How to Get Wi-Fi Without a Wi-Fi Router

By Susan Reynolds

If your computers have a wireless adapter installed, then you technically do not need a router to create a wireless network. Computers have built-in settings that allow you to build your own "Ad hoc" Wi-Fi network without having to use a router. Having a Wi-Fi network in your home lets you connect other devices to the Internet, including cell phones, game consoles, mp3 players and even digital photo frames. Creating a secure Wi-Fi network is critical for protecting your privacy, so don't forget to set a password.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Vista or XP computer
  • Wireless adapter

Enable the Host Computer

Step 1

Go to "Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet Connections > Network Connections."

Step 2

Right-click on your modem's name and choose "Properties."

Step 3

Select the "Advanced" tab and check off "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection." Uncheck the box that says "Allow other network users to control or disable this shared Internet connection." Hit "OK."

Step 4

Hit "Yes" when prompted to enable Internet sharing.

Create the Wi-Fi Network

Step 1

Go to "Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet Connections > Network Connections."

Step 2

Right-click on your modem's name and choose "Properties."

Step 3

Select "Wireless Networks" and check off the box that says "Add under preferred networks." Name your connection under "SSID."

Step 4

Check off the box that says "This is a computer-to-computer network" and uncheck "The key is provided for me automatically."

Step 5

Select "Network Authentication" and choose "Open." Go to "Data Encryption" and choose "WEP," which is a type of security. Type in a password for the WEP key and confirm it in the second box. Hit "OK."

Connect Other Computers

Step 1

Power on a second PC in the vicinity of the host computer.

Step 2

Look at the lower right-hand side of the menu for a pop-up that notifies you of existing Wi-Fi connections.

Step 3

Click on the "Network" icon on the tray to bring up the list of nearby Internet connections. Click on the name of your Internet connection. Type in the password and hit "Enter."

Step 4

Open a browser and start using the Internet.