Reverse Tether

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Have you ever been stuck in a situation that you needed WiFi but only had an Ethernet connection available? Unless you’re looking to connect your phone to an Ethernet connection, you would be all out of options. I found myself in a similar situation when I needed to setup a live stream using a bunch of laptops and only one Ethernet connection with no WiFi available. This is also useful if you are looking to avoid using mobile data.

Reverse tethering will allow you to turn your computer into a WiFi hotspot. For this tutorial we are going to use Windows, but I am positive that there are ways to accomplish this on Linux. Just know that you will need to have a computer or laptop with an active Ethernet connection along with a WiFi adapter (or built in-WiFi adapter). And sorry, this will not work for Surface Pro 3 or 4 users (driver incompatibility).

What you Will Need:

  • Windows Laptop or Desktop

Check Compatibility:

First you need to check if your WiFi driver supports hosted network. Open up command prompt (admin) and type in the following:

netsh wlan show drivers

Check for the line that reads supports hosted network. If the output is Yes then you are good to proceed. If not, this procedure won’t work with your current Wifi adapter or driver. You can try updating your driver from device manager to see if it will make a difference.

netsh wlan show drivers

Enabling Host Adapter:

Even though your Wifi driver supports hosted networks, it is probably not enabled. To enable Microsoft Network Hosted Virtual Adapter, go into device manager and select the tab that reads network adapters. You should see something that reads Microsoft Network Hosted Virtual Adapter. Right-click it, and select enable (if it isn’t already). If you don’t see it, go to view and select show hidden devices. It should now appear on the list.

Microsoft Hosted Network Adapter

Setup Network:

Type in the following to create the hosted network:

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=networkName key=networkpsswd

Type in the following to start the network:

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

You might receive an error about the network not able to be started. If that is the case, go into your network connections and disable and then enable your Wifi connection and try the previous command again.

Sharing Connection:

Finally, go to network connections and share your Ethernet connection

share ethernet

Connecting from Android:

To connect to the network from your Android (or iOS) device, you will need to use a static IP address that’s within the hosted network’s domain. It most likely will be 192.168.137.xxx. Likewise, the gateway for the hosted network will most likely be 192.168.137.1. You can always check this by going into network connections, and checking the properties of the IPv4  address of the hosted network. Lastly, use Google’s DNS as your dns server (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4)

Android Static IP

Connecting from Windows:

To connect from another Windows device, go into network connections and specify Google’s DNS as your DNS server. You can leave the option to obtain an IP address atomically or use a static one like above; either option should work.

TCIP Settings Google DNS

You might also need to perform an IP flush. To do so, enter the following from command prompt (admin):

 ipconfig /release

 ipconfig /renew

That’s it. From this point you should be connected to the hosted network and have internet access. Theoretically, you can connect well over 50 devices to this hosted network.