Sharing Your Wi-Fi Hotspot Connection

ASK JIWIRE Sharing Your Wi-Fi Hotspot Connection

Ask JiWire: When I'm at a hotel, can I share my Wi-Fi connection with my spouse's computer without paying extra?

Answer: Both PCs and Macs allow you to share Internet connections with other computers. The trick is via what network interface. If you're using Wi-Fi for the hotel connection, you'll need to use Ethernet to connect the second PC, which may require a special crossover cable. It's probably easier the other way around, if your hotel room has an Ethernet jack. Then other computers can connect to yours via Wi-Fi. Practically Networked has instructions for setting this up on Windows XP. On the Mac, connection sharing is easily configured from the Sharing Preference pane, under the Internet tab. You can even share Internet connections coming in over Bluetooth or your PC Card modem, although only out to Ethernet, FireWire or Wi-Fi.

If you travel frequently together, however, you may want to invest in a Wi-Fi travel router, which makes connections much simpler. Our favorites are the Linksys WRT54GS and Apple AirPort Express; both are covered in our Travel Router Buyer's Guide.

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