Can a Windows PC be used as a mobile hotspot for sharing the internet? Back in the day, computers could access the internet with the help of an ethernet cable. As technology advanced, computers came with Wi-Fi receivers that could receive data over the air. Now, Windows PCs can not only receive high-speed internet over a wireless connection, but they can also share the internet with other devices as well.
A bigger question is, why would users enable a mobile hotspot on their Windows PC or laptop? First, users might be in a situation where they cannot access a Wi-Fi network through their smartphone, but their computer can connect to it. Further, users’ smartphones can be low on battery, and enabling a hotspot could drain them even faster. For all such situations, one can enable the mobile hotspot on their Windows computer.
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Computers or laptops running on Windows 10 and Windows 11 are capable of sharing their internet with other devices by enabling Mobile Hotspot. As mentioned in the official support document published by Microsoft, users can “share a Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or cellular data connection” that provides bandwidth to their system. Whether users are connected to Wi-Fi or using mobile data on their Windows PC, they can redirect it to another device. Unlike smartphones with a single Wi-Fi interface, modern Windows laptops come with dual interfaces, allowing them to simultaneously access a Wi-Fi network and share the internet via a hotspot.
First, to use a Windows 10 PC as a mobile hotspot, click on the ‘Start’ button at the bottom left and select ‘Settings’ (cog icon) right above the power button. Next, click on ‘Network & Internet’ and locate ‘Mobile hotspot’ in the menu towards the right. Alternatively, users can head to the support page and click on ‘Open Mobile hotspot settings.’ Then, select Wi-Fi or Mobile Internet under ‘Share my Internet connection from’ and enable the toggle below ‘Share my Internet connection with other devices.’ Now, open the Wi-Fi menu on a smartphone, tablet, or another laptop, search for the hotspot and connect.
To share the internet from a Windows 11 PC or laptop, users should follow the same steps mentioned above. Although, the support page does mention one additional point about selecting Wi-Fi or Bluetooth under the option ‘Share Over.’ By default, Windows 11 devices share their internet over a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is much faster and more stable than Bluetooth tethering. In addition, sharing Wi-Fi bandwidth with other devices is a better idea as enabling a hotspot over mobile internet might use data from users’ data plans.