Have you ever wanted to share your wired Internet connection with the rest of your devices? With Windows 10 and a free app, the process is fairly painless.
There are times when you might have a wired or wireless connection on your laptop that you would like to share with others. Think about being at a hotel — where they often charge by device connected — or at a conference where connections can be spotty.
Over at Lifehacker they detail a more technical way to make this happen — it involves using the command line — but we’ve found an even easier solution. It’s an app called Virtual Router and its free (though you can donate if you find it useful).
The app works with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 12 and Windows 10.
Step 1: Download and install the app
This is easy. Just go to Virtual Router’s homepage and download the app and install it. It doesn’t contain any bloatware or adware.
Now fill out the name of the network you want and the password you want to use. The name will be the name that shows up for other devices. We chose “FreeWiFi.AndCandy” because it seemed enticing. For the password, this is WPA2 security, so it needs to be at least 8 characters.
We chose “yourmom69” because it has letters and numbers. And because we’re children at heart.
Now, select the connection you want to share from the dropdown link. Depending on how you’re connected, the choice might be different. If you’re connected over Ethernet, choose the Ethernet connection. If you’re connected to the Internet over Wi-Fi, select your Wi-Fi device.
Click “Start Virtual Router”
Going through the above steps should do the trick, but if you run into any problems, make sure you’re sharing preferences are properly enabled.
To do that, first search in the Start menu for “View network connections.” Find the connection you want to share (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and right-click on the device. Choose “Properties.”
In the “Properties” field, look at the “Sharing” tab and make sure the box “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection” is checked.
Now you should be good to go.
Step 4: Connect from another device
Once everything is properly configured, you can connect to your laptop’s new WiFi hotspot as usual. The network name should show up. Just select it and enter in the password.
The Virtual Router app will show other computers connecting through it when it’s in use. It’ll show the IP address of the device and its MAC address.
Step 5: Stop the app when you’re done
When you are done sharing Internet — or you need to move to another location — just click “Stop Virtual Router.”
You can start it up again when necessary.
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