Turn Your Vista Notebook Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

One thing you should know about me: I'm no fan of Windows Vista. Some things about it just annoy me to death, like the unnecessary overhaul of certain interface elements. That said, Vista has a few features I positively love, starting with connection sharing. In other words, you can turn your Internet-connected notebook into a Wi-Fi hotspot for others to share.

This can come in mighty handy if you're the only one in your group with, say, a wireless modem or wired Ethernet connection. Here's how to set it up:

1. Click Start, Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center .

2. Click Set up a connection or network.

3. Click Set up a wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network, and then click Next.

4. Enter a name for your network, choose a security type (WEP is probably fine, given that you're sharing your network with people you know), and then enter a security key.

5. Check the Save this network box, then click Next.

6. If you see a box marked Turn on Internet Connection Sharing, go ahead and click it.

That's it! Now you should be able to share your connectivity with other users within about a 30-foot range.

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