Bridged Connections Makes Your Laptop an Internet Provider

I’ve had this ongoing struggle with internet in my house. My router is conveniently located near most of my computers but I happen to sit across the room. Now normally I’m on my laptop and my wireless works great so this is a non issue. But I do repair work on computers and like to tinker on a few older boxes from time to time and so I did what any geek would do and nicely laid down some cable under the rug.

Except I must have hammered through the cable when I was securing the rug back to the floor. Because it isn’t working.

So every time I work on a computer I’m left with the guts strewn across the floor with a barely reaching cable stretched across the middle of the room. It’s not a very pretty site and with a toddler about it just doesn’t work.

This weekend the answer came to me though. My laptop has internet just fine via wireless. In addition it has a standard Ethernet port which isn’t being used. Perhaps there was a way to utilize this?

The whole thing turned out to be really simple. You need a crossover Ethernet cable. You should be able to buy one at the store or do as the true geek does and make your own. The tools to make a decent cable may cost as little as a store bought cable so it’s an investment that pays off very quickly. You can’t use a straight cable because you intend on hooking two Ethernet cards together instead of into a shared router.

The next part confused me for a second. At first I thought I’d have to turn on Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) and jump through some hoops. But it turns out ICS is only used if your providing routing for the entire network. To share the connection between our two computers all you have to do is highlight the working wireless connection and the working Ethernet adapter with your crossover cable connecting them. Then choose Bridge Connections. After a bit everything should authenticate and both computer will have Internet connectivity.

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