How to Turn Your Computer Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot in Windows 10

Share your computer's internet connection with nearby devices

Laptop and Smartphone
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When you find yourself with just one internet connection point—a single wired connection for your laptop at the hotel or your smartphone tethered over USB to your computer—you can share that single internet connection with other nearby devices. You may have a Wi-Fi tablet, or you may be with a friend who'd like to get online. With Windows 10, you can share your laptop's wired or mobile broadband internet connection wirelessly with other devices. However, it takes a bit of trickery in the command prompt to turn your computer into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

How to Share an Internet Connection in Windows 10

To share your computer's internet connection, you'll need to open the command prompt in administrator mode and type in a few commands. 

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start button and click Command Prompt (Admin) to open the command prompt in administrator mode. 
  2. Type the following command:  netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=[yournetworkSSID] key=[yourpassword]. Replace the [yournetworkSSID] and [yourpassword] fields with the name you want for your new Wi-Fi hotspot network and its password. You use these to connect other devices to your computer's Wi-Fi hotspot. Then press Enter.
  3. Type the following command to start the network: netsh wlan start hostednetwork and press Enter to enable and start the ad hoc wireless network connection.
  4. Go to your Windows' network connections page by typing network connections in the search field in the taskbar in Windows 10 and click on View network connections or navigate to the Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections
  5. Right-click on the network connection that is your computer's source of internet access—the Ethernet connection or the 4G broadband connection, for example.
  1. Choose Properties from the context menu.
  2. Go to the Sharing tab and check the box next to Allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection.
  3. From the drop-down list, select the Wi-Fi connection you just created.
  4. Click OK and close the Properties window.

You should see your Wi-Fi hotspot in the network and sharing center in Windows 10. From your other devices, select the new Wi-Fi network in the wireless settings and enter the password you set to connect to it.

To stop sharing your internet connection over the new Wi-Fi hotspot you created in Windows 10, enter this command in the command prompt: netsh wlan stop hostednetwork.

Sharing a Connection in Earlier Versions of Windows

If you're using an older version of Windows or are on a Mac, you can accomplish this reverse tethering in other ways:

  • Use Internet Connection Sharing when you have a laptop wired to a router or modem and want to share the connection via your Wi-Fi adapter or a second Ethernet port
  • Use Connectify, a free app that shares a single Wi-Fi connection wirelessly, so you don't need a second network adapter. It requires Windows 7 or later.