How to Share WiFi with Others

With the abundance of wireless technology available in 2013, having a home wireless network is almost a necessity. With a wireless router, you can share your Wi-Fi connection with everyone in your home -- and with everyone who comes into your home. Wireless networks are simple to set up and to share, and before long all of your Wi-Fi ready devices -- smartphones, laptops, video game consoles, and tablets -- will be sharing your connection.

You need a wireless router to share your Wi-Fi with others.
credit: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Ingredients

To set up a wireless network to share Internet between devices, you’ll only need three things: an Internet modem, a wireless router and a computer to set up the router. Most routers come with a setup or installation CD that steps you through the process of configuring the network, so having that handy will make the process a lot easier. Routers usually include a network cable to connect the router to the modem and one to connect your PC to the router when you first set up your network.


The specific steps for setting up a wireless router and sharing a Wi-Fi network will differ slightly depending on the manufacturer, but generally follow this pattern. Plug the wireless router in to an AC power source and wait for its lights to flash to indicate that it’s broadcasting. Insert the CD into your computer and install the wireless router software, then follow the on-screen prompts to plug the router into your modem. During the setup you can choose a network name and network access password; it’s recommended that you give you network a password so that your neighbors can’t join the network and use your bandwidth.

Sharing With Devices

Once your router is set up, your Wi-Fi network is set up. Other Wi-Fi-ready devices, including computers, will be able to see the network and join it with the correct security key. On these devices, just select the network from the list of available connections and enter the security key that you created during the network setup. As long as your Internet connection is active, those devices will be able to connect to the Internet through your Wi-Fi network.

File Sharing over Wi-Fi

Windows has built-in file sharing support for both wired and wireless networks. Click in the top-right hand corner of Windows and then click on the “Settings” charm and choose “Change PC Settings.” Click on “HomeGroup” and then click “Create” to start a network called “HomeGroup” over Wi-Fi. On each of your other PCs, click “HomeGroup” and choose “Join.” Right-click on any file or folder in File Explorer and choose “Share with” and “HomeGroup” to make the selection available to anyone logged on to the network.