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How should I create a network, so that I could share my internet with another computer using Wi-fi. Is there any way to make it password protected. I am using Windows XP.

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For sharing an internet connection between two computers running Windows XP, you should use Internet Connection Sharing. Have a look at this Microsoft article for a step-by-step process of how to set things up.
You'll need a network set up that connects the computers that you want to share an Internet connection between. The Microsoft article uses "Local Area Connection" in its example (LAN), but you should be able to use "Wireless Connection" just as easily. And as far as making things password protected goes, the simplest thing to do would be to secure your wireless network.
Internet Connection Sharing aside, if you have a broadband connection, it would be a lot simpler to just purchase a Wireless Router. This would allow you to host a wireless network, share an internet connection between any number of computers that are connected, and use a wide range of security settings for "password protection."

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The solution to your problem is setting up an adhoc network

You could set up an ad-hoc network between the two pc's for internet sharing. Please refer to this post for details.

Use WEP to password protect your network, its an inbuilt windows utility

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I would recommend WPA not WEP since it's also supported by XP and far more secure (although security is a relative thing.) – Col Aug 22 '09 at 13:54
WPA to WEP security wise yup i'd agree with you – rzlines Aug 22 '09 at 15:53
Go with WPA2, WPA can be broken in about a minute:… – Tom Sep 18 '09 at 23:22

To share the internet create a lan using network set up wizard Then go to my network places/view network connections on the computer with direct net connetionm. You can see the two lan connections there. Select both connections and right click on the selection and select bridge the network option. After some waiting the connections will bridge. Then go to the second computer my network connections/view network connections/ right click on the connection/properties/tcp!Ip/then check the obtain ip address automatically option . Apply ok

You can now use the net on this computer.

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an accurate answer depends on how you connect to the internet.

option 1: get a AP-mode capable WLAN card for your desktop PC and share your computer's internet connection with the laptop.

option 2: install a wireless router between your internet connection and your PC.

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