Friday, September 17, 2010

Solution to Android's Ad-Hoc WiFi issue

I own a Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini(Also known as E10i). It runs Android OS 1.6 Donut. Android doesn't let you connect your phone to an ad-hoc(i.e. computer to computer) WiFi network for browsing internet. Only infrastructure networks are supported. So, if you have a wired internet connection in your laptop or desktop PC, you can't share that to your Android phone through WiFi. You need to purchase a WiFi router/access point to do so. But now, you can do that at absolutely no cost!!! Without purchasing any hardware!!!! Read on...

Today I came across a freeware application for Windows 7, that turns your Windows 7 computer into a WiFi Access Point!!!! It emulates a WiFi router through Software!!!! And my problem is solved!!!! Now I can share my laptop's wired internet connection to my Android phone. Here is a 2-step guide to setting up everything.

Step 1
Download the application Connectify from here and install it. It will prompt you to install a driver, twice. Press Ok, for each prompt.

Step 2
After the installation, you'll see an icon in the system tray which looks like . Click the icon. You'll see a pop up dialog as shown below.
Turn on your laptop's WiFi card if your laptop has a dedicated button to turn it on. Then fill the WiFi Name as anything you like. I filled it MAX. Check the box that says Share Internet. Then in the Mode drop down list, select Access Point, WPA2-PSK. Oh wait!!! Do you see only Ad-hoc open and Ad-hoc WEP? If you see Access Point, WPA2-PSK or you don't see a drop down list at all, means you're lucky. Just click Start Hotspot button, and you're done! For those who aren't lucky, just like me, read on...
What happened to me was that I didn't see the Access Point mode. I thought, my WiFi card doesn't support Access Point mode. I went to the supported card's list at http://connectify.me/docs/supportedcards.html and I could see my card Intel 5100/5300, WiFi Link 1000 BGN listed there. "Then what's the catch?", thought the frustrated me! I noted that the driver version supported was 13.0.0.107. I checked my card's driver version in Device Manager and saw that it was 11.x.x.x. I went to my laptop's manufacturer support site and saw that the latest WiFi driver for my machine was available and it was 13.0.0.107. I also noticed that all other components(like Chipset, Audio, Graphics, Ethernet card etc...) had updated drivers for them. I Downed 'em all and installed.(What's the morale??? Always keep your drivers updated.)
After the re-boot, I could see a Virtual WiFi MiniPort adaptor installed in Network Connections with the name Wireless Network Connection 2.


Then I launched connectify, I didn't see any drop down list in the mode box(screenshot. below). I entered a 8-character WPA2 key and clicked the Start Hotspot button.


It took a while(about 15-20 seconds) to configure and my WiFi hotspot was up and running! My Connectify popup was now with the Status: Running MAX, Mode: Access Point WPA2-PSK. I was a happy man! I turned on my phone's WiFi and connected my phone to MAX easily. I saw my phone's MAC and IP addresses in the Connected Clients list. Even a Sony Ericsson logo was shown there!!!
Using DHCP my phone was assigned the IP address 192.168.2.10. The computer's Software based WiFi router was assigned the IP address as 192.168.2.1. In the system tray, the red mark from Connectify icon was now removed and it was like this


Troubleshooting
Everything was up and runing, still I couldn't browse the web. In he phone, I checked the gateway address and it was fine i.e. 192.168.2.1, that I had already cnfigured in WiFi static.
I went to Network Connections, in my laptop. That can be reached through Network and Sharing Center > Change Adaptor Settings. I right clicked my wired ethernet icon and clicked properties. In the sharing tab Wireless Network Connection was listed as the Home Netowrking Connection. I understood that it must be set to Wireless Network Connection 2 which was the name of the connection that WiFi Miniport Adaptor had. I unchecked the box that said Allow other network users to connect through..... then clicked Ok, and closed the properties window. Then again right clicked my wired internet connection icon, clicked properties and in the Sharing tab checked the box Allow other.... In the Home Networking dropdown I selected Wireless Networking Cnnection 2 and clicked Ok and closed the properties window.

I restarted the hotspot and my phone got connected and I could successfully browse the web on my phone!!!
One of the major issues with the phone that I had pointed in one of my previous posts i.e. http://p97.blogspot.com/2010/08/sony-ericsson-xperia-x10-mini.html , has been solved!!! Go Android go!!!

5 comments:

Baskar said...

thanks for the post. I too have proxy to browse internet at hostel here.. the ip address we use is 192.168.4.*** Now how do i connect thro connectify..? it says the ip will be changed to 192.168.2.1 if i want to use internet thro wifi.. can u help me out

Prab said...

The adapter whose IP will be changed to 192.168.2.1 is different than the adapter you are using for internet access.
I presume you are using LAN cable to connect to internet, not WiFi. If thats the case, then you don't need to worry.

Mineboyh said...

....thanks ...it worked like charm!

Archit Gupta said...

use virtual router, which is better and more supported IMO, (coz my phone doesnot connect to connectify, dunno y).
for proxy u can root ur phone[req], then use proxydroid.

Sudip Shrestha said...

I tired to connect the internet in my sony xperia p using connectify.. but this mobile cann't find ad-hoc virtual wifi network during scanning... I tried all the steps you have blogged.. but i am stocked... Any suggestions?