Turn a Windows 10 PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices

Don’t you hate it when there isn’t a Wi-Fi network for your phone or tablet? That situation is easily remedied using Windows 10’s new capability to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. It’s just what you need.

Turn your Windows 10 PC into a mobile hotspot and connect to it using other devices

No Wi-Fi?

For many people the problem is that there is no Wi-Fi for their computer, such as when they are travelling with a laptop. That means there is no internet access and that can severely limit what you can do. You can’t even read your email.

The solution is to turn your phone into a wireless hotspot and to connect the laptop to that. A phone has two ways to connect to the internet and there is Wi-Fi and a mobile data connection like 3G or 4G.

By turning the phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot, your computer’s network traffic is routed through the phone’s 3G/4G data connection.

The reverse situation, and the one we will look at here, is less common, but some people do need it occasionally.

Make your own Wi-Fi

If there is no Wi-Fi in the area, or perhaps one you cannot connect to for some reason, but the computer has an internet connection, you can create your own Wi-Fi hotspot and then connect your phone, tablet or other computers to it.

Hotspot requirements

Your computer needs to have a wired internet connection, such as an Ethernet cable to a LAN socket on a switch or router. This means that the Wi-Fi is not being used for anything, so it can become a wireless access point.

You also need the summer 2017 update for Windows 10. I am using the beta because it is not quite ready for public release yet, but if you are reading this article a couple of months from now, you will have the public update.

1 Go to Settings

Press Windows+I to open the Settings window and then click Network & Internet. Select Status on the left and the internet connection is displayed at the top.

 Network and Internet in the Windows 10 Settings app

Here you can see that it says Ethernet because a LAN cable connects the computer to the router. (It is faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi, so use it if you can.)

2 Mobile hotspot

Select Mobile hotspot on the left and on the right is a simple Off/On switch to turn on the hotspot. That’s it. The wireless network name and the password is shown below. These are non-obvious and hard to guess to prevent unauthorised people from logging in to your Wi-Fi hotspot.

 Set up a mobile hotspot using Windows 10

Problems

I would like to report that everything went smoothly and the hotspot worked perfectly, but it didn’t.

 wifi-sharing3

A message said that the mobile hotspot could not be set up. There are a couple of possible reasons for this and number one is that I am running the beta. Beta software is a test version that is not yet finished and may need extra work, bug fixing and so on.

Hopefully, this feature will be fixed when the public release of this Windows update is available and you will be able to use it. It'll be great when it is working.

The other possible cause of the problem is that I am running Windows 10 beta on an Apple Mac using Boot Camp. (It's my test rig and my work PC is standard Windows 10.)

The Mac normally runs Windows 10 well and without problems, but not in this case. There may be something odd about the Mac that prevents this feature from working.

Has anyone else got this working?


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1 Comment on Turn a Windows 10 PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices

  1. hendrulll // 2016/08/25 at 14:26 //

    I was able to run this thing, but after some reboot it says “the message” and until now I can’t find the way to fix the problem, tell me if you find a way. Thanks 🙂

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