Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a laptop and a workstation at my office:

  • Laptop(WinXp) connected to Office LAN via wireless and project LAN via cable
  • Workstation(Vista) connected to project LAN via cable
  • Servers and network printers located in office LAN
  • Office LAN is managed. Requires user account to access servers.
  • Office LAN and Project LAN is in the same building.

I would like to find out if there is any way that I can access the servers and network printers on the Office LAN from my workstation in Project LAN using my laptop as some sort of access point. Is this possible?

My laptop is able to access resources on both LANs. Since the cable interface has a higher network metric, i just added the server addresses on the hosts file and add network device plus login to that network device using the user account.

please advise.

share|improve this question
Do you have someone responsible for the network? Then ask them... what you want to do and are currently doing have serious security implications. – Oskar Duveborn Sep 5 '09 at 12:01
Thanks for your advice... well... it's a long story... To cut the story short, my dept head asked me to implement it without consulting with the IT dept. Anyway, could you explain more about the serious security implications? I would like to know about the risks involved. – jjplaw Sep 11 '09 at 8:50

Under WinXP: My Network Places (right-click properties). Select the two connections, right click, and select "Bridge Connections." Whammo, instant network bridge!

share|improve this answer
Wow. If this also works for VPN connections then, if I were a sysadmin, I guess I'd ban all Windows machines from the VPN? This is scarily simple. – Arjan Sep 30 '09 at 8:44

What you're talking about is turning your laptop into a router or a bridge, these instructions should help

share|improve this answer
thanks for the link... will try it out and post results... thanks again.. – jjplaw Sep 4 '09 at 9:03

You need some form or router software. I personally use pfSense inside of virtual machine for that purpose. For basic routing, as little as 128 MB RAM is enough. Additional advantage is that if you ever decide on moving it to real hardware, any box will do.

share|improve this answer
thanks for the tip... Using a virtual machine to implement it is a good idea... will investigate more on pfSense. – jjplaw Sep 4 '09 at 8:58

Virtual AP is an easy-to-use software that turns any LAN-connected PC or laptop into a Wi-Fi wireless access point. Give it a try

share|improve this answer

While not a particularly elegant solution, you can also use the Network Sharing feature in XP to allow NATted access to the Office LAN from the project LAN. All of the options are on the Advanced tab of the Wireless Network Connection Properties page (in your case, since you're trying to share the wireless network. You would need to either:

  1. Set up the laptop as the DHCP server and gateway for the project LAN--thus all internet access would be through the office LAN via the laptop
  2. Configure each workstation in the project LAN to access the Office LAN IPs through the laptop by way of a "route" command. This option will also require you to access office LAN resources by IP rather than by name. Route command will vary by operating system, but for windows based machines will be along the lines of: "route add [office LAN Network] MASK [office LAN Netmask] [project LAN IP of laptop]"

I don't believe option 2 will allow Netbios browsing--option 1 may not either.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.