Imagine you need to share some files with a friend or with a colleague while in a meeting and do not have any network means to connect to! You can set up a temporary wireless network between two or more computers running Windows 7 or Vista assuming that both computers are equipped with a wireless interface and are within 9 meters of each other. An ad hoc wireless network is quickly set up as you can see from the following steps:
On one of the computers (all modern Laptops are equipped with inbuilt wireless capabilities) which we can call Laptop A, make sure that wireless adapter is switched on while from Network and Sharing Center click Set up a new connection or network:
- Select the option Set up a wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network and click Next – you may need to scroll down to view this option
- Click Next to the introductory window
- In the Set Up an Ad Hoc Network window, specify a Network name and a Security key while you can leave the default option for Security Type – since this is a quick temporary network you can opt for WEP which requires a simpler security key! Click Next
- In Network and Sharing Center, click Connect to a Network and the newly set network should display the message Waiting for users
- From laptop A now you can share a folder by right clicking it and selecting Properties. From the Sharing tab, click Advanced Sharing and share a folder – Give the Everyone group read permission
- Finally, other wireless-enabled devices or computes should be able to see the newly created ad hoc network in their Wi-Fi connections and join by using the details and security key of step 3 above- Ad hoc networks use IPv6 and do not require IPv4 connectivity.
Ad Hoc networks can be useful where one laptop running tethering software can provide Internet services to other laptops and wireless-enabled devices through ICS. For more info about ICS go here.