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How to share data card (USB modem) internet with laptops, smartphones etc?

Updated on May 8, 2012
How to share USB data card internet with many devices
How to share USB data card internet with many devices

Now many people are looking for USB modem or data card type internet connectivity options. It offers portability compared to the wired internet connections. Tata photon, Reliance data card, BSNL EVDO, 3G data cards of other providers etc are examples of such connectivity. The prices of such connection is also coming down. But the only problem with these devices is that you need to share the internet to use in more devices. Sharing of such an internet connection is a bit tricky compared to wired connections.

Why Sharing?

As broadband internet connectivity is still very costly, sharing is a good idea. Also in many cases, you want to share your internet with your own home devices like laptops, internet TV, tablets, smartphones with wi-fi support etc. This sharing can be achieved in two ways.

Sharing USB based data card with a wi-fi modem

Now new models of wi-fi modem supporting USB data card internet sharing are available in market. These models are available from cost Rs.1400 to above. There are even models of modem in which you can use two USB modems simultaneously. In these models you can use the bandwidth of both the modems at the same time.

The main advantage of sharing USB modem internet in this way is that, there is no need to keep any device active to access internet in other devices. All devices can connect to this modem independently. So if you are using many devices (more than 3) to connect to internet, it is better to go for this option. Obviously in this method of sharing the cost of modem will come. View a list of modems with USB datacard support. This list is very small only. Most of the modems with USB port supports USB datacards also.

Another one advantage of going for wi-fi modem method is that it enables home networking. Many devices at your home can transfer files in between through the Wi-Fi modem. Also if you connect external hard disk to this modem, files in this data storage device also can be accessed by other devices. For example from your tablet or smart phone you can watch videos and movies stored in external hard disk.

Sharing USB modem internet by plugging the device to one laptop or desktop (Sharing over a wireless network)

This is a method that requires no additional devices. You can simply share USB modem internet over wi-fi in your laptop. First plug the USB device to your laptop and do the normal procedure that you do to get internet in your laptop (like launching USB modem software). Once internet connection is working fine, open network and sharing center. You can open this from the network connectivity symbol in the system tray near battery usage symbol. Or you can open this in the path. Start -> Control Panel -> Network and sharing center

Network sharing center
Network sharing center

From here the way splits into two. In some computers (based on your wireless adapter driver software), while creating a new Ad-Hoc network itself there will be an option 'Turn on internet connection sharing'. If you have this option while creating new 'Ad-Hoc netowrk ' from 'Setup a new connection or network' link in the above displayed page, you are the luckiest.

If you have the above specified option.

First create an 'Ad-Hoc network. It will be easy you just have to give a network name, password etc. And just have to click next some time. In the step just before finish, there will be an option 'Turn on Internet connection sharing' as displayed below. (Provided you have already connected the internet connection that you want to share in the computer). You just have to turn on this option by clicking on the option.

Turn on Internet connection sharing
Turn on Internet connection sharing

IF you do not have the option showed above, procedure is a little bit longer.

In network and sharing center, in the left side there is Change adapter settings link. On clicking that you will get a page as show below. Here you can see the connections that you are using. Right click on the icon of the connection that you want to share, and select properties.

How to select adapter settings
How to select adapter settings
Change Adapter settings with data card connections
Change Adapter settings with data card connections
In sharing tab select the checkbox and select a connection over which you want to  share internet
In sharing tab select the checkbox and select a connection over which you want to share internet

In the properties window, select sharing tab. In the tab check the check box, "allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection".

Then select a network from the drop list of network connections that you have created. Here if you do not have one connection already created, you have to create one home network. That is very easy. Just click on the setup a new connection or network option in network and sharing center. In the type of connection that you want to create, select a wireless connection. After the successful creation of network go to the sharing tab again and select the network from the drop list


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    • profile image

      Mukhtar 3 years ago

      General provides Links

    • profile image

      Roshan 3 years ago


      I tried the following steps but unable to create a adhoc on my laptop. plz tel me to rectify the issue. using sony vaio Eseries windows 7 laptop

    • profile image

      Andrew 4 years ago

      @vinner have u tried this urself ? you are going to get a public IP for the laptop that has the USB data card connected to the internet, although ur giving ur other wireless devices private IP in the same range as the laptop but who is going to be doing the Natting since u don't have a modem/router/gateway device

    • profile image

      Girish 4 years ago

      can you please let me know (Step by step) how to work this in windows XP.

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 4 years ago from India

      @Mani: I think your problem is with USB driver. You computer is still not detecting the device. Try using found new hardware wizard. If you upgrade your OS also, mostly this problem will get solved

    • profile image

      mani prahalath 4 years ago

      i'm using photon +.. but still can't connect... my pc is still searchin for d unconfigured device... need ur assistance...

    • profile image

      balu 5 years ago

      Using reliance netconnect/windows7 . as per the steps i created ad hoc connection. connection shows in network connections but not in any laps or mobiles. how the newly created ad hoc connection and reliance data card are linked.

    • profile image

      siraj kalesha 5 years ago

      Nice post may useful for those who wants to share the internet price.

      My question is i have acer laptop with MS XP os with reliance datacard.can i share internet on wifi?

      i tried but unable to find way out,can u help in subject to xp.?


    • profile image

      Tushar 5 years ago

      Dude, there is no other option like you have.. "wireless connection 1, 2..

      please reply me in detail..

      i have mts mblaze and i am using tp link wireless usb adapter... i want to share my pc mblaze connection to my laptop which is wifi enabled.

      i have also created a ad hock network like you said at last in ur article..

      but still there is no option in sharing tab

    • profile image

      Gokul 5 years ago

      Hi, I m Gokul.. I m using Tata photon and wanted to share my internet with Samsung Galaxy Young thru wifi from laptop.. I did all d steps as u said above and its not showing that "Internet Sharing" .. I do have ticked tat "allow other networks to share" option.. Bt in my laptop its showing the new connection with a tag "waiting for users".. Bt my mobile s unable to detect de connection.. Plz help me..

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      i want to shar my evdo internet using wi fi as wifi hotsport

    • profile image

      Vaibhav Gupta 5 years ago

      HI,I am Vaibhav Gupta.I am using reliance data card and want a wi fi connection with that data card only so that i can access internet on my apple ipad2.I have windows XP in my laptop.

    • profile image

      Isaac 5 years ago

      I have created wireless home network alright with the 1st option , my motorola Razr droid and samsung smart TV can detect the connection but not to the internet

      its suddenly disconnecting , please advcie

    • lupandiomo profile image

      lupandiomo 5 years ago from nairobi,kenya.

      Thanks for this hub ,Vinner.I'll get back to read it later when I have more time.I am currently rushing to class.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Data cost has been an issue in developing countries including Kenya, the option here of sharing data bandwidth can be very beneficial to a household that use data a lot. Your explanation is superb and easy to follow. Voted up and useful.

    • profile image

      sourav saha 5 years ago

      mam i am using xp srv pk 2, and all so using gsm modem, i want access internet in my mobile,, pllzzzzzz help me

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 5 years ago from India

      @muthu - Please tell where u are stuck. Are u able to connect to the adhoc network created from mobile?. Is the 'trun on interent sharing' option available for you?

    • profile image

      muthu 5 years ago

      i have done everything.. but still i wasn't able to connect.. pls help.. If possible, share yur contact no.. i will give yo a call..

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 5 years ago from India

      @Chirag - Surely signal will come with enough strength. Check your wi-fi is turned on.

    • profile image

      chirag 5 years ago

      signal strength : no signal is coming...

      wat to do?

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 5 years ago from India

      If you have enabled, the option 'turn on internet sharing' you must be able to connect to internet through that ad-hoc network. Make sure in the system on which you have internet and want to share from, create ad-hoc network in that system only. Also make sure you are able to connect to that network from other system and mobile. Then you will be able to access shared internet.

    • profile image

      muthu 5 years ago

      Hi Vineer,

      I had set up an adhoc network and i had turned on internet sharing also..

      I had turned on the wifi in both my Laptop and mobile too. but still, i was not able to access the internet in my mobile or any other device.

      simply saying, i was not able to share the internet from my Reliance 3G data card through my laptop.

      kindly help me to fix the problem.

      it would be very much thankful.

    • profile image

      abc 5 years ago


    • vinner profile image

      vinner 5 years ago from India

      @Zuair- I have described step by step with pictures. Please let me know at which step you are in doubt, then I can help you.

    • profile image

      zubair 5 years ago

      from the above post "First create a network over which net is to be shared from non admin user. Then share internet over this network. Then you will be able to access internet from the admin user also.


      can u explain me how to do this

    • profile image

      Nisha 6 years ago


      This post was very useful to me since i have a tata photon & purchased a sony xperia S recently. However I am stuck at the last step where u have asked to change the adapter setting after setting up an ad hoc network. After ticking - Allow other n/w users to connect thru this network conn I am not sure which network to connect from the drop down menu of Home networking connection since i just get Lan & Lan 2 & one wireless network

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 6 years ago from India

      Hi all,

      Most of you will be using tata photon, reliance data card etc. along with Windows 7. Follow the steps below to share internet

      1. First plug the device to laptop

      2. Open the photon plus software

      3. Give connect in the software so that you can get internet in your laptop

      4. Now go to 'Network and Sharing Center in the path 'Start - Control Panel - Network and sharing center'

      5. Click 'Setup a new connection or network'

      6. From the choices available select the option, 'Create new Ad-Hoc network

      7. Give the network a name password etc. Also select an encryption method that you like from the dropdown.

      8. When you press next, you will get an option 'Turn on internet sharing' Select that

      9. Now you can connect to this network from other smartphones and laptops

    • profile image

      Roy 6 years ago

      Kindley help me its not working i my laptop and Samsung galaxy dues/

    • profile image

      Aneesh 6 years ago

      I want to share my tata photon plus internet connection with two more laptops and one samsung galaxy ace. From your article, i am thinking of following method 2. During the setup of ad-hoc network it is asking for encription method. Which option i have to use?. Also after creating network, it is asking for network type-home,public and private are available. Which?

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 6 years ago from India

      From 'swith user', I think you mean while switching from one user to other in windows. If it get disconnected in such instance, you might have created the network over which it is shared from the admin user. Also you might be trying to access, this network from a non admin network. So you will not be able to access it.

      First create a network over which net is to be shared from non admin user. Then share internet over this network. Then you will be able to access internet from the admin user also.

    • profile image

      Anand 6 years ago

      Can you Pls tell me How to use Reliance Data card on switch user

      when i try to switch it automatically getting disconnected !

      Please if you know the settings please post here or send me on thanx

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 6 years ago from India

      As you have tata photon+, i think you have a laptop with you already on which you are using internet currently. Now you want to use internet in your phone using tata photon.

      For this there are two ways.(same as those specified above.)

      Method 1

      You can share the internet from your laptop over a wifi, so that you can internet from your Sony ericson Xeperia Arc. For this as I have specified in the blog. connect to internet from your laptop. And setup a home wifi network and share internet over wifi from the adapter properties window.

      Method 2

      You can also purchase a wifi modem that supports data card, if you want and connect to internet from your phone just by plugging the data card in the modem.

    • profile image

      Pankaj 6 years ago

      I wanna use internet on my sony ericson xperia arc through tata photon+....plz help me out ?

    • profile image

      Sharoon 6 years ago

      This was exactly what I was looking for. Glad to know I can share my BSNL data card using wifi modem. So far me and my room mates were sharing a single data card using one by one in 3 laptops. Now we are going to get a wifi modem so that we can get internet in all three laptops and my Samsung Galaxy ACE also

    • jponiato profile image

      jponiato 6 years ago from Mid-Michigan

      Useful information, thanks.


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