How do I share my phone’s internet connection with multiple computers on a wireless home network?
December 31, 2009 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Dear Metafilter Community, I live in a house full of roommates and I am trying to share my phone’s internet connection on our network so that everyone in the household may have an internet connection. Currently, I am capable of getting my phone to give my own computer internet access (via a Bluetooth Personal Area Netowork under ‘Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers’ in Windows 7), but I have not been able to share this internet connection using the Internet Connection Sharing feature.

It is my understanding that in order to share an internet connection with other wireless devices, you go to the properties and under the “Sharing Tab” you click the checkbox to allow others connect to my PC using an Ad Hoc Personal network. However, when I try going to the properties of the Bluetooth connection, the “Sharing” tab is missing. So, I ask you: How can I share my phone’s internet connection with multiple computers on a network?

- John
posted by thallium205 to Technology (6 answers total)
Oh man it's been a while since I messed with this but I think it has something to do with "bridging" your internet connection with either your wifi or your hard-wired ethernet device, whichever you're using for the internal network
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:29 PM on December 31, 2009

Response by poster: This is what I have also tried:
1) From Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center, go to "Set up a new connection or network.
2) Set up a wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network.
3) Name it, set password.
4) Click "Turn on Internet Connection Sharing".

When I click that, it says "Windows could not set up Internet Connection Sharing (ICS).

Any ideas?
posted by thallium205 at 6:49 PM on December 31, 2009

I think Rusty is right, and you need to bridge them.
Go to Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections
Select the home network
hold down ctrl and select the bluetooth adapter
now right click and you should have the menu option 'bridge connections'

(not tested, sorry)
posted by jacalata at 7:40 PM on December 31, 2009

This is tangential but carefully read your phone contract before you share the internet connection with "a house full of roommates", if you have not already done so. These contracts vary widely but, as an example, you might find an "unlimited" connection with a 5GB/month cap, with exorbitant fees for going over that, or canceling service. The contract may also disallow tethering the phone's connection to a computer. Sharing your connection with your roommates could get very expensive.
posted by 6550 at 3:04 AM on January 1, 2010

In Win 7 there is a Wireless Hosted Network feature. Not sure if it will work with a 3G card but here is a link on how to set it up.
posted by white_devil at 7:09 AM on January 1, 2010

Response by poster: @jacalata
I am unable to bridge the connection between my wireless card and the bluetooth network connection. It is grayed out.

Thank you for that information. I really appreaciate that.

Does not work for this bluetooth PAN.

After much googling, I believe a bluetooth PAN is an end-to-end network setup which cannot be routed out to other computers because bluetooth is not use the TCP/IP, but merely a means to transport TCP/IP data. It is not possible.
posted by thallium205 at 5:51 PM on January 1, 2010

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