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How To Set Up an Ad Hoc Wireless Network

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Ad hoc wireless networks, or computer-to-computer wireless networks, are useful for Internet Connection Sharing and other direct wireless networking without needing a router. You can set up your own wi-fi network to connect two or more computers pretty simply using the steps below.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Go to Start > then right-click on Network and select Properties (on Windows Vista/7, go to your Network and Sharing Center under Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet).
  2. Click on the "Set up a connection or network" option.
  3. Select "Set up a wireless ad-hoc network" (Vista/7 have this as "Set up a new network"). Click Next.
  4. Choose a name for your ad hoc network, enable encryption, and check the box to save the network. Your wireless network will then be created and your wireless adapter will start broadcasting.
  5. On the client computers, you should be able to locate the new network and connect to it (for more help, see How to Set Up a Wi-Fi Connection

Tips:

  1. Note the limitations of ad hoc wireless networking, including WEP-only security, the computers needing to be within 100 meters, etc. See Ad hoc wireless networks overview
  2. If the host computer disconnects from the network, allother users will be disconnected and the ad hoc network deleted.
  3. To share a single Internet connection on the ad hoc network, see Internet Connection Sharing

What You Need

  • a Windows computer with wireless network adapter
  • client computers with wireless network adapter
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