I am a university student, and I live at a student hall. My student hall, does not have WiFi, (and does not allow someone to install a router), and I only have a socket to connect to the internet by a wire.

A friend of mine will come in two days, to do a project together, and we will both need access to the internet. We both have Windows 8 installed. This is for just a couple of hours.

How I am able to connect both computers at the network with having only one socket? Is it possible to do that, but without being able for the student hall to see that I have connected two laptops?

I will just need it for a couple of hours.


Using the solution from here does not work for me. When I try to make my connection shared, then automatically my wired connection shows a "limited conenctivity" symbol, and I cannot connect at the Internet. Do I make any mistake? Is there any alternative?

Thanks a lot

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    Warning in regards to Lee Harrison's answer: In his answer, the second paragraph's assumptions can get students penalized and/or fined. Even without the SSID being broadcast, the router verifying its existence with upstream devices is a common red flag and is regularly monitored. I've had the unfortunate displeasure of issuing warnings. – Zach L Jan 16 '14 at 22:41
  • Can you be more precise about what the rules you have to follow are. You say you're not allowed to "install a router". Does that include wired routers? Does that include other devices, such as computers, acting as routers? – David Schwartz Jan 16 '14 at 22:58
  • I agree with Zach. It would especially be common to monitor these in settings where use of "rogue" routers is expected - such as student dormitories. Depends on network administrators and implementation of policies. – r0berts Jan 16 '14 at 23:22
  • @DavidSchwartz thanks for your comment. I think they do not specify, but instead they generalise. I just want to find a solution firstly that it works, and then to find out if it's comply with their rules or not – Jim Blum Jan 16 '14 at 23:44
  • @JimBlum Well, a WiFi router works very, very well, and they cost around $10 and are incredibly handy to have around. – David Schwartz Jan 16 '14 at 23:47

How-To Geek has provided a nice, step-by-step tutorial on how to use your Windows 8 laptop as a wireless access point.

  • Thanks a lot JSanchez. This is what I had in mind, but is it able to do that, without my student hall to be able to recognize that I have installed two pcs at the network? In addition, as I only have one IP (I think), is it possible for both computers to use only that IP? – Jim Blum Jan 16 '14 at 22:42
  • Using this tutorial, you're essentially using your laptop as a WiFi router. All traffic will come from a single IP tied to your laptop, and depending on how much sniffing they're doing on the network they may be able to tell that you have a "router". – heavyd Jan 16 '14 at 22:48
  • @heavyd thanks a lot for your answer. If we both make a few search at wikipedia, or google search how they are able to find that out? – Jim Blum Jan 16 '14 at 22:52
  • @JimBlum: Because you're sharing your Internet connection, all traffic will seem as if it comes from your one device. Of course, if they're doing further filtering, they will detect that another device is piggyback riding on your one connection. Doubtful, but not impossible to rule out. The thing you have to keep in mind is: what are the repercussions for violating their TOS policy? – JSanchez Jan 16 '14 at 22:58
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    Exactly my point - it is possible to find out with traffic analysis. Mind you that if you just wish to have a local network in your dorm room, you do not need to share the internet connection to your laptop. Or you can equally share internet coming through your mobile phone, if signal is decent and you have unlimited traffic, AND your data usage is reasonably low. – r0berts Jan 16 '14 at 23:14

There are a few solutions available, but all will have two features in common.

  1. There will be a computer with at least 2 network interfaces e.g. ethernet and WiFi or USB (for the latter you may need a bridge adapter and specific network drivers).
  2. That computer will serve as a NAT router for the other computer(s) connecting through that.

So technically you cannot avoid situation where you are creating a router because you are sharing one network socket/input. You cannot use some sort of network splitter as this will create all sorts of problems, and will be very obvious, not least due to requiring occupying 2 ports on the switch (from which you get that Ethernet lead).

Having acknowledged that your choice is between the solution proposed by JSanchez where you use your laptop as a router and you friend's laptop connects through that, or using any of the very portable travel routers where both your friend's and you computer connects through that little box.

For network operators to detect a NAT router is not a very trivial task and you can see it is described here.


Just get a very small hub and connect the PCs to it. I highly doubt your hall has someone monitoring port traffic. Connect the wall to the #5 port, and the two PCs to any other two ports.

enter image description here http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-ProSAFE-5-Port-Ethernet-Desktop/dp/B00002EQCW

I've got one of these in my AV cabinet and it works great. The only downside is it's not Gigabit but I don't move that much data either. Since your not transmitting a WiFi signal, there is really no easy way for someone to realize you are doing this.

Of course another option would be to say screw you to your student hall and buy a wifi router anyway. Just setup your SSID so that it is 'hidden' and clients cannot autodiscover it unless the explicitly type in the name. Then you can have WiFi, but no one will really know.

  • Thanks a lot. I forgot to mention that as it is just for a very few times, I do not want to buy any device... Can this be done with our computers as they are? – Jim Blum Jan 16 '14 at 22:38
  • I'd point out that the dorm I lived in did MAC address filtering, so devices all had to be registered with the network. – ernie Jan 16 '14 at 22:42
  • @ernie good to know, I had never heard of a campus being that restricted! And apologies to the OP, I thought this could become a more long term deal – Lee Harrison Jan 16 '14 at 22:44
  • hmmm... This possibly is done here as well... So What I can do to connect the two laptops if my dorm has also MAC address filtering? @ernie – Jim Blum Jan 16 '14 at 22:45
  • No, it was my mistake @LeeHarrison :) This could be also a very good option, (and therefore I will upvote your answer, as soon as I get 15 reputation because I cannot vote now) but as we are collaborating more at the university, my classmates will come at my room very few times. So I am trying to avoid buying devices if there are any software alternatives. – Jim Blum Jan 16 '14 at 22:48

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