Like in previous OS versions, in Windows 10 user can create a software Wi-Fi hotspot (access point). This hotspot can be used for creating a local wireless network or sharing Internet connection (wired or cellular 3G / 4G connection) by several devices (smartphones, tablets and other devices). In the first releases of Windows 10, you could create and manage such a hotspot only from the command prompt. In Windows 10 1607 a simple graphical interface for creating an access point – “Mobile hotspot” appeared.
So, here we’ll consider how to create a Wi-Fi hotspot (virtual access point) based on Windows 10 without additional third party tools. We assume that your system has two network adapters — a wired Ethernet network card (connected to a provider’s network) and a wireless Wi-Fi adapter. We want our computer with a Wi-Fi adapter to be usedas a Wi-Fi access point by other devices and share its Internet connection.
Step 1. Verify that your Wi-Fi Adapter Driver Supports Ad-Hoc Mode
Before you start to create a Wi-Fi hotspot make sure your Wi-Fi adapter driver supports a virtual access point (Ad-Hoc) mode. To do it, run this command: netsh wlan show driversThe command prompt window will display information about the Wi-Fi adapter driver used and the supported technologies, “Hosted network supported: Yes” message means that this driver supports access point mode. Otherwise, try to update the driver version or install another Wi-Fi adapter.
Step 2. How to Enable Mobile Hotspot in Windows 10
In Window 10 1607 (Creators Update) a simple GUI for sharing the Internet over Wi-Fi appeared. This function is called “Mobile Hotspot”. Go to the Settings -> Network & Internet -> Mobile hotspot. To turn on the access point, it is enough to click the toggle “Share your Internet connection with other devices“. The name of the new Wi-Fi network and the password will be generated automatically (you can change them). Select the Internet connection that you want to share with other devices (Share my Internet connection from). If your computer has only one internet connection, it will be automatically selected.Note: Therefore, you can’t share all types of Internet connections. For example, a PPPoE connection can’t be shared this way.
In the same window, the list of devices that are connected to your WiFi hotspot is displayed. The name and MAC address of the device, as well as the IP address assigned to it, are displayed. As you can see, up to 8 devices can be connected to the access point on Windows 10 at the same time.
Common Windows 10 errors when Creating a Mobile Hotspot
If the error “We can’t set up mobile hotspot. Turn on Wi-Fi” appears when you trying to create an access point, try to update the driver for your Wi-Fi adapter and / or remove the virtual Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter according to the instruction. After that, restart your computer and try to turn on the mobile hotspot again.
Another error: “We can’t set up mobile hotspot because your PC doesn’t have an Ethernet, Wi-Fi or cellular data connection“. Most likely there are problems with your internet connection (no network), so you need to check the connection. Also this error appears in case you are connected to the provider through PPPoE, this type of connection is not supported by the Windows 10 mobile hotspot.
How to Create a Virtual Wi-Fi Network Using Command Prompt
You can create a virtual Wi-Fi hotspot in Windows using command prompt. Suppose that you want to create a wireless network named Hotspot (this is the network SSID) with the password ZiZiPass. Run the command prompt (with the Administrator privileges) and execute the command: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Hotspot key=ZiZiPass
This command will create a new virtual Wi-Fi adapter in the system (Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter), which will be used by other wireless devices as a hotspot. Now, enable the created virtual adapter: netsh wlan start hostednetwork
“The hosted network started” message tells that a Wi-Fi access point has been successfully started.
Now, other Wi-Fi devices can see and connect to this access point. Devices connected to such a network can share documents and hardware peripherals, but the Internet access through such WiFi hotspot is still impossible.
How to Share Your Internet Connection using Wi-Fi Hotspot
Now you need to allow to use a wired network connection to access the Internet for all devices connected to the Wi-Fi virtual access point. To do it, in Network and Sharing Center click the name of the network adapter, which provides the Internet connection. In our example, it is connection Ethernet.In a network adapter statistics window click Properties.
In the network adapter properties window you must share your Internet connection. Go to Sharing tab in the Ethernet Properties window. Check the box “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection” and select the name of the virtual adapter created previously in the dropdown list.
Save the changes. In the Network and Sharing Center, the type of Hotspot network will be changed to Internet and that’s mean that this network (and all devices connected to it) now have an access to the Internet .
Now all the devices that are connected to the created hotspot on Windows 10 can access the Internet through the external network interface of the computer. Try to connect to your hotspot from your phone, tablet or other laptop.
Viewing Mobile Hotspot Settings
The command displays the network name (SSID), supported authentication and encryption types, the maximum number of devices that can simultaneously use this hotspot (Max number of clients) and the current number of connected clients (Number of clients).
The following command displays the various security settings for your Wi-Fi hotspot and connection keys: Netsh wlan show hostednetwork setting=securityNote: The hotspot on Windows 10 can’t work in the hidden SSID mode.
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