An alternative to installing a wireless access point for your home network is to set up a peer-to-peer ad hoc network. An ad hoc network provides basic wireless connectivity between two or more computers within 30 feet of each other. (Peer-to-peer refers to a network consisting of multiple desktop and laptop PCs, but no servers such as in a client-server network.)

As the price of wireless access points has dropped, so too has the popularity of ad hoc networks. However, there are situations where an ad hoc network provides all the wireless connectivity you need. For example, you may need to exchange files with a business associate at the airport (and don’t have a USB thumb drive handy), or you may have a desktop PC connected directly to the Internet and want to share its Internet connection with your laptop.


Open the Windows Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet.

The Network and Internet window appears.


Click Network and Sharing Center.

The Network and Sharing Center window appears.


Click Set up a New Connection or Network.

The Set Up a Connection or Network dialog box appears.


Scroll to the bottom of the menu options, select Set Up a Wireless Ad Hoc (Computer-to-Computer) Network, and click Next.

The Set Up an Ad Hoc Network dialog box appears.


Click Next.

The Set Up an Ad Hoc Network dialog box now prompts you to enter a network name, security type, and security key.


Enter a network name, choose a security type, enter a security key, and then click Next.

The default security type is WPA2-Personal. The security key is case-sensitive and 8-63 alphanumeric characters. You can optionally select the check boxes to hide characters for your security key and save this network for future use.


Next, your ad hoc network is created.

Your ad hoc network is ready! A confirmation page shows your ad hoc network settings.