Talking about Wi-Fi connectivity support, one of the reasons why you should consider what type of Wi-Fi radio a particular computer or laptop should have before buying, is the fact that Wi-Fi hotspots are just everywhere and that it’s through this wireless technology that you can hook up to the internet easily. Though in today’s generation of laptops it’s seldom to see models without support for 802.11n (aka Wireless-N), it’s best if every PC user is aware what does such type of Wi-Fi radio really offers. To date, 802.11n is the best wireless standard yet as it offers faster throughput and longer transmission range between wireless devices, and needless to say – the next time you buy a machine, make sure it should have this type of Wi-Fi support. Not exactly just for computers though; you can also look for this particular spec on smartphones and tablets.
But the other advantage of having a faster Wi-Fi radio in your computer is for its capability to share internet access to other wireless devices. Some Windows platforms offer what is called as Internet Connection Sharing or ICS feature (some called it as Ad-Hoc) in which the Wi-Fi enabled computer turns itself like a wireless router or Wi-Fi hotspot. If my memory serves me right, Ad-Hoc over wireless network was introduced in Windows Vista though some XP machines can also be setup with an aid of wireless adapters. Windows 7 has it as well, but interestingly – Microsoft’s latest OS, the Windows 8, don’t have it out of the box. I mean, at least with the latest Beta of Windows 8, setting up Ad-Hoc or Internet Connection Sharing is a bit hassle as it would require you to play with what is known as Netsh Utility that you can fire up in Command tool (cmd.exe). And I’m sure not all typical Windows 8 users would bother to do that.
Thanks there are third-party software which can do this in a less-technical way for Windows 8 users. I have to mention here at least two, both of which I have already tried in the past couple of weeks. Both work in Windows 8 seamlessly, though there were some occasions in which I encountered signal loss for an unknown reason.
First up is the Connectify. This software is just small yet offers great and useful functionalities. It allows you to setup a Wi-Fi-enabled computer or laptop as a Hotspot so other wireless devices can connect to the internet through it. Of course the computer should be connected to the internet as well either through a DSL modem, a 3G or 4G modem (Pro version), or another Wi-Fi network. The UI is very simple so you can setup and get your Wi-Fi hotspot up and running in few minutes. Connectify also offers additional features like customized naming of the Hotspot and file sharing between devices, but such features are only made available in the PRO version (I only tried the Lite version). Nonetheless, the Lite version is fair enough as it does solve my problem in sharing internet connection in Windows 8.
Another utility that you can use to share internet connection in Windows 8 is the Wi-Fi HotSpot Creator. The name tells you what exactly this software does, that is, just to create a Wi-Fi hotspot in your Wi-Fi enabled computer instantly! I’ve also tested this software in Windows 8 and it works just fine.
If you’re now on Windows 8 and also looking for an internet sharing solution sans the need of setting up and configuring Ad-Hoc with the aid of Windows’ Netsh Utility, the Wi-Fi HotSpot Creator and Connectify could be the answer.