internet connection is cable and you received error like this: “The hosted network couldn’t be started. The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation.” check that radio is on, some settings may auto-disable wifi as tethering is detected as unused.

  5. Right click on your current internet connection and choose sharing with the hosted network you have just created
  6. Your device should see and connect to wifi. If it stucks on obtaining IP address then make sure that your firewall does not block service assigning IP addresses (open UDP ports 67 and 2535 for DHCP on firewall)
  7. Voila!

After computer restart you need to start hosted network again (steps 1 and 4).

Users of older versions of Windows can run dedicated software like connectify and on Linux box sharing cable connection is also easy to setup (note that using WiFi as client and spot is not possible on most Linux distributions). If you give no damn about messing up with network setup, as most business users do, the way to go is getting a tiny router powered from USB, like Asus WL-330 N3G for $50 on the picture aside.


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