Is it possible to share my laptop's Internet connection with my Android Smartphone (Galaxy S III mini) over WiFi?
I am running Windows 8.1 which is connected to the Internet using mobile broadband (via a 3G modem). It results in a connection named "Mobile broadband" in my Network Connections, as follows:
enter image description here
There is a tab on Mobile broadband's properties named Sharing as follows:
enter image description here
When I check "allow other network users to connect..." and choose Wi-Fi from the drop-down menu, I cannot see my PC in my phone's Wi-Fi list, no matter how much I refresh it. What am I wrong doing?
Update: Windows 8.1's own solutions are preferred. If it is not possible to do it via Windows alone, are there any free software?

  • You mean making your PC a Wifi hotspot? – Rsya Studios Dec 2 '14 at 6:32
  • 1
    You could create an ad-hoc WiFi network and share your mobile broadband connection. As this didn't work for me (maybe due to all of the Hyper-V adapters), I'm not posting this as an answer :) – Gene Dec 2 '14 at 6:42
  • 1
    There are solutions for making your laptop a hotspot wifi, I am not familiar with anything free (but I didn't google much), there's a software called spotify, it's not free but very powerful and it will create and share your connection from any adapter through your wireless adapter, you can modify your network name, assign a password and do a lot of the stuff you can do with a normal wifi access point. – Ash Dec 2 '14 at 6:57
  • @RsyaStudios yes I mean making it a Wifi hotspot – codezombie Dec 2 '14 at 7:01
  • 2
    @ash isn't Spotify a music streaming service? Or is there another Spotify I haven't heard of.. – Rsya Studios Dec 2 '14 at 7:20

Allowing your network connection to be shared does not itself cause the creation of a Wi-Fi network.

You can create an Ad-Hoc wireless network in Windows 8.1 if your wireless driver supports putting the card in the correct mode.

To find out if your card can do this run the following command in an elevated command prompt:

netsh wlan show drivers

If hosted networks are supported then you'll see:

Hosted network supported: Yes

if you do not see this, then you can't use the remainder of these instructions as they discuss configuring and starting a hosted network.

After setting up Internet Connection Sharing you can create an Ad-Hoc wireless network using your computer's wireless adapter using by running the following commands in an elevated commmand prompt:

To do this run the following commands in an elevated Command Prompt (cmd) window

This command sets details of the hosted network such as the SSID (network name) the password (key) and whether the password is persistent across reboots.

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid="network_name" key="password" keyUsage=persistent

If running this command succeeded you should see output similar to:

The hosted network mode has been set to allow.
The SSID of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
The user key passphrase of the hosted network has been successfully changed.

Now that the hosted network is configured you must start it with the command:

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

If this succeeded you should see output similar to:

The hosted network has been started

To shutdown the network when you're not using it run the following command: netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

Things You Should Know

  1. Not all wireless hardware supports the creation of an ad-hoc network (hosted network)
  2. Not all devices support connecting to ad-hoc networks, so even if you can create one, some devices may not see it.
  3. Ad-hoc networks are 802.11b (I think) networks so speed is limited
  4. The network is protected using WEP, which is an extremely insecure encryption. As far as I can tell this is not changeable.

If you can't use an ad-hoc network or don't want to live with the security implications, I suggest looking for an application which creates an infrastructure mode access point similar to a typical wireless router. I've used Connectify to do this, the free version is limited, but does at least allow the use of more robust encryption options.

Disclosure: I am not at all affiliated with Connectify in any way, I've just used it and found that it worked for me.

  • I am not at all affiliated with Connectify in any way, I've just used it and found that it worked for me. +1 for that, and me too, I should have included this in my comment. – Ash Dec 2 '14 at 8:48
  • @Crippledsmurf, thanks. Great answer! Everything was ok following your instructions, except the last command the output of which is as follows: The hosted network couldn't be started. The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation. – codezombie Dec 2 '14 at 10:06
  • 1
    I've seen this before, and I can't remember what caused it. I seem to recall that this happened if the laptop wi-fi adapter was connected to a network while attempting to start the network. Try disconnecting from any networks you're connected to first. Possibly also try disabling / re-enabling your computers wi-fi card – Crippledsmurf Dec 2 '14 at 10:08
  • @Crippledsmurf it is not connected to any network as far as I know. My D-Link 3G modem has created a connection "Mobile Broadband" in network connections. I shared it. then followed your instructions. all worked but the last command to start hostednetwork. Checking new hostednetwork's status via netsh wlan show hostednetwork, I get Staus: Not Available. – codezombie Dec 2 '14 at 10:28
  • 1
    Try removing the mobile broadband device entirely (disconnect it assuming USB-based), try starting the network without it, if that works, try connecting the mobile broadband adapter once the hostednetwork is started – Crippledsmurf Dec 2 '14 at 10:45

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