A Wi-fi personal hotspot bring internet connectivity to you no matter where you are, making it even easier to keep all of your devices connected, but did you know that there are more ways to create a hotspot other than with your phone?
Thanks to some great software and apps, you can turn devices – including tablets and laptops – into a personal hotspot.
If you have a Windows laptop, here’s how to create a personal hotspot:
On Windows 10 (and previous versions), Microsoft has a program called “Hosted Network” which allows you to share your internet connection if you’re using a wireless or wired adapter.
Creating a hosted network does involve using Command Prompt with administrator rights. To do this, use the Windows key + X keyboard shortcut, and select Command Prompt (Admin).
Before you attempt to set up the “Hosted Network”, you’ll need to establish whether or not your computer’s physical wireless adapter supports this feature using the following command : NETSH WLAN show drivers
If the response shows Hosted network supported: Yes then you can continue with setting up the Hosted Network by following the steps below:
- While in Command Prompt (Admin) enter the following command:
NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Your_SSID key=Your_Passphrase
The SSID is the name you want to identify your wireless network when trying to connect a new device, and the passphrase is the network security key you want users to use to connect to your network. (Basically, it’s a passcode. Remember that the passphrase has to be at least 8 characters in length.)
- Once you have created the Hosted Network, you need to enter the following command to activate it:
NETSH WLAN start hostednetwork
You’ll now be able to connect to the internet from other devices using your laptop has a wi-fi hotspot.
If you’re a Mac user, you’ll also be able to share your internet connection:
- Apple menu > System Preferences > Sharing icon
- Internet sharing
The greatest limitation is that unfortunately you can’t be connected to a Wi-Fi network and host a Wi-Fi network at the same time.
If for example, your Mac is connected to the Internet through an Ethernet adapter, you’d select Ethernet in the list at the top of the window and share that wired connection over Wi-Fi. If you’re connected via Bluetooth or tethered to an iPhone via a lightning cable, you could also select those.
In the “To computers using” box, make sure that you enable the Wi-Fi option. This will create a Wi-Fi hotspot, and the Internet connection you selected at the top of the window will then be shared with devices that connect to the Wi-Fi network.
Click the “Wi-Fi Options” button at the bottom of the window to configure your Wi-Fi hotspot. Select your preferred network name and the best Wi-Fi channel.
Make sure you click the “Security” box and select “WPA2-Personal” and provide a password. If you don’t then by default, the hotspot will be configured without a password and anyone will be able to connect (which you don’t want happening).
When you’re done setting everything up, click the checkbox to the left of Internet Sharing and click Start to activate your Wi-Fi hotspot.