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Thread: Reverse Tethering with Windows for Android and other devices. (Windows WiFi Hotspot)

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Reverse Tethering with Windows for Android and other devices. (Windows WiFi Hotspot)

    My scenario: (skip-able background)
    The cost of mobile data has really come down in the last 2 years, but unfortunately, the networks do not make these affordable data packages available to voice SIM-cards.

    I recently upgraded to my first "smart-phone", the Samsung Galaxy S2 and it took me about 30 seconds to realize that my 100MB monthly data (from Cell C's straight-up 100) is not going to cut it. Using an Android device without data is like drinking warm, flat beer. But getting enough data for a single month, even for moderate use, would imply buying at least 500MB of data-bundles.

    I already pay R150 p/m for my 2GB data contract, why would I pay another R150 p/m for a 500MB data-bundle? Some people might, but I won't, there must be another way (other than swapping SIM's all the time).


    Solution
    If you have a Windows 7 laptop with a compatible wireless card you can create a Virtual Wireless Hotspot.
    (This is a hidden feature within Windows 7 called Virtual WiFi)

    The best part is, this is not an ad-hoc network, and multiple devices can connect!. Android, by default does not support connecting to ad-hoc networks without rooting and hacking, so you basically need an AP (Access Point).

    To achieve this, follow these easy steps:
    1. First of all, you need Windows 7, nothing prior to Windows has this feature (including Vista).
    2. Update your wireless card's drivers. (If the steps below fails, then try updating your firmware as well).

    3. Open a command line with admin privileges and run the following command:
    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=MyHotspot key=MyPassword
    (Replace MyHotspot and MyPassword with your own values!)

    4. Now start the adapter by running this command:
    netsh wlan start hostednetwork

    You will notice that you have a new Wireless adapter in your Network and Sharing Center called "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter"

    5. Now simply enable your 3G interface's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS):
    * Locate your 3G interface in your Network and Sharing Center
    * Right-click on it and select "Properties"
    * Click on the "Sharing" tab
    * Check the top box called "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection"
    * In the "Home networking connection:" drop-down box, select your newly created Wireless Interface.
    * Click OK.


    6. Connect your PC's 3G.

    Viola! You are now running a wireless Hotspot from your PC and you'll be able to connect with multiple devices simultaneously (including Android), who will in turn have internet connectivity via your 3G Dongle in your PC.

    This solution is ideal for those of us who don't have great network infrastructure at home/work (e.g. ADSL & WiFi, etc.)

    There is a software solution that automates all of these steps, but it's not free, it's called Connectify ( http://www.connectify.me/ ). I bought the pro version but after an entire day of struggling I still couldn't get it to work. My 3G internet simply died whenever I installed it.

    Enjoy your new Hotspot!!
    Matthys

  2. #2
    SmoothOokerMaximus The_Librarian's Avatar
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    Excellent write-up.

    Thanks.

    Moved it to the networking subforum.
    Christ-mass is NOT for Christians. Jeremiah 10.
    Is the 10 Commandments for Christians?

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  3. #3

  4. #4

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    I used connectify a year or two ago, and found it worked very nicely. It was also free at the time. Pity to see it's not what it used to be.

    nice step by step.
    blog

    "You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose"

  5. #5

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    Good one, Matthys

  6. #6

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    When I follow these steps, I can connect to the PC and browse the internet, but I can't download anything from Google Play store.
    Some other apps that require connectivity don't work either.

    Any ideas?
    Thanks.

  7. #7

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    Hi GazWrack

    All connectivity issues that I experience are usually resolved when I restart both phone and PC, but it's hardly ever necessary.
    Are you sharing a 3G or LAN connection for internet?
    Have you tried disabling any 3rd party firewalls on your system?
    Does your Phone maybe block any applications from using data?

    Also, what wireless card are you using? If all else fails, you may try updating the firmware, but it's recommended that you make sure you have the latest drivers for your wireless card. This is because some manufacturers only built in the support for this feature after releasing the product.
    Last edited by Matthysdt; 08-10-2012 at 08:50 AM.

  8. #8

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    Hi Matthysdt

    Sorry that its taken me so long to come back...I have a bad habbit of forgetting about my posts

    I'm sharing a LAN connection, my router is running in bridged mode so the connection is dial-up.

    I'm running Norton 360, I haven't tried disabling the firewall. I'll try this when I'm at home (Yea I work Saturday graveyard shifts )

    I haven't blocked any apps from going online on the phone.

    My wireless card is a Netgear WNA3100 N-300 USB adapter and I recently uninstalled and re-installed the drivers for it; so I assume they are the latest. (I saw something on the Netgear forums that mine can't act as a hotspot because of the 'N' specification - it was a random post so I really dont know if thats credible)

    Come to think of it, one thing I haven't tried yet is connecting to the hotspot with my laptop. I'll do that in the morning and come back with a result.

    ps:
    Completely off the current topic but now that I think about issues Ive had with my wireless adapter; I also spent many hours trying to get Homegroup to work between my laptop and PC using an ad-hoc connection. Sometime it works, other times it doesn't. (even though ICS works reliably between the two using ad-hoc). -I wonder if it isn't my adapter thats just not up for it...

  9. #9

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    Ok, so I set up a hotspot and connected with my laptop and could browse and download normally.

    I'm still having trouble with the phone though:
    The browser connects sometimes,
    but when I open the Google play store - it takes like 10 retries to connect and when I do and try to download or update an app it just sits on the "downloading" screen and nothing happens.
    Samsung Apps store - refuses to connect.
    Check for software updates returns an error saying that I dont have a connection available.

    of course, I dont experience these problems when I have mobile data turned on.

    interesting...

  10. #10

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    I used to fiddle like this when I hotspotted my notebook.
    Connectify has made life a lot easier.
    www.savitar.co.za - Software Solutions
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by GazWrack View Post
    Ok, so I set up a hotspot and connected with my laptop and could browse and download normally.

    I'm still having trouble with the phone though:
    The browser connects sometimes,
    but when I open the Google play store - it takes like 10 retries to connect and when I do and try to download or update an app it just sits on the "downloading" screen and nothing happens.
    Samsung Apps store - refuses to connect.
    Check for software updates returns an error saying that I dont have a connection available.

    of course, I dont experience these problems when I have mobile data turned on.

    interesting...
    Well, that's actually good news, it means you're more than half-way there since your hotspot is working. (That's the hard part)
    What cellphone are you using? What version of the OS? E.g. Android 2.3.4 or iOS5 etc..

    Do you have any other phones/tablets you can test from?

  12. #12

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    It's a Galaxy S3; ICS 4.0.4

    I don't have anything else to test. Maybe I can check if my dad's Nokia has Wifi.

    I'll keep trawling s3/android forums in the mean time.

  13. #13

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    Also, if you have access to any other WiFi hotspots, like at work, see if your phone works on them or not.

  14. #14
    SmoothOokerMaximus The_Librarian's Avatar
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    Found that Easy Battery Saver would interfere with 3G connectivity when I was using my phone as a mifi/hotspot

    Turning off Easy Battery Saver resolved the connectivity issues.

    This happened to both my iPad and Android tab, loss of internet connectivity.
    Christ-mass is NOT for Christians. Jeremiah 10.
    Is the 10 Commandments for Christians?

    Saturday is the Seventh day, Sunday is the first day.

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