Sharing a wireless connection with a wired PC
July 12, 2005 5:44 PM   Subscribe

I have a laptop that can connect wirelessly to a wireless network at my parent's home. Is there any way to share that connection via ethernet with my desktop computer?

So basically I don't want to buy a wireless networking card for my desktop -- this is only short term -- but I need to connect with my desktop. I want to use the vast power of my laptop to function merely as a wireless card for my desktop. I imagine that Internet Connection Sharing is involved and/or a crossover cable, but I'd love to do it with regular CAT5. Both computers running XP. Any ideas?
posted by ontic to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Internet connection sharing will be involved.

If you have a switch, you can connect the computers that way. If not, google on "crossover cable".

You can make one out of a regular CAT-5 (or 3, or 5E, or anything else) in a couple of minutes.
posted by bh at 6:15 PM on July 12, 2005

Sure. Go to the control panel, then to Network and Dial-Up Connections, find your wireless connection, go to the properties for it, then to the internet connection sharing tab (which may be under Advanced), and enable sharing. Then, pick your ethernet connection as the one you wish to share it through.

Once you connect another computer to that port with a crossover cable, you should be successfully sharing that connection.

Note that modern ethernet controllers may not require a crossover cable, so try it without one first if you don't have a crossover cable handy.
posted by odinsdream at 6:17 PM on July 12, 2005

You most certainly can.

With Windows XP on the Laptop, you can either create a Bridge between the two network connectons (wireless and Ethernet) or you can enable Internet Connection Sharing on the Wireless adapter.

For a Bridge:

goto Network Connections, highlight both connections, and right-click, then left-click Bridge Connections.

This will make a network Bridge. The Desktop will behave as if the laptop never existed, and will get it's DHCP/Internet Address from your Internet Provider.

Your laptop will be able to access the net normally through the Bridged device as well, and will get it's own IP.

For Internet Connection Sharing:

Goto Network Connections, right-click the Wireless connection, and goto Properties. hit Advanced, and click Internet Connection Sharing. I recommend unchecking the only option for this (if you have SP2, it should be 'Allow Network Users to Turn this Connection on and off').

That's it!

I recommend using a REAL firewall on both units, no matter what you do. I use Sygate Pro for my systems, which costs $$, but you can get Sygate Personal for free.

In terms of cable, use a cross-over. Most NICs (network cards) do not support Auto MDI-X, which is the cable detection thing, and a cross over is the guaranteed way to hook up two NIC's together. I guess you can try a straight-through first if you have one lying around, but it may not work.

Good luck!
posted by id at 6:56 PM on July 12, 2005

Thanks for the system you three. So how do I make CAT-5 into crossover cable in a couple of minutes?
posted by ontic at 6:59 PM on July 12, 2005

Pinout. Essentially, you swap the transmit and receive lines, easy if you've got another head for the cable or are handy at splicing cables.
posted by apathy0o0 at 7:50 PM on July 12, 2005

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