Hosted Networks also known as Virtual networks have been featured since windows 7. You could usually be able to create a hotspot through group policy settings or via command prompt. But now, beginning from Windows 10 build 14316, you can easily set up a hosted wireless network via your settings. What’s more, you can turn on an existing hotspot via Bluetooth using another device. Other than sharing internet, this feature is also used by applications for sharing files and data. They won’t have to prompt uses to manually turn hotspot on and connect.
There are different Windows 10 devices you can allow another device to start your Hotspot via Bluetooth on. Either the hotspot must be set up in your phone or on your computer or any other window 10 device. Most people use laptops and mobile phones and that is what we will cover in this article. If you have set up a hotspot on your laptop you can turn it on using your windows phone. Vis versa, if the hotspot is on your mobile phone, you can turn it on using your laptop. The second device sends a signal via Bluetooth and invokes the APIs of the first device to turn the hotspot on. It then connects to the available network automatically.
Prerequisites: Here are the things you must have in order to turn on hotspots via Bluetooth:
- Both devices must have Bluetooth. The Bluetooth of both devices must be running/turned on and paired
- If you are running the hotspot on your PC, you must at least have Windows 10 build 14316 to set up the hotspot that allows other devices to start it via Bluetooth. Your computer must also support hosted networks in order to set up a hotspot.
- If you are running the hotspot on your mobile phone, you must at least have Windows 10 mobile to set up the hotspot that allows other devices to start it via Bluetooth. You must also have an active data plan on your phone
- Both devices must be running a windows operating system. Other operating systems e.g. android and iOS are not supported yet.
To know which version of Windows 10 you are running on your computer, press Windows Key + R to open Run, type ‘winver’ and hit enter. To tell if your computer supports hosted networks type “netsh wlan show drivers” in the Command prompt window and press the Enter.
If you meet all the prerequisites, here is how to set up a hosted network that can be turned on by other devices via Bluetooth.
Step 1: Set up a Hotspot on your Windows10 computer or mobile phone and allow another device to turn on mobile hotspot
The first step is to set up a Hotspot on your Computer or mobile phone. Choose the device you want to remotely switch and set up a hotspot on it.
Here is how to set up a hotspot on your windows 10 computer
- Open Settings.
- Click Network & internet.
- Click Mobile hotspot.
- Toggle ‘Turn on remotely’ to on. Keep in mind that both devices must have Bluetooth turned on and they have to be paired.
- Click the Edit button if you want to change the Network name and password.
- Under Share my Internet connection from, select the Wi-Fi adapter you want to share so other devices can access the internet.
- Click the switch to turn on Mobile hotspot.
Here is how to set up a hotspot on your windows 10 mobile phone
- First unlock your phone, swipe down the notification center and you will see the option “Mobile Hotspot”. Click on this option and it will take you to the hotspot settings. In case you don’t see the option, open settings > Network and Wireless > Mobile Hotspot.
- Turn on the hotspot option and you can see your phone coming up as a Wi-Fi connection on other devices.
- If you want to change the SSID (the Wi-Fi name) and the password, click the edit button at the bottom. Here you will be able to add your own name and password.
- At the end you have a toggle button which says “Allow another device to turn on mobile hotspot. Both devices must have Bluetooth turned on and be paired.” Turn this toggle button to the on position to allow remote switching.
Step 2: Pair your PC and your phone
To pair, one of your devices must be visible/searchable by the other device.
- On your phone, go to settings > Bluetooth. Turn on Bluetooth. If there is an option ‘make this device visible to other Bluetooth devices’ click on it to allow visibility.
- Then using the Windows key + I keyboard shortcut, open the Settings app.
- Navigate to Devices and go to Bluetooth.
- Make sure the Bluetooth switch is in the on position. (You’ll know it is working because you’ll notice the message that reads “Your PC is searching for and can be discovered by Bluetooth devices.”)
- Select the device you want to connect and click Pair.
- A code will appear on the screen and will also be sent to your phone. If both codes are the same, click on pair/yes/connect to allow the pairing to complete.
You can also connect two computers by making one visible to the other. You can set the visibility from the Bluetooth settings of your PC.
Step 3: Start your mobile hotspot remotely
After pairing both your devices, make sure both their Bluetooth are on. To make sure remote switching via Bluetooth works, turn off the hotspot on both devices first.
- Turn on the Wi-Fi on the device you want to use to turn the other’s hotspot on.
- If your Bluetooth are on, the other device should appear on your Wi-Fi list. e.g. on your phone, go to setting > Wi-Fi > turn Wi-Fi on and look for your device in the list. On your computer, you can click on the Wi-Fi icon on your system tray (right bottom corner of the taskbar) and see the device on your list.
- Click/tap on the hotspot and click ‘Connect.’ This will automatically turn on the hotspot of the other device and connect to it.
- If you are asked for a Wi-Fi password, input the password and connect (you will only have to do this once)
Other than the Bluetooth being on for both devices, your phone must have an internet connection and the cellular data must be switched on otherwise the hotspot won’t turn on. The only caveat with wireless hotspot feature is that you’re limited to share your internet connection with up to 8 devices.