How to share your Windows-7 Laptop's Internet with your wifi enabled mobile, and avoid costly fees in GPRS charges.

Since we purchased a brand new Samsung 5380K Wave mobile last month, I started exploring some of its cool features such as the ability to download and install new apps, multi-tasking and wifi connectivity. However, to take advantage many of these features one needs a good internet connection, and the one provided by your service provider incurs high costs. So, I thought why not leverage my current Tata-photon internet connection on my Windows-7 laptop, and use it on my mobile through the wifi feature it provides me: absolutely free of charge!!

I did some google-search to check if this was even possible. Though the procedure was a bit tricky, it was possible and many people seemed to be doing this already. That a network connection in Windows OS can share internet with other users in the same network was known since ages, but that was strictly between Windows machines. I was initially sceptical, as I could not fathom how a Microsoft proprietary OS (Windows-7) can be compatible with another Samsung proprietary OS (bada 2.0)! But as I found out later, this is actually possible. Here is the procedure of first creating an ad-hoc network between your Windows PC and your mobile handset, and then sharing your Windows connection:

On your Windows machine:

Step-1: Start the wifi and create the ad-hoc network: Press the wifi button to make it on.

Step-2: Go to:
Control-Panel=>Network and Internet=>View Network Status and Tasks. Then click on “Set up a new connection or network”.

Step-3: In the connection options, select “Set up a wireless ad-hoc (computer-to-computer) network” as shown above. Keep pressing Next button when asked. Give a suitable network name such as “prahladnet”. This will be the ssid of your newly created network.

Step-4: For security-type select WEP if your handset may not support WEP2 (all wifi mobiles will support at least WEP). Enter a security key of 10 digits. Check the option “Save this network” as you may have to connect to this network multiple times.

Thats it, your network is now established. Now click the Connections icon in your taskbar on the bottom right corner to see that your new network is waiting for connections as shown below:

On your smart-phone:

To complete the network from your smart-phone perspective, start wifi on it. Depending the model of your phone, you might have to browse through different menu settings to search the available networks. In the list of results, you should see the ssid of your ad-hoc network displayed (“prahladnet”).

Just select your network from the list, and provide the security key that you had entered in Step-4 of previous section. Once you do so, wait for some time, as Windows will take a few seconds to identify the new connection.
Remember, there is no need to change any ip-address settings or assign a static-ip to your phone. By default, your phone will be assigned a dynamic ip-address by your network which is just fine. To verify the device ip-address, you might again have to browse through some wifi-settings menu. On a Samsung Wave based phone, you will see something like this:

On your Windows machine:

[1] Now that your network is established, verify it by going back to your windows machine and typing the following in your DOS prompt: “ping ”. If you get a reply, all is going well.

[2] Secondly, make your new ad-hoc network the part of your Home-network group. You can do this by again going to the below menu:

Control-Panel=>Network and Internet=>View Network Status and Tasks.

There you can see your ssid in the “View your active networks” section. If it is not already a part of Home network, then click the link below the ssid to change the group.

[3] Since you are using Windows-7, it is a bit extra cautious about your security. Though you have established your network, you will have to explicity allow the WWW (world-wide-web) service in your firewall so that your smart-phone can access it. To do so, go the the following menu:

Control Panel=>System and Security=>Windows Firewall=>Allowed Programs.

Move to the bottom of the list to find the WWW service and check it on allowing access to Home/Private network only.

[4] Now for the last step. Make sure that your internet connection is shared with your wireless network. To do so, go to:

Control-Panel=>Network and Internet=>View Network Status and Tasks=>Change adapter settings.

[5] Right-click on the adapter providing your internet connection, and say “Properties”. Click the last tab for sharing and make sure that the “Allow network users to connect...” setting is turned on, and “Wireless Network Connection” is below it.

Thats it. Your ad-hoc network is established now. Whenever you connect to the internet, you will be able to access it on your mobile too through your ad-hoc connection. Before browsing on your mobile, make sure you have disabled packet data and removed any GPRS settings sent by your service provider. This will ensure that you are using free and pure wifi internet. Once you have ensured that, start the browser on your mobile.

[1] If you are visiting secure sites (https:), you will have to allow the “Secure www” service too through your windows firewall.

[2] The auto-assigned IP addresses of both device and wireless card should be in the range of 192.168.x.x. On the other hand, if the addresses are in the range of 169.254.x.x, then something is wrong – perhaps Windows is treating your device as a part of Public network instead of your Home network.

Update as on 10-02-2013: As of today, I'm dual booting my machine with both Win7 and Fedora18 (Linux) installed on separate partitions. Just out of curiosity, I decided to share the internet connection while Fedora was running. Trust me, sharing internet over wifi connection is a breeze in Fedora compared to Win7. All you have to do is go to the network applet in system-settings and open wireless tab. There is a nifty switch called "Wireless Hotspot". If you turn it on, you can share your internet through wifi to as many wireless devices as you want - smartphones or laptops!! No need to create a ad-hoc network between just two devices (as happens in Win7). Connectivity is also stronger and more reliable in Linux compared to Win7.


Rathore said...

Nice and informative blog about the software i love it a lot.telekupon

bal kha said...

I am using wim 7 on acer 5536 but I am unable to connect I did all you said correctly

Anonymous said...

Glad to read your post...Thanks for sharing such a nice information.