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How to use Windows 10 as a Wi-Fi hotspot

If you don’t have a Wi-Fi router but want to connect wireless devices to the internet, you can use your computer. The feature has been around for a while but doesn’t get the attention it deserves. While not a primary function of Windows, if you’re somewhere without Wi-Fi, it enables you to surf to your heart’s content without burning through your data allowance.

Difficulty level: Medium

To make this work you will need a Windows 10 computer with both an Ethernet connection and a Wi-Fi card. The Ethernet port connects the computer to the internet and the Wi-Fi card provides a wireless network for the other devices.

Use Windows 10 as a Wi-Fi hotspot

Configuring Windows 10 as a Wi-Fi hotspot is actually quite straightforward. First we need to check that your Wi-Fi card is compatible and then we can configure it.

  1. Open a CMD window as an administrator.
  2. Type or paste ‘netsh wlan show drivers’ and hit Enter.
  3. Look for ‘Hosted network supported: Yes’ in the resulting page.

If you see ‘Hosted network supported: Yes’, you can continue to the next step. If you see ‘Hosted network supported: No’, your Wi-Fi card is not compatible and this won’t work.

Assuming you saw a yes, let us continue the configuration. The easiest way is to use the command line.

  1. Open a CMD window as an administrator.
  2. Type or paste ‘netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=NETWORKNAME key=PASSWORD’. Where you see ‘NETWORKNAME’ and ‘PASSWORD’ use values that you’re comfortable with.
  3. Type or paste ‘netsh wlan start hostednetwork’. This starts the Wi-Fi network.
  4. Click the Windows Start button and select Settings then Network & Internet.
  5. Select ‘View network adapters and Change connection settings.
  6. Right-click your Ethernet card and select Properties.
  7. Note the name of the new network connection that appeared in the Network Connections window. It will have ‘Microsoft Hosted Network’ in the description.
  8. Select the Sharing tab and check the box next to ‘Allow other network users to connect…’.
  9. In the drop-down box below, select the network noted in Step 7.
  10. Click OK.

Now you can connect your devices over Wi-Fi in the usual way.

Image credit: Mashable/Microsoft

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