Enable laptops to tether (become Wifi AP) using softwares

I have a LAN point only in a reading room (that enables my laptop to
connect to Internet).

Is there any way that I can make this laptop an AP (without buying
extra devices, ie no AP router etc) to make this laptop a Wifi AP so
that other PCs/laptops/phones could connect to it to access Internet?

I could consider TPLink's device below but the piece I just got online
(from China) could not even be detected by Windows but I need to
get this thing up quickly:

The laptops I have are X230t and X61 with wireless modules  built into
them so I'm wondering if there's softwares to make the laptops to have
wifi 'tethering' function.

Let me know also if I need to configure the laptops windows to make it
 a router (by adding persistent routes) using
  'route add -p ... '
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

How exactly are the laptops connecting to the internet?

The one of the simplest solutions might be Internet Connection Sharing (there's a feature I haven't used in years).

If you go to Network Connections, right click on the connection you want to share, and choose Properties.
On the window that pops up, you should have a tab that says Sharing.
Check the "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection" option.

However, if I remember correctly, you have to make use of two network adapters. Basically, if you're connecting to the internet via wifi, then you'd need a second wireless adapter. If the laptop is getting the internet connection via Ethernet (or other device like a WWAN card), then you'd be good to go.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Internet Connection Sharing (suggested above) may expose your machine to intruders and I do not use it either. You could make a very strong password.

The T-Link device you posted is just a Wi-Fi adapter, so it will not help.

Better to get a small device that can work as an Access Point for all the computers. But that requires configuration.

Cheap and dirty - try Internet Connection Sharing with a very strong password.
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
> How exactly are the laptops connecting to the internet?
The reading room's LAN port is connected to a broadband router
somewhere & I don't have to go through any proxy ie direct access
from browser without setting anything in browser.

>have to make use of two network adapters
Yes, laptop has a LAN adapter (for wired) & one Wifi adapter

>On the window that pops up, you should have a tab that says Sharing
Saw 'Sharing' tab in Win 7 for the Wifi adapter I wanted to share;  but
can't locate this tab in Win XP.
Ok, in the Win 7 laptop, I've checked
  "Allow other network users to connect thru this comp's Internet cnx"
with "Home netwkg cnx" set to 'Wireless Netwk Cnx"  &
  "Allow oth netwk users to ctrldisable the shared Internet cnx"

but from my phone or the other laptop's Wifi, can't see this shared

Under "Using ICS", I've checked  Http & Https
Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think you must be hooked up with Wi-Fi for wireless Internet Connection Sharing to work.

You may need to get a small, and inexpensive, personal router that you can connect to the LAN in the room.

Otherwise get a WAN wireless USB stick (I use HUAWEI) and it can be a hotspot for up to about 5 users. Works great. But it is not free.
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Attached is how my screen (on the Win 7 laptop) looks like:
I've also tweaked to share out another Wifi adapter:
I actually have 2 Wifi adapters plus one wired LAN adapter
on this laptop.

I'm still hoping if someone can test it out on his laptop that
has one wired LAN & one Wifi adapter (without getting anything
extra) to see if this "Sharing" thingy works.

Can John provide a link of the Huawei device?  How much does
it cost?  It's my last resort.

I have another device in mind but it's costly at USD37:
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Internet Connection Sharing is for the Network device with Internet. You cannot (so far as I know) share Wired LAN Internet out the Wi-Fi NIC.  

HUAWEI stick is from your ISP and there is a purchase cost plus running cost. You need to ask your ISP because they will service it.

I have not used the device at Amazon you have pointed to but that might work. The concept is correct but I cannot vouch for the device.
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
I still think the TPLink device below is a solution, just that
the piece that I got is faulty ie not even detectable by laptops'
There's a line in the above link that says:
  SoftAP Mode
  Turn a wired internet connection to a PC or Laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
>Internet Connection Sharing is for the Network device with Internet. You cannot (so far
> as I know) share Wired LAN Internet out the Wi-Fi NIC.  
So what does ICS share out actually?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
All you can do is try because you are seeing that you need third party gadgets to make a Wi-Fi hotspot on a PC with a LAN connection.

Natively is does not work, so you must try the gadgets.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
ICS shares out the Wi-Fi from the Wireless card in the computer
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
>I think you must be hooked up with Wi-Fi for wireless Internet Connection Sharing to work.
I've also tried the above: my Wifi adapter is hooked up to a Wifi but don't see the 'shared out' SSID.

> ICS shares out the Wi-Fi from the Wireless card in the computer
By the above description, I'm not seeing what ICS is sharing out so
far ie I can't even see any SSID being shared out.   Still missing
something on ICS.

I certainly will go for gadgets but it's going to take time for me to
buy one.  Am hoping something native within Windows will get
me going first.

I'll look into item below much later (when my bro flies to USA) as
my home broadband TV device (which doesn't run Windows) can
possibly be shared out as Wifi so that family members can watch
movies/TV from their bedrooms :
Peter SidorSystem Support EngineerCommented:
You can try something like Virtual Router:

Using Virtual Router, you can wirelessly share any internet connection (Wifi, LAN, Cable Modem, Dial-up, Cellular, etc.)

Or similar application Virtual WiFi Router:

Maybe it's not a permanent solution for you but you can try. It's free.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
In Win XP, there's no "Sharing" tab & found it under "Advanced" tab:
refer to attached.

However, after using ICS to share out, don't see any new SSID being
broadcast or is it the very same xxOnly SSID that my Wifi adapter is
connected to that's being shared out??
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Just noticed Peter's reply:

The above zip file when downloaded (virtualrouter.zip) does not contain
any .exe or .msi : all .json files,  looks like it's for Linux?

Hunting for others but let me know in meantime if you've got a tool that
you've tested working on Windows (Win 7 & Win XP0
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
"Wifi for PC" can't be downloaded;

"Deal Wifi" from url below gave an error "not a valid Win32 app" when I tried to install
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Got the "Connectify Lite" working by sharing out my home's Wifi:
I'm going to the reading room to connect to LAN & test it out this evening
before closing this thread.  Just that the Lite version kept prompting to
upgrade to the Pro version.

MyPublicWifi is all in German : can't see the SSID that's shared out,
possibly Connectify-Lite overwrites MyPublicWifi.
Peter SidorSystem Support EngineerCommented:
Sorry, link to CodePlex is not what I wanted to send, this one should work:

It's working with W7. I was using it for a while but currently, I don't have the option to test it on XP.
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Yes, got that Virtual Router downloaded & it works for Win 7, but not for Win XP.

Link below indicates it has Connectify for Win XP but it doesn't work too:

Got the older versions 8 & 9 of Connectify below & both says they need Win 7 or
newer & launched browser that says Win XP not supported:
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Nothing much is going to work with XP except possibly some third party hardware. You need to get off XP
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Ok the following 2 works on my Win XP:

https://www.free-wifi-hotspot.com/  <== by a company called Rui Qing
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Wireless Networking

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.