Share Your Wireless Network With Guests - Page 2

By Eric Geier

April 21, 2011

If you don't want them to be able to view or edit your files, you should first check to make sure you aren't sharing folders on any of your computers, or sharing only those you want to. See the last section to verify your shared folders and then you can continue here.

Now you can give them your security key or passphrase and they can enter it when connecting. If they see multiple wireless networks and you forget the name of yours, simply go to one of your computers that is connected and hover over the network icon in the bottom right corner of Windows.

If you don't remember the security key or passphrase and don't have it written down, don't worry, there are many ways to get around it or look it up:

First, check to see if both your router and their wireless laptop or mobile device supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). You may be able to find a WPS button somewhere on your router. If you find it, check their device to see if there's a button or WPS feature in their software. If they're using Windows 7 on a laptop, it has WPS support built-in. If both have it, press the router's button and press the device's button or try to connect. WPS should then automatically configure the laptop or device with the security settings.

If you have a Windows Vista or 7 computer that uses the Wi-Fi, you can open up the network properties to see it. Right-click on the network icon in the lower right corner of Windows, open the Network and Sharing Center.

If you only have a Windows XP computer that uses the Wi-Fi, you can download and use a program called WirelessKeyView. It shows you all the keys/passphrases stored by Windows.

If you haven't ever used your Wi-Fi, you can still view and/or change the security key or passphrase by logging onto the router's control panel. If you have a manual or quick start guide, refer to it. Otherwise, you can look up the router's IP address and enter it into your web browser. You can find the router's IP by opening the network connection details in Windows; it's the default gateway.

Use Connectify in Windows 7

If you rather not give guests your security key or passphrase, you can use the Wireless Hosted Network feature of Windows 7 to create a virtual wireless router. It broadcasts another Wi-Fi signal with a different name and security key or passphrase.

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