How to Configure a Laptop As a Wireless Internet Access Point
Wireless technology makes connecting to the Internet possible from anywhere within the range of the network. Unfortunately, not all Internet-capable devices have wireless technology, and many still require an Ethernet port connection. If you have a laptop with a wireless card and an Internet connection, you can make the laptop a wireless access point and share that connection with other devices, whether your laptop runs a Windows or OSX operating system. Windows computers allow other devices to access the wireless network via a physical connection to the laptop, while OSX computers allow AirPort equipped devices to connect as well, creating a second wireless bubble for the network.
Things You'll Need
- Laptop with Wireless Capability
- Wireless Internet Connection
- Ethernet Cord
Turn on the laptop and the device with which you will share the connection. Ensure the laptop's wireless card is turned on and you have an Internet connection.
Connect an Ethernet cord to the port on the laptop, and the other end to the receiving device. You need to make the connection first, or you will not be able to access the sharing options for the connection.
Open the list of network connections on the computer. In Windows 7 and Vista, access this list by typing "Network Connections" into the Start menu search bar and pressing "Enter." In Windows XP, click on "Network Connections" in the Network and Sharing Center section of the Control Panel.
Right click on the wireless connection and select "Properties," then navigate to the Sharing tab. This tab will not appear unless both devices are connected.
Check the box marked "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection." Click "OK" to save the changes.
Click on the Apple menu and select "System Preferences." Click the "Sharing" option, then choose "Internet Sharing."
Select the Airport and wireless network in the "Share your connection from:" drop-down menu.
Select an output format for the connection in the "To computers using:" drop-down menu. Choose "Ethernet" for a physical connection or "AirPort" for wireless broadcasting.
Turn on the device you wish to receive the connection. Connect the devices with an Ethernet cable, or turn on the receiving device's AirPort card and connect wirelessly.
Tips & Warnings
- Depending on your modem/router's IP settings, you may need to change the connection settings for the receiving device. If the laptop gathers its IP information automatically, keep the receiving device on automatic as well. If the laptop has a manually set IP, match its IP, Subnet and Gateway information on the receiving device, changing the last one or two digits of the IP address to a unique number.