Can my PC be made into a Wi-Fi Hotspot?

I do not have internet at home, but I do have a phone with an unlimited 4G data plan. I would like to be able to tether to my PC (no problem) and then use the PC to broadcast Wi-Fi to my TV and iPad. I have an HP Touchscreen running Windows Vista 64 and an old Belkin Wireless Router. Could I feed into the router and then broadcast? I also heard that Windows 7 would allow this, but I am not sure I want to leave the security of vista for Windows 7. :slight_smile:

If your TV and iPad can get wireless signals, they don’t have to get it from the PC, they can get it directly from the phone, the same way the PC would.

I am tethering to the PC, not hot spotting to it. My carrier charges for anything over 2Gb that goes out over Wi-Fi from the phone, but not for data that is tethered from the phone.

What carrier is this? I’ve never heard of such a set up.

On topic, in this case I don’t know how the specifics of how you’d get the signal to go from PC to other devices. I imagine it would start with a router, but I don’t know how to finagle the thing to submit to your desires.

Verizon Wireless.

So if I tether I can use data from my unlimited data plan, but if use the Hot Spot feature I am billed $20 for every additional Gb of data I stream over the initial 2Gb limit…

All versions of Windows (back to Windows 2000, at least) have a feature called Internet Connection Sharing, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: it shares an internet connection from one network port to another network port on the system.

Assuming your phone is tethered with a USB cable (or your computer has two network jacks), what you need to do is set up your phone’s tethered internet connection, then go into “Network Connections” control panel (you can search for it if it’s hard to find-- unfortunately I don’t remember how the Vista control panel is laid out), click “Properties” on the tethered connection, then click “Sharing”, then turn on “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”. Now plug your router into the vacant network jack, and try loading its Admin page-- if the page loads, you should be able to set your router up like normal, and it’ll allow devices to connect through it, through your PC, through your phone, to the Internet.

Here’s a Microsoft page with directions specific to Vista.

Connectify should work, it is a paid program though. Simple to setup and works with most routers and adapters.

Yeah I’ve messed with connectify a bit, and it does work, but I’ve found that it doesn’t work with older wifi adapters.

This isn’t that unusual: Verizon often charges money for software that you could get for free. Essentially, this is a condition of being able to install their Hot Spot software. Just like you have to pay a fee to get maps even though Google Maps is free.

Normally, the solution would be to just run another piece of software, but since a Hot Spot would need direct access to the hardware, this would require rooting the phone (sorta like jailbreaking it), something the OP may not want to do. especially if there’s another option.

(I’m assuming Verizon has blocked the built in abilities of the Android OS to make a hotspot.)