How to Guides

Getting Connected: How to Share a VPN Connection in Windows

Internet security is at a premium today. Corporations and individuals are scrambling to find the best and most efficient ways to keep their data safe while surfing the net or working online. Using a VPN (virtual private network) is one way to surf or work securely and privately. This how-to guide will show you how to share a VPN connection in Windows and with other devices like Apple TV, PS3 and Xbox by using your Windows laptop or desktop.


What is a VPN connection?

By now you should have a solid grasp of what a VPN connection is, but just in case you need a little refresher course, here it is. A VPN connection is a private network connection that is established using a point-to-point connection either through tunneling protocols, dedicated connection or traffic encryptions. A VPN ensures that not only is your IP address location hidden and seemingly not from your country of origin, but also a VPN encrypts your data and information, scrambling it so that it cannot be obtained or hacked into. A VPN allows your total anonymity online.

Related article: Into the Looking glass: A Peek at the Top 5 VPN Service Providers

Share a VPN connection in Windows

Once you have established an account with a reputable VPN service provider and set up VPN in Windows 7, you may wish to share VPN with more than one device. Some VPN providers will allow you to connect one or two other devices on one account. Any more than that and you are required to establish another account for every other device you wish to connect. This can get quite costly. But there is a way around this. If you have a PC running Windows 7, have no fear. Here is a step by step to share a VPN connection in Windows 7:

  1. Click START.
  2. In the search box at the bottom, type in “cmd” and hit enter.
  3. You will see under Programs (1) the command prompt icon and cmd. Right click on cmd and select “Run as administrator”.
  4. If you have to use a password, then type that in otherwise you may be asked if you want to “allow the following program to make changes to your computer” in which case you select “yes”
  5. The Command Prompt window will pop up. Next to the command prompt type “netsh wlan show drivers”.
  6. Scroll up/down to “Hosted Network Supported” and check of ‘Yes’ is next to it. If it says ‘No’ then, you will have to install the drivers.
  7. In the next command prompt, type “netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=test key=password”.
  8. In the next command prompt, type” netsh wlan start hostednetwork”. It should look like this if your Wi-Fi drivers are up to date.

The next step would be to ensure that the hosted network is shared on public Wi-Fi.

  1. Click the Wi-Fi signal icon in the system tray
  2. Click Open Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click “Change adapter settings”
  4. Click the VPN connection that you created and then right click the icon, pull up “properties”
  5. In the properties page, select the “sharing” tab and check “Allow other network users to…connection” option.
  6. While still on the sharing tab, under the Home Network Connection heading, in the drop down menu, select the connection either Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter’/’Virtual AP’ or maybe ‘Wireless Network Connection 2’.
  7. Then check “Allow Other Network User to…connection” option at bottom of the properties page.
  8. Click OK and, voila! You’re done finished. You have now set up your Windows 7 PC/laptop to be a VPN Wi-Fi router! Check the connectivity by having another device discover the VON connection and connect to it.

Note: When you restart your computer, the VPN connection will be disabled by default. To enable it again open the command prompt up and type in “netsh wlan start hostednetwork”. Hit enter, and your connection is re-established.

There is no reason to purchase more than one account for all of your devices when you set up a VPN. By using these simple steps, you can turn your Windows 7 laptop or computer into VPN Router for all of your devices to share VPN connection.

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