In this post, we will see how to turn on Internet Connection Sharing & create a WiFi hotspot in Windows 8 | 8.1 using the netsh wlan utility, command prompt and Wireless Hosted Network. I just bought a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8, and found that while downloading apps which were greater than 50MB in size, I either needed Wi-Fi connection or a 3G connection. I was on 2G and I did not have a wireless connection at home.
While one could always use freeware tools like WiFi HotSpot Creator, mHotSpot, Bzeek, or Connectify to create a WiFi hotspot, I wanted to create one natively in Windows 8. The procedure for creating one on Windows 7 was different. When I tried to do it on my Windows 8 Dell laptop, I found that the settings to Create an ad hoc network via Network and Sharing Center did not exist. The only option then, I thought, seemed to be, by using the netsh utility.
Enable Internet Connection Sharing
To begin, first make sure that the WiFi is set to ON. Then you will have to open command prompt as an administrator. Open the WinX menu and select Command Prompt (Admin). The CMD window will open. Type the following and hit Enter:
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=DellNet key=asdfg12345
Here DellNet is the name I have chosen and asdfg12345 is the password I have chosen. This has to be at least 8 characters long. You can give your own name and select you own password.
Next, type the following in the CMD window and hit Enter:
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
What we have done is started the wireless Hosted Network.
The wireless Hosted Network is a WLAN feature supported on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later with the Wireless LAN Service installed. This feature implements two major functions:
- The virtualization of a physical wireless adapter into more than one virtual wireless adapter sometimes referred to as Virtual Wi-Fi.
- A software-based wireless access point (AP) sometimes referred to as a SoftAP that uses a designated virtual wireless adapter.
You can get more details about the Wireless Hosted Network and the netsh commands here on MSDN.
Create WiFi hotspot in Windows 8
Next open Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network and Sharing Center. Windows 7 offers the Manage wireless networks link in the left side above Change adapter settings. Windows 8 does not.
Click on Change adapter settings. You will see all your Network Connections.
You can see the newly created DellNet (Local Area Connections 12) here. Right-click on the connection you are currently using (in my case Ethernet) to connect to the Internet and select Properties.
Click on the Sharing tab in the Ethernet Properties box and select Allow other network users to connect through this computers Internet connection. Under Home networking connection, from the drop down menu, I selected Local Area Connections 12 and clicked on OK.
You will have allowed Internet sharing and created a Wi-Fi hotspot of your Windows 8 laptop.
To confirm, I opened Settings on my Nokia Lumia 920, selected Wi-Fi, and was able to connect the phone to my laptop, using the set password.
Thus, I created WiFi hotspot in Windows 8 and I was able to download large apps too on my Windows Phone 8.