You may some day come across the rare situation of temporarily needing an extra wireless router. I can’t really think of a good example, but I know that I encountered such a situation yesterday. I decided I would write up an article as it may prove useful to others that may find themselves in a similar situation some day.
I had a PC lying around that was still quite usable, but I only had one monitor. Eventually I decided it would be worthwhile to purchase a second monitor so that my wife could make use of the computer. We also decided we would put it into a separate room, so it would not be located adjacent to the other computer and Internet connection. In addition to the monitor, I also ordered a wireless router, wireless keyboard, and a wireless mouse to use with the machine.
Well, as it so happened, the monitor arrived in a separate shipment before the router and peripherals did. After I had nearly completed hooking everything up, my wife informed me that she wanted to get online with it to buy some music for her iPod. Of course, this PC was the home machine for the iPod. I really didn’t feel like moving everything back to the office, hook it all up so she could get online and get her music, then move it back to the permanent home. I then had a revelation and realized I could use my laptop as a wireless router.
Here are the basic requirements for using your laptop as a wireless router:
- A laptop with a wireless network device as well as an ethernet device (duh!)
- A wireless router that is hard-wired to your Internet connection
- A hub or router for connecting to the laptop and other machines (alternatively, you could use a crossover cable)
- At least two ethernet cables, one for the laptop and one for other machines
I was fortunate I had an old hub stashed away within the depths of my gadget closet and had plenty of unused ethernet cables lying around. Basically all you need to do is:
- Connect the laptop to the hub via one of the ethernet cables
- Connect the computer(s) to the hub via the other ethernet cable(s)
- Connect the laptop to the wireless hub with the laptop’s wireless device (you are probably already doing this)
- Set up Internet connection sharing on the laptop to share the wireless device
- Launch the control panel
- Go to your network connections
- Right-click on the wireless device and go to properties
- Click the Advanced tab
- In the Internet Connection Sharing section, click the check box that says Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection
- Click OK
If you use a crossover cable instead of a hub, you would connect the ethernet port on the computer directly to the one on the laptop.
If you are using Windows XP:
That’s all there is to it! This will also work fine with a Mac or Vista laptop. I don’t have either, so I’m not at liberty to provide step-by-step instructions and screen shots. The physical setup would be exactly the same. You would just have to take different steps to set up Internet connection sharing. Just be sure that you set it up to share the connection on the wireless device.