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How to Turn Your Windows 8 Laptop into a Wireless Access Point

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A lot of companies are starting to sell portable 3G routers that you can take with you when you go out, but what happens when you forget, luckily How-To Geek is here to save the day with this neat command line trick.

Creating Your Own WI-FI Hotspot

Press the Windows + R key combination to bring up a run box, type ncpa.cpl and hit enter.

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When your network connections open right-click on your Wireless network adapter and select properties from the context menu.

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Now switch over to the Sharing tab and allow other devices to use your machines internet by selecting the first checkbox and then unchecking the second before clicking on the OK button.

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Now right-click in the bottom left of your screen, to launch an administrative command prompt.

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The first thing we need to do is set up the wireless network, this is done using the netsh command like so:

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=”How-To Geek” key=”Pa$$w0rd”

Where ssid is the name of your network and key is the password you want users to connect with, its also worth mentioning that the access point is created with WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption.

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Now we are ready to start broadcasting our network:

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

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The last command you will need to know is the show command, it will tell you things like the channel you are on as well as the number of clients connected to your network:

netsh wlan show hostednetwork

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Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 04/23/12

Comments (30)

  1. rroberto18

    does this work on win 7?
    if not, is there any trick that does?

  2. ezeze5000

    does this work on win 7?
    if not, is there any trick that does?

  3. Taylor Gibb

    it should work on Windows 7, although i have not tried .

  4. Santo
  5. Josh Earl

    Wow, that’s fantastic, and very helpful (as long as it also works on Windows 7). I work in a building where wireless is available in the lower floors, but not up where my office is. There have been plenty of times where I wished I could have shared a wireless connection, from a wired laptop. Are there any special hardware requirements to get this to work? Also, thank you for this guide, it has the potential to be extremely useful.

  6. Harkaboy

    Okay. What if I would like to stop broadcasting? (^_^)
    Is it just unchecking the “Allow other network users to…” box?

  7. Taylor Gibb

    @harkaboy “netsh wlan stop” should do the trick

  8. marley

    I think the wireless card you have matters. I tried on my Windows 7 laptop, it gets up to the “netsh wlan start hostednetwork” and I get “The hosted network couldn’t be started. The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation”

  9. Taylor Gibb

    @marley I don’t think it matters, I have tried this on quite a few laptops, but I could be wrong. Are you connected to a Wireless network before trying to start the hosted network, you should be?…Also are running the command prompt as admin, sorry for the dumb questions, just trying to help :)

  10. Rishabh

    Hey – i need help with this. In Windows 7 (HB), Wireless properties, it asks for home network. my network (data card) is not seen. what should i do? I need it because i dont have a wifi at home.

  11. Thekkepat Sekhar

    Can I use the wired connection to access the internet and avoid a router all together? And do I just use the sharing part in the Properties section?

  12. Taylor Gibb

    @Rishabh What network are you on, what country and what data card do you have?

  13. Taylor Gibb

    @thekkepat yeah im sure you could

  14. Mudassir

    Simply create an Ad-hoc network through network and sharing center and enable internet sharing. As simple as that with GUI.

  15. Adriel

    Good day, Forgive me for asking this question, but are you saying that the clients will automatically get an ip address (dhcp service on) or will I have to set a static ip for them? Thanks

  16. Ajwad

    for those that not technical enough they can install “WiFi HotSpot Creator” its free

    here are the link :http://www.wifihotspotcreator.com/

  17. Guy

    Why not just use connectify in windows 8? Works fine for me.

  18. johnsecurity

    Thanks for giving the more information about the How to Turn The Windows 8 Laptop into a Wireless Access Point

  19. Tamer

    is this valid for windows 7?

  20. W52
  21. Qrazydutch

    Any feedback from users once connected… Speed, how many users, etc?

  22. Liv

    I don’t think this works with Windows 7 Starter.. the sharing tab doesn’t show up. Pity, I really wanted to try it.

  23. Nic

    Windowd vista? Any suggestions for using this piece of crap as a hot spot?

  24. Taylor Gibb

    @Nic My knowledge of Vista is pretty limited, although, I do have one suggestion, upgrade to Windows 7 or even the 8 Beta

  25. Anon

    All this info is a load of bollocks. Nearly screwed up my Mac Mini (running in Windows 7 Ultimate mode). You are better off with Connectify, but expect to pay around $30 to $35 for it.

  26. Mr. Fix Blog

    Interesting and new thing to read! This idea of yours is new to me. Never tried it before. I’ll give it a try someday.

  27. lars

    how do i change the network password?

  28. Jasmin

    Download ” Virtual wifi router ” from cnet or just google it and install on your laptop. Its very easy to configure. I have installed on my window 7 laptop and used internet on my iPhone with this. Works great !!!

  29. netnerd

    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=”How-To Geek” key=”Pa$$w0rd”
    this is incorrect on windows 8 release preview.

    on windows 8 release preview, it’ WITHOUT the ”
    it like this.
    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=How-ToGeek key=Pa$$w0rd

  30. sharath

    it’s asking for a password and I am not able to locate a password

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