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How to Setup Ad hoc Wireless Network with Windows XP

By Edited May 14, 2014 0 0

Ad hoc wireless network refers to peer-to-peer connection between wireless devices. This means that they directly communicate with each other without the need for an access point (usually broadband wireless router). An ad hoc connection is desirable when you only need a quick and temporary connection to share files or when the network infrastructure is having problem.

To set up an ad hoc wireless network, each computer running Windows XP needs to have built-in wifi or by using an adapter. Both computers also need to share the same network SSID (Service Set Identifier) with passphrase key for security.

ad hoc wireless network

Here is the simplest way to do it.

Step 1: On the first computer, right-click the wireless icon on the right hand side of the Taskbar and choose "View Available Wireless Networks". It is also accessible by going to Network Connections in the Control Panel and double-click on the wireless device.

wireless networks

Step 2:
The Wireless Network Connection window lists all the networks in range which includes your own network, if it is up. Click "Change advanced settings" and to bring up the properties window. Choose the "Wireless Networks" tab and click the "Add" button. Create the ad hoc connection by typing in a name which is the SSID. Make it more intuitive to easily distinguish just in case there are other Ad hoc connections in range. Disable the automatic key and enter a 5 or 10 digit passphrase key for the ad hoc security. This is the same key that needs to be input on the other computer. Click OK twice.

At this stage, the computer is connected to the ad hoc network but it does not have an IP address yet.

create ad hoc

Step 3:
On the second computer, right-click the wireless icon on the right hand side of the Taskbar and choose "View Available Wireless Networks". The ad hoc connection should now show up on the list of wireless connections in range. If not, click "Refresh list" and check again if its there. Make sure that the two computers are not very far from each other (at least on the same room).

connect to ad hoc

Step 4:
Simply click the ad hoc name from the list and hit "Connect". Wait for a few seconds to establish the connection between the two computers. When the connection is successful, both computers now have its own IP addresses. They are now ready to share files. Make sure that both devices have necessary permission to share resources. Check the Firewall settings as well if there problems sharing files.

That's it! It may look complicated but actually it is relatively simple to accomplish. Ad hoc wireless connection provides a quick and simple solution when the network is having connectivity problem. Another situation when you would prefer ad hoc connection is when an outside mobile device needs to connect to a company network to access some resources. Ad hoc can provide access without disturbing the existing infrastructure.


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