How to Turn Your Windows PC Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

Windows can turn your PC into a wireless hotspot, allowing it to share its wired or wireless Internet connection with other wireless devices. But how you set it up that depends on what version of Windows you’re running. Here’s how it all works.

Wi-Fi Hotspot

Turn Your PC Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot the Easy Way

If you can’t get the built-in Windows Wi-Fi hotspot working, you should try using Connectify Hotspot instead. it’s a completely foolproof Wi-Fi hotspot with tons of options and a nice interface.

Share a Wired or Wireless Internet Connection in Windows 10

If you’re running Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update installed, then you’re in luck. With that update, Windows now has a single switch for turning any PC with Wi-Fi into a hotspot, and it doesn’t matter whether the Internet connection you want to share is wired or wireless.

First, fire up Settings by pressing Windows+I on your keyboard. On the main Settings page, click “Network & Internet.”

Wireless Internet Connection in Windows 10

On the Network & Internet page, on the left-hand side, click “Mobile hotspot.”

Mobile hotspot

On the right-hand side, turn on the “Share my Internet connection with other devices” switch. If you want something other than the default network name and password, click the “Edit” button.

Share my Internet connection with other devices

In the Edit window, type whatever network name and password you want to use and then click “OK.”

network name and password

And that’s all you really have to do in Windows 10. It’s one of the best new features of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, even though it rolled out with relatively little fanfare.

Share a Wired Internet Connection in Windows 7

The ability to share your PC’s wired Internet connection to wireless devices is integrated into Windows 7’s networking interface through something called an ad-hoc network. An ad-hoc network is really just a simple, direct network connection between devices. In this case, you’ll be creating an ad-hoc network between your PC’s wireless connection and any wireless devices you want to connect. You just need to make sure that your wired connection is set up and that the PC does have Wi-Fi available.

Internet Connection in Windows

Be sure to enable the “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection” checkbox so that your PC will share its wired Internet connection with the devices connected to your PC over the ad-hoc network.

checkbox so that your PC

Share a Wired Internet Connection in Windows 8

Unfortunately, Windows 8 stripped away the graphical interface for setting up an ad-hoc network, so it’s not quite as easy to set up as it is in Windows 7 or 10. The underlying feature is still present, though. You just have to resort to a little command line trickery.

First, you’ll need to make sure your existing wireless network is shared with other network users. Press Windows+R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box, type “ncpa.cpl”, and then hit Enter.

Internet Connection in Windows 8

In the network connections window, right-click your Wireless network and select “Properties” from the context menu.


Switch over to the “Sharing” tab and enable the “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection” checkbox. Go ahead and clear the “Allow other network users to control or disable the shared Internet connection” checkbox while you’re at it and then click the “OK” button.

Allow other network users

Next, you’ll need to launch the Command Prompt with administrative privileges. Right-click in the bottom left of your screen (or hit Windows+X) and then select “Command Prompt (Admin)” on the Power Users menu that appears.

Command Prompt

With the command prompt open, your next step is to set up the wireless network using the netsh like so:

wireless network using the netsh

Where <SSID> is the name of your network and <PASSWORD> is the password you want users to connect with. The access point is created with WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption.

created with WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption

Next, you’ll start broadcasting our network with the following command:

start broadcasting our network

And at any time, you can use this last command to show information about the connection. It lists things like the channel your connection uses, ssid name, authentication type, radio type, and the number of clients connected to your network.

clients connected to your network

When you’re done, you should be able to connect any Wi-Fi device to your new ad-hoc network.

Share a Wireless Internet Connection in Windows 8 or 7

If you want to share a wireless Internet connection in Windows 8 or 7 with other wireless devices, you’ll need use a third party app. We recommend Virtual Router because it’s free, open-source, and easy to set up. You can also use it to share a wired connection if you just want an easier way to do it than creating an ad-hoc network.

Start by downloading Virtual Router and starting it up. Using it really couldn’t be easier. Provide a name for your network, enter a passphrase, and choose the connection you want to share with devices that connect to that Wi-Fi network. Click the “Start Virtual Router” button, and you’re done. You can even see a list of connected devices in this window.

Virtual Router

Setting up a mobile hotspot on your Windows PC can be a bit of a hassle, or it can be pretty easy. It just depends on what version of Windows you’re running and whether you’re willing to use a third-party app. But the next time you’re stuck somewhere with only a wired Internet connection, at least you know you can use your PC to share that connection with your other wireless devices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *