Sharing wireless internet in your hotel via a router

Posted by Martijn on 09/06/2011 in Articles in English, Blog, Computers en Internet |

This is a draft version. It has not been editted for spelling or grammar. I just need to write all this down while I still have it in my head, so I can get some sleep.

So, you’re in a hotel. You’ve got your iPhone, your iPad, maybe some other gizmo and ofcourse your laptop. What you want is Internet Connectivity.

Sadly, the hotel offers wi-fi only. There is a wireless network without password protection. If you connect, all you see is a portal. Pay a fee and presto, you’re online with that device.

Too bad you will have to pay AGAIN for your other devices, eh? After all, the internet access is now linked to your laptops MAC-address. It can surf the web, but your other stuff can’t.

Now if the hotel had WIRED internet you’d be laughing. You’d connect your laptop to it, start a new wireless network via Airport and hey presto, wifi for everybody (who has the password of your impromptu network, that is). THAT variation has been very well documented on all the other pages you’ve found. (Or here.)

But in this case the hotel DOESN’T have a wired network connection. Most don’t, these days. Now you’re screwed: the wireless router can’t connect TO a wireless network, it can only RUN one. For internet access, it needs to be wired to something.

You have a laptop. It has Internet Sharing. I hope to God you had the good sense to get a Macbook because if you’re on Windows, you are in for a world of pain. Also, I won’t be writing about your situation, though in theory the same applies.

Here’s what you do:

1. Fire up the Macbook. Connect to the portal. Pay up.

2. Start the router. Connect it to your Ethernet port with a cable and use DHCP to get a connection, so you can change the settings. (You did write down the username/password on the damned thing in marker, didn’t you?) If you don’t know the router IP, try or look it up: it’s TELLING you its IP in the settings, under ‘router’.

Make it run a local network, preferably on the 10.0.0.x range (subnet, don’t forget to select a network ssid and set a password) and set it to get its internet connection via DHCP. Now I hope you did this right because it’s time to disconnect. Restart it first, just to make sure. (Note: you could be doing this via one of your wireless thingemabobs, perhaps.)

3. Now configure the ETHERNET connection (not the Airport connection, you need that to GET internet from the hotel) manually (‘handmatig’ in Dutch) as follows:

illustration of wifi settings

You’ll note that I’m using as the ‘router’. Substitute this for the local IP you have from the hotel wifi, which is your Airport-IP. DNS is actually a free DNS-service by Google. You shouldn’t need it, I’m using it anyway. In fact, I’m terrified to change anything after I’ve been figuring this out for two days.

Got that? Now go to Sharing and set up Internet Sharing as follows:

Illustration of internet sharing settings

So share internet via Airport TO ethernet. Make sure it RUNS. Disable firewalls, I hear those get in the way.

Now, plug in your cable in your Ethernetsocket and then connect it to your router. The thing is, DO NOT connect it to the outgoing ports. To clarify: if you have a router with 4 ports, it will have 5 connectors. One is for connecting the router to the internet (usually via a modem), that’s the one we want now. (When you were configuring the damned thing, you were using one of the other ports.)

If all is well, your Macbook, via the magic of Internet Sharing, will now give your router all the info it needs via DHCP. Any wireless devices that connect to your local network (the 10.0.0.* one, remember) should now be able to access the web.

So in summary:

– DHCP does all the work, except for setting the Ethernet details on your Macbook

– Apple’s internet sharing uses the 192.168.2.* range. I hear it’s different in Lion. You can test what it is at home, by setting up Internet Sharing via Airport first to see what happens. (Also, I’d set all this up at home if I were you.)

– Change the cable to a different socket on your router once you’ve configured it. (You may be able to keep an eye on the router via one of your mobile devices once you have local wifi up and running.)

– Your laptop will need to run all the time to provide connectivity.

– Internet now runs from the hotel wifi to your laptop (via airport), then via ethernet (cable on your laptop) to the router and then from the router via wifi to your devices.

– You will not be able to connect to your laptop from your wireless devices, because they are on different local networks. Your iPad will be, say and your laptop is, remember? So no go. Hey, nothing is perfect.

There are about 250.000 things that can and will go wrong here. And that’s if you’re on a MAC. It could be worse, you could be on Windows trying to get Internet Connection Sharing to work. Good look with that, sucka. See this site: http://www.martijnwarnas.nl/switch2mac okay?

1 Comment

  • jim schreef:

    Windows 10 — makes this ridicuosly easy.
    Connect to hotel wifi.
    Pick setings.
    Pick network.
    Pick WiFi Hotspot.
    Switch it On.
    Configure user id and password.
    You now have a wifi network accesable to all your devices.

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