How to use a laptop as a hotspot

Many people do not know that they can turn their laptops into a Wi-Fi hotspot and share its internet connection with other devices, like phones, tablets, and other laptops. Here is how you can use your laptop as a hotspot.

Are you in need of a portable Wi-Fi solution, and you do not want to spend extra money on buying a router or MiFi device from your carrier? Sometimes, it is not possible to turn your phone into a hotspot. Luckily, Windows can seamlessly turn your laptop (or desktop) into a mobile hotspot, enabling other devices to connect to the internet.

Thanks to its hidden virtual Wi-Fi adapter that allows internet connection sharing, you can quickly create a hotspot by sharing your network while connected to another Wi-Fi network. Whether it has internet connectivity through Ethernet, cellular data, or Wi-Fi, your laptop can serve as the router and enable other devices to access the internet.

How to hotspot a laptop

How to hotspot a laptop

Windows has an in-built hotspot feature that comes in plenty of its devices. However, if your device does not have this feature, you can use Connectify Hotspot, which is an excellent and foolproof way to create a hotspot through your laptop. With this application, you can connect multiple devices to your internet connection without paying additional charges. More so, if you pay for its PRO version, you can use your laptop as a wired router, a Wi-Fi repeater, or share a tethered connection conveniently.

However, most Windows laptops feature an in-built mobile hotspot that does not require any extra costs. The connection settings differ from one Windows version to the next. If you are running on Windows 10 and you have installed the Anniversary Update, you will find a single switch for turning the laptop into a hotspot, although the connection you are using is wired or wireless.

How to turn a Windows 10 laptop into a hotpot

To turn your Windows 10 laptop into a hotspot, press Windows + l on your keyboard. Once the main settings page opens, click on Network & Internet, and navigate to Mobile hotspot on the left-hand side. Look through the right-hand side and switch on the share my internet connection with other devices. You can edit your network’s name and password if you want to and click on ok to save the changes.

How to turn a Windows 7 into a hotspot

Turning your Windows 7 laptop into a hotspot is not as simple as it is for Windows 10. You can share your laptop’s wired internet connection to other devices wirelessly through its ad-hoc network interface, which is a simple and direct way to connect with other devices. Setting up your ad hoc network disables any existing connection that uses the Wi-Fi adapter.

As a result, ensure your laptop has internet access, and its wired connection is working. Click on Start and search for Wireless. Open the Manage wireless networks window and click the add button. Proceed to click on Create an ad hoc network, add a name and password for the network, and save the changes. Select it, and your laptop will disconnect from the current Wi-Fi network and host an ad hoc network for other devices to connect to easily. Make sure that you have enabled other network users to connect via this computer’s internet connection checkbox to allow your laptop to share its wired connection with other devices connected to it through the ad hoc network.

How to turn a Windows 8 laptop into a hotspot

If you have a Windows 8 laptop, it is not as easy to enable hotspot as Windows 10 or 7 since it does not have the graphical interface for setting up an ad hoc network. However, it is still possible to set up a Windows 8 laptop as a hotspot. Before anything else, ensure other network users are sharing your existing wireless network.

Click Windows + R on your keyboard, which will open the Run dialog box. Type ncpa.cpl and hit enter to open the network connections window. Proceed to right-click on your wireless network and press on Properties on the context menu. Click the sharing tab and enable other network users to connect using this computer’s network connection checkbox. Disable the box that says allow other network users to control or disable the shared internet connection and press on ok to save the changes.

Next, press Windows + X on your keyboard and select Command Prompt (Admin) or right-click on the bottom left side of your screen to access the Power Users menu. Proceed to set up- the wireless network by typing netsh WLAN set hosted network mode=allow ssid=”<SSID>” key=”<PASSWORD>”, where SSID stands for the network name and PASSWORD is the password you set for the network. Once you begin broadcasting the network using the command netsh WLAN start hosted network, you can connect any Wi-Fi enabled device to your ad hoc network.

Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10
How to turn the laptop into a mobile hotspot
By setting up an ad hoc network
By accessing the network interface and setting up an ad hoc network, even though there is no graphical interface for setting it up
Use the single switch for turning the laptop into a hotspot, whether your connection is wired or wireless.


How to connect laptop internet to mobile

Once you turn on your hotspot on your laptop, you can connect your mobile phone to it by opening your Wi-Fi network settings. Once you find the network’s SSID name on the list, tap on it and enter the password you configured to begin enjoying fast and stable internet speeds.


Essentially, Wi-Fi is everywhere, but sometimes when you travel to remote areas, you can only access the internet through wired connections. By following the steps listed above, you can easily access the internet on several devices by broadcasting the wired connection your laptop uses. You can also connect your wireless network from your Windows 7 or 8 laptop to other wireless devices, using third-party apps, like Virtual Router.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Why is my mobile hotspot not showing up on my laptop?

Likely, you have not allowed users to connect to your network using your device. You can do this by accessing the hotspot settings on your device.

What is the difference between Wi-Fi and mobile hotspot?

Wi-Fi is a wireless communication technology used for Local Area Networks (LANs), while a mobile hotspot provides internet access to wireless devices by the use of Wi-Fi connectivity.

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