Creating a personal hotspot in the van

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Old Soldier, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Morning all.
    I'm trying to solve a simple problem using an old Windows XP laptop as a portable hotspot. The aim is to boost the weak incoming WiFi signal from a campsite (or wherever) in order to connect my Android tablet to the internet. Now before I get bombarded with suggestions that I should fork out £150 on an Iboost system I just need to say I'm on a tight budget after forking out on Les's anty ageing creams and anyway, I have the old laptop and a TP-Link hi gain USB booster and feel it should be possible. (Booster does not connect to tablet as no USB connection). I think I have created an adhoc hotspot on the laptop but it does not show up on my tablet's list of WiFi connections. I'm wondering if it is because the laptop is receiving a WiFi signal itself (instead of a LAN connection) and therefore there is a conflict of WiFi signals?
    Is there a computer buff out there who can help please?
    Many thanks. Pete
     
  2. phil1946

    phil1946 Funster

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    Not an expert but we use Connectify (www.connectify.me/) on the laptop to achieve the same, boosted, result and it seems to work well. It also has the advantage that one connection to the site allows several connections in the TREK.
     
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  3. Detnor

    Detnor Funster

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    I've used Connectify as well and it worked for us. One point, I had to get an older version of the software as like you, I wanted to use an XP system, I don't know how the latest versions work with XP (if at all).
     
  4. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi Phil. Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it out but unfortunately Windows XP ( or Vista) is no longer supported for Connectify. If it works as you say I could upgrade to windows 7 or 8 but would rather not spend the dosh if there is an alternative solution. Now I have the Tablet I rarely use the old laptop. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    Regards. Pete
     
  5. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi Detnor. Yes, just found that out. Do you know where you can get an older version? the main site does not show it. Thanks. Pete
     
  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Y9u can pick up a later windows cheap enough.

    Ah, you've already thought of this.
     
  7. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi Brian. Thanks, I may well end up upgrading if I can't find an answer. Just spent half an hour surfing for older versions of the connectify software and each time I have downloaded a version that has claimed to run on XP I find it has been upgraded so does not install.. The annoying thing is that I feel I should be able to create this hotspot and either I'm doing something wrong or it just does not work using an original WiFi connection on the laptop. Of course, had the Tablet got a USB connection I imagine I could have used the TP-Link and downloaded the software directly to the tablet.
    Thanks again. Pete
     
  8. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Can you not do it via a phone?
    Laptop too bulky & too power hungry for me
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I went Good Old XP to W7 last year and cursed and cursed and cursed. Because of clampdown in security that which was easy under XP is and &^%%$$£ nightmare under W7.

    I think there is an elegant cheap way but needs much techie, the Raspberry Pi computer, £30, is capable but it runs Linux and so needs some commitment. I have already spotted WiFi hotspot where a wire connects to the internet and a WiFi dongle turns it into a hot spot. Now that is so close, if your high gain WiFi would take the place of the cable it would be exactly what you want.

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=40906
     
  10. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi Brian. I know what you mean about changing from XP, one of the reasons why I'm reluctant to change. If I connect my XP laptop using a LAN connection I can create a hotspot that the tablet can connect to, the issue is having a WiFi connection in the first place, which of course is what I need. I don't mind spending the pennies when I have to, it just means Les has to go back to using a mudpack!!
    Thanks anyway.
    Pete
     
  11. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Don't know why more have not suggested this , or the dongle we all had from tesco before Christmas
     
  12. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi Chaser and Jay. Thanks for your inputs.
    Yes I can pair my smartphone to the tablet or I could get a sim card for the tablet but at the moment neither would be 4G as neither is compatable. I always have the old laptop with me as I use Memory Map on it to track and store all the routes that I have done in Elle, so I just felt I should be able to make use of it and the TP-Link booster to provide a better WiFi signal to the Tablet.
    Thanks again. Pete
     
  13. Wissel

    Wissel Read Only Funster

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    Not sure is your XP laptop already has WiFi on board? If it doesn't you would need a second adapter (one to receive the WiFi signal and one to broadcast it).
    An easier, and not to expensive, option might be an Alfa R36.

    Not sure if it is compatible with your TP Link WiFi antenna, but if it is you just plug it into the R36 and you have your hotspot (easy to set-up).

    I use this.
     
  14. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi Wissel.
    Yes, laptop has WiFi, but I will have a look at the Alfa R36 option. Thanks.
     
  15. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Nope you can only create a hot spot on a phone when using a data connection, it relays the data via wifi, if you turn on the hot spot when you have a wifi connection it drops the connection.

    I use an Alpa R36 USB Router, plug my long range USB aerial into it and once set up just like a wifi router at home, they are about £50.
     
  16. Addie

    Addie Trader - Motorhome Wifi

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    The problem with the R36 is there are two different firmware versions for different USB antenna chipsets and I'm not sure what TP Link use in their USB devices - it used to be Atheros and if so won't work with either version of the R36.

    All that connectify is doing on Windows XP is configuring for you automatically the settings that are already there. Windows XP already has the ability to share a connection built in - its called ICS / Internet Connection Sharing.

    Something like this - except for instead of selecting the LAN connection as in this video, you will start by selecting the WiFi adapter you see pop up when you connect your USB TP-Link antenna.



    However, some tablets don't 'see' Ad-Hoc connections and there isn't much getting around that with XP. There are some applications that claim to enable Ad-Hoc on android - use at your own risk.

    It's a bit like putting a square peg in a round hole with the two devices you're trying to connect together - hit it with a hammer and you might get it through, but you might break something at the same time!
     
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  17. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    This article suggests you can both create a wifi hotspot while usinbg wifi to access the internet. There is a link to download something on the page, but you should ignore this. http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/7785.aspx

    I see Addie has beaten me to it, but the article explains how to set up an ad hoc network - if your system will play along.

    This explains, with a health warning, how you might connect an Android device to an ad hoc network: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/google-android/3372947/connect-android-phone-ad-hoc-network/
     
  18. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi Addie and DBK. Thanks for the replies, that gives Mr a couple of other avenues to try out. I will let you all know how I get on, good or bad!
    Cheers. Pete
     
  19. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    All I will say is, whatever you have, some sites block them !
    We know because on the site we spend winter has blocked our iboost last year and our laptop because we used Connectify Pro this year, it does not always work in your favour. o_O:sick: Bob.
     
  20. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Thanks for the warning.
    I wonder if this is a one off or has anyone else had a problem? Bob, where were you staying?
    Regards Pete
     
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