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As a contractor, I have 2 laptops: one is provided by the client (client-laptop) and one is my personal/contractor laptop ("personal-laptop"). Client-laptop has a docking station and a hard-wired LAN connection. I want to share the connection from client-laptop with personal-laptop so that personal laptop can also access the client's databases, intranet sites, etc.

I thought of perhaps using a virtual wifi router installed on client-laptop and then connect via wifi from personal-laptop, sharing client-laptop's network connection, but client discourages installing software on client-laptop. Rather, I would like to install the virtual wifi router on personal-laptop and have client-laptop connect to personal-laptop's virtual wifi router. The problem is that virtual wifi router cannot share the internet connection of a guest (client-laptop) but can only share the internet connection of the host (personal-laptop). Any recommendations?

Other things I've considered: Use 4G/LTE wifi hotspot for personal-laptop. Problem: personal-laptop cannot interact with company databases and LTE is not as fast as client network.

Install virtual wifi router on client-laptop instead of personal-laptop. Problem: company frowns on installing software, although I am technically able to.

Use portable (install-less) virtual wifi router on client-laptop. Problem: I don't believe that a portable virtual wifi router exists.

Use bluetooth to share internet connections. Problem: pretty sure that bluetooth is really slow (~1Mbps). Also, I've found bluetooth to be quite frustrating in the past.

Use portable (install-less) proxy server on client-laptop. Problem: I don't believe that a portable proxy server exists.

To complicate things further: I would like to configure personal-laptop to use an offsite SSH proxy server (WinSSHD, which I manage) for all connections that are not on the client network. Example 1: To use YouTube from personal-laptop I envision the requests/packets make the following journey: browser request (personal-laptop) > SSH Tunnel (Tunnelier) (personal-laptop) > virtual router adapter (personal-laptop) > ?internet connection sharing? (client-laptop) > client proxy server (I believe it's required for all outbound connections) > my offsite SSH proxy server (WinSSHD on the east coast) > YouTube.com

Example 2: Query Oracle database on client-network: Oracle client query (personal-laptop) > virtual router adapter (personal-laptop) > ?internet connection sharing? (client-laptop) > Oracle database server (client-network).

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Did you ask the client about this? Usually firms are quite firm on allowing only (own) work laptop on their own network. If they go as far as to provide the "client laptop" with fixed LAN, then they might get quite upset when they discover you also put your (for them completely untrusted and potentially full of virusses) "personal laptop" on their network. –  Hennes Oct 14 '12 at 0:12
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Use client's laptop to work on client's stuff? Simple solution and doesn't require any of this weirdness. –  Michael Hampton Oct 14 '12 at 0:18

2 Answers 2

If the client laptop is Windows can't you bridge the wired interface to the wireless interface with Internet Connection Sharing, and then put your wireless card in ad-hoc mode? I've done this a handful of times in reverse (bridged wireless interface to wired interface) and it works fine as a temporary measure.

Of course the more permanent solution would do what @Hennes said and ask the client what to do with your personal laptop. They can probably provide an actual connection so you don't have to rig your own

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Why not purchase a switch and another ethernet cable? Plug the switch into the LAN connection and connect the two laptops to the switch.

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I think that that solution was unsuitable because that would allow the client to see that he used two laptops. Which most likely results in an angry visit from the clients IT department and the cancellation of his job. –  Hennes Oct 14 '12 at 15:02

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