How to Share a WI-FI Connection

About: I like making films.

The easiest way to share a WI-FI connection is to have a network adapter for every singe computer you want to share the network with. But what is you only have 1 adapter, 1 connection, and 2 computers that you need to share the connection between?

You will need:

2 computers.
A wireless network adapter. (Preferably USB, but any will do)
An Ethernet cable (The same length as the distance between the 2 computers.)
Windows XP or better.
A wireless network.
And a general understanding of how the internet works.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Do Everything Beforehand

My reason for needing a connection split between 2 computers is because I needed to move the router, and modem downstairs, where my family spends most of their time using the internet. So it would seem logical to move the router downstairs (to get better reception). However, I ran into a problem... The two computers in my room were connected to the internet using 2 Ethernet cords, and I only had 1 USB wireless adapter. To share the connection I would have to create a MAC Bridge between the Ethernet cable, and the WIFI adapter on the same computer, (while the other end of the Ethernet is connected to the other computer). So do everything you need to do before starting this, move the router, wires, and power supplies beforehand (and test that it works).

Step 2: Setup the Hardware

First of all. Use a Ethernet cable to connect the 1st computer, with the second one. Then plug in your USB WIFI adapter to the computer closest to the wireless access point you are trying to reach, (or if you have already done that skip this step).

Step 3: Setup the OS

On vista, go to start menu > control panel > network and sharing center > and look for "connect to network" (if you have already done this keep reading), then double click on the network you want to connect to. Go back to the "network and sharing center" and from the left hand side bar select manage network connections. Select both of the networks and right-click on one of them. Then click "Bridge Connections". It might take some time before the windows closes, and both of the networks connect.

Step 4: Setup the Secound Computer

If all goes well, you would be able to get strait onto the internet from the second computer (although the internet speed might be slower). If not follow this troubleshooting guide:

1. Try disconnecting from the network, then connecting back again
2. Try unplugging the Ethernet cable from both of the computers, then plugging it back again
3. Try unplugging both the adapter and the router (+modem) from the power supply for about 30 seconds, then plugging it again.
4. If the first computer gets internet but the second one doesn't, then try deleting the MAC bridge, then making it again.
5. If all else fails, try every single step, one more time.

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    7 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    hii...if one wifi is shared by different mobiles and laptop than does it access all the information which we are being accessed throgh mobile?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Like pastaking, my first reaction would be I would need crossover cables... but I tried TechyGeeky's steps to the letter and VOILA! It works san crossover cable! (It's been a few years since *I* went to networking school.... and everything is so much easier now!)


    6 years ago on Step 4

    Thank you so much! Worked like a charm with two Windows 7 desktops! The PC with the USB adapter did say it was bridged, but the other did not get the message! A reboot of the cable modem and the router did the trick! No significant slowdown of internet either - of course they are not gamers! I have 3 kids in online school- the school sent the computers, printers, mouse, etc., everything I needed but none of the computers are WiFi ready and they omitted telling us that! (You would think an ONLINE school would send WiFi enabled or at least WiFi adapters!) I can not afford to go buy 3 USB WiFI adapters, nor have time to install WiFi cards on three PCs. I used your instructions with the one USB adapter I had - so now 2 can have WiFi. Third child will use old laptop till I can buy another. Thanks again!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    For this to work, you'd need a crossover cable or something inbetween the two computers, as bad things will happen otherwise.

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    A crossover cable is a CAT5 patch cable where the transmit and receive wires are wired differently, with the T signal at one end going the the R at the other, and pastaking is correct in saying that this is what is (traditionally) needed for computer to computer connections. HOWEVER, many newer NIC (Network Interface Cards, the part in the computer that the CAT5 wire plugs into) can auto-sense what type of connection it is ( Hub to computer vs computer to computer) and deal with it via internal magic. This is probably the case with TechyGeeky's setup.
    Nice instructable.