WiFi Ad-Hoc Networking is a popular method to share internet connection between computers (pc or laptop) or between a computer and a smartphone that has built in WiFi. Unfortunately, this method of networking is not supported by Android since it was released until the time of this writting. One of the popular method to enable ad hoc mode on Android devices is by changing a WiFi configuration file located on /system/etc directory called tiwlan.ini. But this method is specific to phone’s WiFi chipset and you need root access to change the file. The tiwlan.ini is a configuration file for Texas Instruments WiFi chipset (e.g HTC dream) so you will not find it on Samsung Spica that use Broadcom WiFi chipset.
Another alternative method is by using a software based virtual access point that using Windows 7’s Wireless Hosted Network technology. This method only runs on Windows 7 and hardware specific. Currently i found two best virtual access point softwares, Virtual Router and Connectify. They both operate in the same maner and very easy to use. I have tested both of them to share internet connection from my PC that used Sierra Wireless USBConnect 881 modem for internet access and an external TP-Link TL-WN31G Wireless USB adapter with my Samsung Spica.
Here is the guide on how to use virtual router and connectify
On Windows 7 Box:
- Click start button to start sharing
- On your Wireless Connection Status, click Details to get the network connection information, note the IPV4 Address
On Android Device
- Go to Settings -> Wireless & networks -> Wi-Fi Settings
- Open Advance settings menu
- Tick the Use static IP option
- Enter your desired IP address (ex: 192.168.2.2) into Ip Address field
- Enter your IPV4 Address (ex. 192.168.2.1) into Gateway field
- Enter 255.255.255.0 into Netmask field
- Enter your internet connection’s DNS server (use ipconfig /all command to get DNS info) into DNS 1 and DNS 2. As an alternative, you can use Google Public DNS: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
- Connect to Wi-Fi using your password
- Disable and Enable Wi-Fi (in case if it won’t connect)
- Check the connection using browser or other application.
Latest version of Connectify uses dhcp so it is unnecessary to use static ip on Android.
If you have trouble while using Virtual Router or Connectify, please check if your wifi card is supported or read the documentation or disccussion on their support page.
If you can’t connect to internet though the client already connected to the hotspot (connectify or virt.router), these are the possible solutions:
- Try to disable antivirus or firewall
- Try to stop and start the hotspot
- Try to kill the hotspot process using task manager and restart the hotspot
- Try to disable and enable wifi on Android
- Check if your wifi card supported by the hotspot (check the reference sites above)