How To Turn Your Laptop Into A Hotspot (5 steps)

Yes, it is possible to easily share your internet connection with your other devices by turning your laptop running Windows 10 into a Wi-Fi hotspot. There are many reasons to turn your laptop into a WiFi hotspot. I’ll cover the 5 step process in this article.

To turn your Windows 10 laptop into a WiFi hotspot, you will enable sharing its internet connection with your other devices. Note that you can share your laptop’s Wi-Fi or LAN Ethernet connection, either will work.

How To Use Laptop As A Hotspot

There may be some circumstances where you might want to make a laptop WiFi hotspot. These are, for example, a hotel or airplane that might charge you per device connection. In such a case, having the ability to connect as many devices as you would like by sharing the internet becomes very useful and important.

How To Turn Your Laptop Into A WiFi Hotspot

The first thing to do to turn your laptop into a WiFi hotspot is to make sure you are running the latest version of Windows as it has the hotspot feature installed. To check your version of Windows 10 that is currently running, select Start, then select Settings, then System, and About.  This will display the version, you may need to apply an upgrade.

5 Steps To Enable Laptop WiFi Hotspot:

  1. Right click on the Start button, then select Network Connections.
  2. Find and select Mobile Hotspot.
  3. Turn on or enable > Share my internet connection with other devices.
  4. For Share my Internet connection from, choose the Internet connection you want to share.
  5. Select Edit and make sure to enter a Network Name and Network Password. Note: It’s good practice to create a strong password. It is required to use at least 8 characters.

Laptop WiFi Hotspot
Windows WiFi Hotspot sharing

To connect your other devices to your newly set up hotspot, go to the Wi-Fi settings on those devices and locate your network name. Select it, then enter the password.

Now you’re all set, that’s all there is to enabling a Wi-Fi hotspot on your laptop.

You will probably experience a slower internet on the connected devices since they are having to ‘share’ a connection from the laptop machine. But for the average user, this might not be an issue, I wouldn’t want to try playing online games though.

Ways To Boost Your Home Wi-Fi Signal

If you are going to turn your laptop into a hotspot and share your internet, your Wi-Fi at home may not be as robust as you would like. There are some simple things you can do to help improve the speed and performance by boosting the signal.

Note: The best practice is to connect all your devices to your main Wi-Fi router for internet connectivity. Ideally, this would ensure proper security and provide the best possible connection speeds.

4 Steps To Improve WiFi Signal:

  1. Router/Modem Placement
    It makes sense that where you place the home router will affect it’s coverage. If possible, place the Wi-Fi router in a central location of the house so the signal will reach throughout. Also, the less walls in the way the better for the signal transmission.
  2. Change the router channel
    By default, most home Wi-Fi routers use the same channel.  If you are able to log into the router, change the channel it uses to something else. The recommended channel’s are 1, 6 and 11.
  3. Change the router frequency
    Newer home Wi-Fi routers use dual-band frequencies, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. You will get a better range with the 2.4GHz band, it also is more effective passing through walls.
    On the downside, it is not as fast as 5GHz. 5GHz has faster throughput, but has a shorter range, and doesn’t pass through walls as well as 2.4GHz.
    If your device has a strong signal, you might as well try the 5GHz connection to see if it works adequately. Again, if you can log into your home router, enable both frequencies to take advantage of both.
  4. You may need an upgrade
    If you’ve made the adjustments above but still see poor wireless performance, it may be time to upgrade your network equipment.
    Upgrade your Wi-Fi router if it is old and outdated. Check with your internet provider and ask for new equipment.  If they decline, you can always purchase a new wireless router yourself, but notify your service provider first.
    The second option is to invest in a mesh-based wireless system. A mesh Wi-Fi consists of several satellite nodes spread throughout the house. They work together to provide a single wireless home network. They provide great coverage but may be pricey.

See my article on 5 ways to boost your WiFi speed.

What Is A WiFi Hotspot Anyway?

To turn a Windows laptop into a WiFi hotspot you should know what a hotspot is to start with. For our purposes, a hotspot is simply a physical device that provides internet access.

Laptop WiFi Hotspot

A hotspot can be either public or private.  An example of a public hotspot can be demonstrated in a fast-food restaurant or library. Many of these establishments offer free internet by way of a Wi-Fi hotspot that you connect to.

The hardware behind the hotspot is generally a Wireless Access Point(AP), for the home it might be your router or modem.

WiFi Network Tools For Windows 10

Let’s look at the WiFi tools in Windows 10 that you need to know to enable a hotspot and get information about the network. If you need to check your network, there are some tools available to provide helpful information.

1. Wireless network report

Windows 10 has a built-in wireless network report tool. It will gather recent Wi-Fi events and output them to an HTML file for you to access.

In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.

At the command prompt, type netsh wlan show wlanreport.

This will run and display the location of the outputted file.

2. Speed Test

Run a speed test on your network connection to get an indication of the speed or throughput your internet is getting.

Open a web browser to Google.com.

Type in: speed test and run a test from one of the results.

The results page should provide useful information about your current connection and speed. You’ll know if you are receiving about the same speed as you are paying for from the internet provider.
Note: If several devices are all connected at the same time, performance on the test machine will be slower.

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In Summary

If you would like to turn your laptop into a WiFi hotspot or create your own Wi-Fi hotspot, you’ll find it is very easy to do under Windows 10. A few simple steps allow you to enable your laptop to provide internet access to other devices.

Are you looking to buy a new laptop?  Check out my Laptop Buying Guide.

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