I ran into a couple situations a few days ago where I needed to be able to share my computer’s Internet connection with my other devices. The hostel where I’m currently staying does not have Wi-Fi. They have a wired connection so I can still get Internet by plugging in the cable to my netbook’s RJ45 port. However, my Android phone/tablet and Kindle don’t have such a port.
I wanted to be able to share my Internet connection with my Android phone so I can use it to browse the web while lying in a hammock. I also wanted to share the connection with my Kindle so I can download some new e-books.
Fortunately, there’s a software called Connectify that makes this very easy to do. The best part is it’s free!
Setting it up is very simple. You simply enter the SSID, set a password, select the network device that’s connected to the Internet (in my case it’s the TIGO USB modem), and the network adapter to broadcast the signal (usually your wireless card). Hit “Start Hotspot” and it will automatically create a pre-configured virtual network adapter for you and you’re good to go!
This is very useful if you’re paying for Internet connection by the hour as well. For example, while at the airport. Maybe you can find someone who needs Internet as well and instead of each of you paying $5 an hour to use the Internet, you can share it with the other person and split the cost :).
There is one thing though that I wish it had: proxy configuration. Since I’m currently in Guatemala, I can’t listen to Pandora as it checks your computer’s IP address to see if it’s outside the US and won’t work if it is. The way around this is to use a proxy server located in the US. I have a Rackspace server in the US and I normally SSH tunnel to it and set my browser’s proxy setting to use the tunnel so Pandora thinks I’m located in the US and does its thing.
I like to be able to listen to Pandora on my Android phone. While there are applications out there that would let you configure your Android to use a proxy, it would be a lot easier if Connectify just allows you to configure it within their software. This way you configure it just once on one device and the other devices connecting to it would be all set.