In an ideal world, you would connect all your devices to a single Wi-Fi network and be on the Internet right away, but it does not always work that way. Your hotel may offer only a single Ethernet connection, or your airline charges you Wi-Fi per device, and you'd rather pay only once for your laptop and phone. In such situations, you need a way to share the Internet with another device.
If you do not have a mobile hotspot and you do not want to turn your phone into a hotspot (like on a plane), you can share your PC's Internet connection with other devices via Wi-Fi. How to turn your computer into a hotspot.
How to Share Your Internet Connection on Windows 1
If you are running a version of Windows 10 from the anniversary update, this feature is built into the operating system. You can also share your Wi-Fi Internet with other devices without an Ethernet cable.
Just open the Windows 10 Settings and go to Network & Internet> Mobile Hotspot . The "Share my Internet connection from" box should be enabled by default for any network adapter currently connected to the Internet. However, if you are currently connected via Ethernet and Wi-Fi, this checkbox allows you to choose which connection you want to share.  Select whether you want to share via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth – you probably want to share via Wi-Fi – and click the "Edit" button to create a name and password for your new network. When you're ready, set the Mobile Hotspot switch at the top of the settings to On and log in with your newly created credentials from your phone or other device.
Note that this may be slower Internet doing, due to the inefficiencies of Wi-Fi sharing. Still, it's better than nothing, especially if you're in trouble.
How to Share Your Internet Connection with Connectify
Older versions of Windows also have Internet sharing built-in, but these methods can be extremely fussy. Windows 7 users can create ad-hoc networks designed to share their Ethernet connection with other devices over Wi-Fi.
Unfortunately, this method has worked so rarely in the past that I would call it more trouble than it's worth. (If you want to try it yourself, go to the Start menu and look for "Manage Wireless Networks" and then click the "Add" button to create a new ad hoc network.)
Instead, you can download free third-party programs such as Connectify works on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. Not only can you share your Ethernet connection over Wi-Fi, but you can also share a Wi-Fi connection over Wi-Fi. By purchasing one of the more feature-rich paid versions, you can tailor various aspects of the connection to your needs. The free version should be sufficient for most users in need.
Connectify guides you through each step. Most importantly, make sure the Wi-Fi hotspot button is selected and select your Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. Click the box above and then the Launch Hotspot button. Connectify ” border=”0″ class=”center” src=”https://assets.pcmag.com/media/images/651695-connectify.png?thumb=y&width=980&height=747″/>
Connectify generates the network name and password for you (paying users have the ability to customize it) Enter your phone, tablet, or other device to connect.
Note that it may take a minute for the hotspot to start. Some failures have occurred in my tests, but it is still much better than trying to use an ad hoc network. If you want to use this feature frequently, you should upgrade to Windows 10.
How to Share Your Internet Connection on a Mac
Internet Sharing has been integrated into Apple's macOS It takes a while and is easy to use. Just go to System Preferences> Sharing and in the sidebar, click the Internet Sharing option. You can share a connection from Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt, or FireWire to computers using one of these protocols.
However, you can not share the same protocol from which you are currently receiving Internet. (You will not be able to share your Wi-Fi connection over Wi-Fi – you'll need to share Ethernet over Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi via Bluetooth.)
Select your options – in my case, I'll share that Internet from my Ethernet connection via Wi-Fi to other devices and click the Wi-Fi Options button to set the name and password of your resulting network if necessary. Then check the box next to Internet Sharing in the sidebar to create your hotspot. You should be able to connect other devices via Wi-Fi (or Bluetooth or Thunderbolt) and use the Internet normally.
For more information about optimizing your Wi-Fi network, see our tips for improving your Wi-Fi signal. We've also tested the best wireless extender and top mesh Wi-Fi systems.