Turn Any Laptop Into A Money-Saving Wi-Fi Hotspot For Your Hotel Room

These days, everyone travels with two or more internet-connected devices (eg, your laptop and your phone), but many hotels still require you to pay exorbitant daily charges for each connection. Luckily, you can rectify this injustice by using your laptop as a turnkey wireless access point.

Image: Sercasey

I've been travelling a lot recently, and I quickly got sick of paying an extra $US15 per day to get my iPad or phone online. Luckily, as long as your room comes with an ethernet port, you should be able to use your laptop's wireless card to beam, rather than receive, an internet signal. This trick works like a charm, is incredibly simple to set up, and even saved me a few hundred dollars over the course of a few trips. To get you started, we've previously covered how to use your laptop as a wireless hotspot on Windows and OS X.

To get up and running, plug your laptop into the hotel-provided ethernet port and follow whatever steps your hotel requires to get online. Then follow the above-linked instructions to set up internet sharing, and don't forget to create a WPA key. In no time, you'll have a private Wi-Fi hotspot for all of your phones, tablets, and family members' laptops, all for the price of one connection.


    Or grab a cheap extra WiFi dongle then it's basically the same process ... I've found few hotels have ethernet ports. Plus hotels that have a weak signal only the laptop will pick up, you can effectively boost it for you phone.

    My laptop runs Linux. Where's my solution? I thought this article was about how to turn *any* laptop into a wifi hotspot!

      "any" laptop, yes, an operating system is not a laptop.

      You could easily install a windows, or mac OS, and it would still be the same laptop. However, I would also like to see a linux set of guides.

      If you're using Network Manager (which most modern desktop distributions do use), open your network settings, select the wireless interface, hit the "Use as Hotspot..." button. Then hit the Options... button to set SSID and WPA password.

    or just download connectify

    I found that while most hotels offered Ethernet, their wifi was unsecured and poor in signal.
    So I picked up a TPLink TL-MR3020 when I was in Singapore that was perfect for sharing my Ethernet connection over wifi. I didn't bring a laptop with me - so this was perfect for getting my tablet and both my wife and my phone online with perfect signal and fully encrypted. This model also takes a 3G usb dongle too if you wish to share it - and only cost me $49 Singapore dollars (about $38 AUD). It's smaller than a pack of playing cards, weighs next to nothing and just powers off a mini usb port so you can use your phone charger to power it - perfect for the busy traveller!

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