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I have a computer I'm required to use in order to connect to our corporation's provided network. The computer is an ageing laptop that I cannot replace.

If I directly connect to the network with a different computer, the Ethernet port is disabled. I want to use the old laptop as a switch to provide access for a better computer. I have normal user (not admin) rights on the laptop which is running Windows Vista.

How can I connect my personal computer through the old laptop to gain Internet access?

I realize that this isn't a good idea, I am probably violating the IT policy, and such actions are ethically questionable - but I'm hard headed and curious.

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If the provided laptop is getting a public IP address, the easiest thing to do might be to use a residential router/gateway and clone the MAC address of the laptop on the WAN port. If it's getting a private address, you'll probably end up doing double-NAT which won't be the greatest thing in the world. In that case, you might be better off spoofing the MAC address on the new computer as charliehorse55 suggests.

Disclaimer: I'm providing this info on the assumption that you're trying to bypass some red tape to cure cancer or something, not hack the corporate network. If you loose your job/contract or worse, don't blame me. Remember, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Don't end up going through a legal nightmare like Randal Schwartz. You don't want the Keven Mitnick treatment either.

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And don't get caught - but you knew that. – Michael Kohne May 11 '11 at 2:23

Sounds like simply downloading a MAC address spoofer onto the unlocked computer and setting it to the MAC address of the old one would work. Also, make sure to copy the static ip settings over to the unlocked computer before plugging it into the network (unplug the locked computer first). You can find out the ip configuration on your windows computer by opening a command prompt window and typing ipconfig

Good luck.

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To use the old laptop as a switch you need to use two network interfaces. Assuming the laptop has by default Wi-Fi and Ethernet you have to, how-they-called-it, share the Ethernet connection with the Wi-Fi one. Then create Wi-Fi network and attach there with your new laptop. However, there is a good chance the measures are taken and the Wi-Fi adapter on the old laptop is disabled, so you are stuck with Ethernet only.

Otherwise - just see the other two answers.

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As long as you're aware that being hard-headed and curious but not open enough about these traits to ask / work directly is a serious risk to your job and your future employment, you should know that simply cloning mac addresses is not certain to bypass the network protections.

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