Windows 10 is no different to other recent versions because you can still share your laptop’s internet connection with your other devices by using a “Hosted Network.” It doesn’t matter if your laptop is using a wired adapter or a wireless connection. Hosted Network feature comes with the Netsh or Network Shell command-line tool.
This feature was offered before in Windows 7, and it allowed its users to turn their laptop into a virtual wireless adapter – Microsoft calls it the “Virtual Wi-Fi.” It then creates a SoftAP, a software-based wireless access point.
Through those two elements I mentioned above, you can take your laptop’s internet connection and share the connection with other wireless devices. In short, your computer will function as a wireless hotspot.
If you own a laptop on Windows 10, this guide will surely help you to determine whether your network adapter can support the feature or not. I will also show you in this guide how to configure and enable your laptop’s wireless Hosted Network. Moreover, I will also show you how to disable the setting if you no longer need your computer as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Tip: You must open the Command Prompt and allow administrator rights to follow the guides in this article. Press the Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin).
4 Ways in Determining If Your Wireless Adapter Supports the Hosted Network Feature
Although some adapters can support Hosted Network, it is still necessary to check if your laptop’s physical wireless adapter can support the feature. You can verify it by typing the command ‘Netsh WLAN show drivers’ in the command prompt.
After typing those texts, it will display a generated output. Look for the Hosted Network Supported and check if the result is ‘Yes.’ If you get the result ‘No,’ then you can use a USB wireless adapter to support the Hosted Network feature.
1. Create a Wireless Hosted Network
It is effortless to set up a hotspot in Windows 10 if you don’t let yourself be afraid of the command line. Follow the steps below to create a wireless Hosted Network successfully:
- Setup SSID and Passphrase
To do this step you have to enter the following in the command prompt (admin):
NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork mode=
In the SSID, enter the desired name of your wireless network or the name that will be displayed on the other device when it tries to connect. The passphrase is the network security that will be used by other devices to connect to your laptop’s Wi-Fi hotspot. Make sure that the passphrase is at least eight characters long.
- Activate Hosted Network
After completing the first step, you can proceed with activating the Hosted Network feature. You can do that by entering the following command in the command prompt:
NETSH WLAN start hostednetwork
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2. Share Laptop’s Internet Connection With a Hosted Network
You still can’t share your laptop’s internet connection even though you are done creating and activating the Hosted Network. So, you can only be successful in turning your laptop into a wireless hotspot by going to the “Internet Sharing” option on your physical network adapter.
- Press Windows Key + X on the keyboard. It will open the Power User menu. Choose Network Connections.
- Move your mouse to the network adapter that has an internet connection and right-click on it. It could be a wireless network adapter or a traditional Ethernet. Click Properties.
You should notice a new Microsoft Hosted Virtual Adapter in the Network Connections. It would be labeled as Local Area Connection* X and will have the SSID name right below its label.
- After choosing properties, it will show two tabs: Networking and Sharing. Choose the Sharing tab.
- Tick on the option with the label “Allow other users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.”
- In the drop-down menu right below the Home networking connection, choose Microsoft Hosted Virtual Adapter.
- Click on the OK button to save your settings and finish.
After doing those six steps, your hotspot will be visible to others, and any device with wireless capability can connect to your internet connection.
3. Stop Sharing Internet Connection on Your Windows 10
If you have decided to stop sharing your computer’s internet connection, all you have to do is enter the following in the Command Prompt:
NETSH WLAN stop hostednetwork
If you wish to share your internet connection again, you can replace the word ‘Stop’ to ‘Start’ in the command. You will not need any configuration if you start sharing your internet connection again after disabling the feature. Here is the command that you can type if things are not clear with you:
NETSH WLAN start hostednetwork
You can also make use of the enable or disable command to manage your Hosted Network. You can enter the following commands:
NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork mode=allow
NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork mode=disallow
3. Change Network Settings in Windows 10
If you want to change your network’s current settings like the passphrase or the SSID, you can type the following commands in the Command Prompt:
NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork ssid=Your_New_SSID
NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork key=Your_New_Passphrase
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4. View Current Settings of the Hosted Network
There are two commands that you can enter to view your computer’s Hosted Network setting.
If you enter the following command, it will show you the mode, SSID name, the maximum number of devices that can connect, authentication type, and cipher:
NETSH WLAN show hostednetwork
On the other hand, the following command can reveal the current network security and other settings that are similar to what the first command can show you:
NETSH WLAN show hostednetwork setting=security
Wireless Hosted Network is a feature of Windows that is very beneficial. It is an excellent tool to have on your laptop if the necessity for a Wi-Fi hotspot comes up while you are on the go. It might not be any match to a physical wireless access point’s performance, but still, it can be convenient to have in unexpected times. It can never replace the real thing, but it is an excellent alternative whenever you don’t have access to the real one.