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Strictly speaking, if you have Windows 7 and/or 8 on one PC connected to the internet by ethernet cable to the broadband modem, and a Wireless device, e.g. an expansion card or USB wireless adapter on that same PC, it can be configured to act as an access point (or hotspot) for all your other wireless enabled devices, without any further additional hardware or software.
Most Atheros and Broadcom-based adapters support this use.
From a cmd prompt as administrator, issue the following command:
You should see:
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=HomeWIFI key=MyWPAkey
and then run this command:
The hosted network mode has been set to allow.
The SSID of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
The user key passphrase of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
You should then see:
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
Then share the connection from:
The hosted network started:
Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Centre > Change Adapter Settings, right-click your internet connection and select Properties, click the Sharing tab, check "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection", and then choose your Microsoft Hosted Virtual Wi-Fi adapter with the name HomeWIFI from available wireless networks on the machines you wish to connect.
Other wireless equipped devices in range then will see HomeWIFI which will ask for the Passphrase (change the example MyWPAkey to something strong and memorable)
To stop broadcasting, issue the command:
and uncheck the sharing tab box.
netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
If you feel that you need more security, you should invest in a router with firewall and other security features.