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Make your laptop a hot spotRich DeMuro shows you how to share an Internet connection, using the Wi-Fi on your Windows XP, Vista, or Mac laptop.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:10 >> Wouldn't it be great to be able to share your Internet connection with a colleague or a group of friends at say a meeting? Hey there, I'm Rich DeMuro with CNET TV and in this edition of Insider Secrets, I'm going to show you how to turn your laptop into a makeshift hotspot. [ Music ] Your computer can share an Internet connection much like a WIFI router at home. Wired connections to the net goes in, wireless Internet broadcast out over WIFI. You can even choose who can connect with a password. So here's what you need. A laptop that handles both a wired net connection like this one and also WIFI. You can do this trick with Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS10. I'm going to show you how to do it for each of these operating systems, starting with the Mac and Vista, since they're the simplest. [ Music ] To start, get online using a wired connection and just open your web browser to make sure that you can actually surf. Next, go into your control panel and select network and sharing center. Then under tasks, choose set up a new connection and choose the option to set up a wireless adhoc network. This means your computer is going to be able to talk to other computers within range over WIFI. Now give your network a name. And set a web password if you don't want to share your connection with the entire world. [ Period of silence ] Finally click the bar right here to turn on Internet connection sharing and you're all set. That was it. Your instant hotspot is now going to show up in a list of wireless networks on a nearby computer, just make sure that's happening. Yep, there it is. Then the person who's connecting will need your password to connect and surf the net. Now keep in mind, people connecting through your computer might be able to see the files on your hard drive. So make sure you trust them. [ Music ] Now let's turn our Mac into a hotspot. First, take your Ethernet cable and get connected to the Internet. Make sure you can surf. Then go into your system preferences and select sharing. Now go to the Internet tab. This is pretty self-explanatory. We're going to select where we want to share from, in this case our built in Ethernet. And how we want to share through, our airport. Now under options, you can give your network not only a name but also a password. Put those in. Finally click start to let the sharing begin. [ Period of silence ] When you're all finished, just press stop to shut off the shared connections. [ Music ] Configuring Windows XP is a little more hands on, but it's still the same basic principle. Wired Internet connection in, WIFI connection out. Not if you're not comfortable changing lots of settings on your computer, then I wouldn't do this if I were you. But if you can find your way out of an XP hole, here you go. So start by getting on the net by plugging in your trusty Internet connection and then we're going to go into control panel, and choose network connections. Right click your wireless connection and choose properties. First under wireless networks, click the box that says to use Windows to manage my wireless network settings. This means that all of your third party programs are sort of going to butt out. They're not going to fool with any of the settings anymore. Now we're going to make our hotspot. So under preferred networks, click add, then name your hotspot. I'm going to call mine Rich's Hotspot. Then select shared. And wep for data encryption. Choose a password and click okay. Your new hotspot should appear in this box called preferred networks. Now we have to tell our computer to only connect to this hotspot and not other WIFI hotspots that are out there. Under advanced, click networks to access computer-to-computer adhoc networks only. Make sure that's selected then press close. We're good to go here in our wireless network connection properties, so press okay. One more step. We have to change one setting in our wired Internet connection so that our computer knows to share it. So go up to your local area connection, right click it and select properties. There's a tab at the top that says advanced and then it says Internet connection sharing. There's a click box for allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection. So we want to click that one, make sure the box underneath is not selected so that nobody can fool with your settings remotely. Finally click okay and if you want to check your network, you can go to another computer and look at the list of available wireless networks and there it is, Rich's Hotspot. Now remember, your friends will need a password if you put one in, so they can connect. Now if your computer is anything like mine, this threw me for a little loop. There's a bios setting that says to turn off the WIFI when an Ethernet cable is plugged in. Now if you can't seem to get both of these connections turned on at the same time, you're going to have to go into set up when your computer starts up and look for a place to disable WIFI and Ethernet switching. Once you do that, you should be good to go. That's for this Insider Secret. Have fun sharing your net connections. I'm Rich DeMuro with CNET TV. ^M00:04:48 [ Music ]