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In Windows, how do I connect two computers to the Internet when there is only one Ethernet socket on the wall?

I don't have any extra hardware such as a router, switch, or hub.

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What do you mean by Ethernet socket? Is this in an office, and is jut one Ethernet outlet on the wall? Is this a cable modem with one Ethernet socket available? What is the situation here. Generally you need a router, switch, or hub to get more than one machine on with only one socket. Or configure a computer that has more than one network card into one of those rolls. –  Paperlantern Jan 7 '12 at 4:15
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You will need one computer with at least two NICs. The second NIC needs to be matching with the second computer (meaning WiFi -> WiFi or Ethernet -> Ethernet). Using Windows Internet Connection Sharing, you can get internet access on the second computer through the first one. –  kobaltz Jan 7 '12 at 4:29
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

(Assuming Windows 7)

  1. Go in Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network Connections (There are surely plenty of other ways to get there though...)
  2. There, you will see all connections available on your computer: Ethernet, wireless, all kinds of VPNs, etc.
  3. Select your wireless connection. Right-click -> Properties
  4. Go to the Sharing tab.
  5. Check "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection"
  6. EDIT: Was forgetting a step: select your wireless connection from the dropdown menu.
  7. Click OK, get out of there. Should work!

Did it once, but it was the contrary, was sharing through Ethernet using wireless connection to Internet. Worked great.

This is called ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) under Windows, you can check the help files for it too.

Some Microsoft references:

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Spot on @M. Joanis :) –  zackrspv Jan 7 '12 at 7:03
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