Mar 082008

Vista lets you share your Internet connection with other computers on your network.
Logically enough, the feature that lets you do this is called Internet Connection Sharing, which gets abbreviated to ICS.

ICS can be a great way of saving time and money: instead of needing a modem and a phone line (or a DSL or cable modem) for each computer that needs Internet connectivity, you can get by with one modem and one phone line (or the equivalent). ICS is particularly good if you have a fast Internet connection such as a DSL or a cable modem that provides enough bandwidth for several computers under normal circumstances.

Set Up the Computer That Will Share the Connection

Start with the computer that will share the Internet connection. First set up your Internet connection,and then use the Network Setup Wizard to configure the computer by taking the following steps

Create and test an Internet connection using the information in the “Connecting to the Internet”.

Click on start Right-click Network and choose Properties from the context menu. You’ll see the Network and Sharing Center window.Click the Manage Network Connection link.

You’ll see the Network Connection window.You must have a minimum of two active network connections to make ICS work. The first connection is from your computer to the Internet. The second connection is from your computer to the rest of the network.

Right-click the connection to the Internet and choose Properties from the context menu.Select the Sharing tab. You’ll see sharing options like the ones shown.Check the first option to let other people use this connection to access the Internet. If you want to also allow others to manage the connection ,check the second option.Click Settings.

You’ll see the Advanced Settings dialog box shown where you can control the services that others can use on your system.

Check the standard services that you want other people to access.lick Add to add custom services to the list. You’ll see the Service Settings dialog box . Custom services require that you provide an IP address and port umber. You can make your custom service less vulnerable by choosing a different setting for the fourth field, Internal Port number for This Service, to a different value than the external port number.Click OK to add the custom service. ICS enables the option automatically.

Click OK twice to make the ICS connection functional. Vista will ensure that the connection doesn’t have any problems such as address conflicts.

Setting Up a Client Computer

Next, set up the first of your client computers. Make sure the Internet connection is still open on thecomputer you set up to share it, and then take the following steps

Open the Internet Options applet in the Control Panel. You’ll see the Internet Properties dialog box.Select the Connections tab.

Choose the Never Dial a Connection option.Click LAN Settings to display the Local Area Network (LAN) Settings dialog box.

Check the Automatically Detect Settings and the Use Automatic Configuration Script
options. Clear the Use a Proxy Server for Your LAN option. Click OK twice to change
the settings.

NOTE You may have to reboot or at least log out and then back into the system to make the connection work. Windows may not acknowledge the availability of the shared connection otherwise.

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  58 Responses to “Step by step Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) setup in Vista”

  1. Help, for some reason I can’t open the advanced settings. When i click on it nothing happens.

  2. I am trying to connect xbox 360 using my wireless connection and laptop computer. My operating system is vista and I need to know how to internet connection sharing. Please help.

  3. Hi, I have ICS set up between 2 PCs. Host computer is XP Pro SP3 and client PC is Vista HP SP1. I got file/printer sharing and ISDN internet connection working well through TP-Link switch but Visa machine(client) keeps automatically dially the hosts internet connection even when not required. I have run msconfig on both PCs and restricted all programs from automatically starting when Windows starts with no luck. Is this normal or is there a way that I can dial the hosts Internet connection only when I need it apart from unplugging the switch to disconnect from my home network?

  4. I am trying to connect my xbox 360 using my laptop and a wireless network!
    How do I make the ICS work?

  5. Hi, this is a great tutorial and does explain the first part of setting up ICS, however can you please elaborate since your post comes up high on the google searches and is called step by step however manay people would be sharing a wired connection into their wirless lan, can you please continue for those who dont know how to create an wireless adhoc connection. Im sure manay have found this helpful and many more will be appreciated for knowing the further steps sharing a wired connection. thank you for great ICS tutorial.

  6. i tried all of that and it just didn’t work. I really need my internet can u please help me.

  7. Hi,
    thanks for the Great post.But I ‘ve faced some poblems while I was trying to follow the steps.I am trying to share wire Internet connection using wireless ad-hoc network.The problem is that when I click Properties of the Local Area Connection I don’t have sharing tab so I can’t share the connection.Note that my computer is running on Windows Vista.I’ll appretiate any help.Thanks in advance

  8. Great Post but let me take a stab at answering some of the questions.

    Some of you posted the question of how to use your Lan Connection as a Provider or Point of presence and then share that connection out by broadcasting it via your wireless card. This process is fairly simple follow the steps above (this works for the Verizon Air Card too just use advanced options, make sure you use the drop down change from private to wireless)once you have shared the Lan or other connection out.
    1. Click Start
    2. Right Click Network Go to Properties
    3. Under tasks click “Set up a connection or network”
    3. Click “Set up a wireless ad-hoc…”
    4. Next screen shows you two computers with wireless kind of canted at each other, click next
    5. Give the network a name, choose apropriate security, then choose a pass phrase and password ie “HomeNet” “G0Phi11ies!@34″. Check the box save this network.
    ** Your wireless card will begin broadcasting at this point.**
    Now go to a client computer
    1. Click Start, Right Click Network Properties
    2. Click Connect to a Network
    3. Locate the network you started and connect.

    Hope this helps. Email me with questions.

  9. Nice Tutorial. I want to access net from my linux system. Currently I have net running from my windows machine. I will follow this tutorial and see if things work out properly.

  10. i have vista in 1 laptop and xp in another laptop.i hav i internet connection in in vista and i want to acess
    internet in xp through wirelan.How to get this???
    psl help me.

  11. I have vista on both desktop and laptop
    I did all what is Up here
    but I still don’t have ICS

  12. I have to say the key variable here with my situation was the IP address. The HUAWEI mobile adapter was creater a ghost type network adapter and it was assigning the IP address to that particular device.

    I simply disabled the ‘ghost’ adapter in Vista, and then tried to enable ICS sharing again. It worked flawlessly!

    I just wanted to take a small amount of time and thank you for the discussion here which enabled me to finally share my mobile connection between my default connection with Vista, and my secondary computer with XP Pro SP3.

    Take care, and thanks!

  13. what &where can i find that ‘ghost’ adapter in vista

  14. I would really love to know, what to do know i have set up the ad hoc ICS and my other laptop has connected but its local only! i have no idea why or what to do about it? can anyone help? as theres loads of step by step guides for setting it up but nothing to help when you get stuck on “Local only” ad hoc ICS. cheers

  15. i have three computer and a laptop,i want to install networking using adsl modem. please sent me step by step configeration for it.i using win xp.

  16. thnx i conect my 2 pc through it.
    i used dsl conect in my laptop .
    started the process
    then opened wrless connection in two laptops
    followed the instructions
    set up a connection without any cost or equipment

    thnx once again

  17. Hey!
    Guide all good and stuff but not working for me.
    PC has onboard lan card that has internet incoming to it from house router but my 2ndary computer is unable to get internet from the 10/100 lan card. (mac os x).

    this conf worked fluently on my old pc with same setup but Xp Pro.

    Why is the Vista blocking my fun.
    Computers are able to see eachother in lan and share files and whatnot.. why is the net missing from it?

  18. This didn’t work for me. How do I get my ICS working and connect it to my Xbox 360 via vista? Help please. Thank you.

  19. I have a Windows 7 desktop and an XP wireless laptop. I was connected to the internet thru a router until my ISP went out of business. I now have a Verizon broad band USB internet connection on my, host, desktop. The LAN is still working both ways thru the router, but when I set up ICS, as described above, I lose LAN connectivity, although I still have internet on the host PC via Verizon broad band. I have ordered an wireless access point to replace the router, but don’t know why I can’t share thru the router.
    Thanks for your help.

  20. Hi,
    i use a usb broadband internet connection on my laptop. can someone pls tel me how do i share this connection through router??

  21. Hello, great step by step guide by the way! I have followed it to the word though and still no luck, I have a Vista laptop connected to the internet via mobile internet (much faster then the average mobile internet though) and that’s connected in to the USB port. I want my Xbox 360 (elite) to have internet via a Ethernet cable, on the Xbox it can see the connection and identifies the ip settings, ip address and subnet mask. Everything else is or not set. So both systems seem to be co-operating until i hit the ‘test connection to xbox live’ and it says ”There’s a problem with you connection. Select More Info for a description of the problem….” then ”Can’t obtain an IP address from your router or modem..”
    Hmm so that’s not working as i would like it too.. However if you send me just a tiny bit of advice i would be FOREVER grateful, and i would HIGHLY appreciate it. So many thanks for reading my life story.

    Andrew ‘Ashley’ McMahon

  22. it doesn’t work, 4 hours of attempting to make a connection and it doesn’t work…..

  23. Hello. I have 2 laptops A and B using windows vista with laptop A connected to the internet through a Broadband LAN cable. How do I connect Laptop B to the internet through laptop A with a cable? The wireless connection of both laptops are not working. Please help me and Thanks for your help.

  24. Thank YOU so much!

  25. I don’t have a “Sharing” tab AT ALL!! Why dat?

  26. I’ve used your wireless LAN procedure posted here to try and share a wireless broadband internet connection. It took quite a while to do any good at all, but eventually I got it to connect. Don’t ask me how as I tried so many things I lost track.
    Problem is, even after I got a result, as soon as I clicked on a link, the wireless turned off on the host computer, a Lenovo 3000 N200 running Vista home basic. The slave computer is an Acer Aspire 5315 also running Vista home basic.
    This radio turn off was also a continual problem during set up. Whenever I’d try to connect the two computers, the Lenovo radio would turn off.
    I have no idea what is causing this radio turn off.
    I tried coming back the other way using the Acer as host, but when I set an ad hock network on it, the Lenovo then asked that a static IP address be set up.
    All so bloody difficult as most things in Vista are.
    Do you have any ideas how to set it up without all these problems?
    I’ve also had similar sorts of difficulties previously trying to set up a wired etherent network betwen the two.

  27. Help. I’m using a HP laptop with vista bussiness wifi connection ,from a mac book pro 10.5.8 share airport, i got the xbox elite cable throuth the HP enternet , i share also the connection wifi from hp for xbox live. The test its negative for xbox live access ,no erorrs ocured. My xbox does not tell my i need to open nat, its OPEN the most flexibile, finally.after a good period of month. i use ICS . my ports are 88 and 3074 like xbox forum says, FTP,SECURE WEB ,WEB ACTIVE. my question is: why i can not play with my friend, or speak with him o to play a custom match ????? anywone PLS HELP .ROMANIA ( Pistyz -gamertag)

  28. laptop is not setup to stab lose a connection on port file and printer sharing (SMB) with this computer.

    Go to run on xp computer and type in services.msc find a service called
    NET TCP PORT SHARING SERVICES if it’s disabled enable it click start service and see if that works fixed my problem.

  29. Hi, somehow when i try to setup the ICS on my computer a message keeps poping up saying error has occurred while enabling ICS. pls help!

  30. Hello,
    I want to connect my laptop with vista operating system and desktop with xp operating system using CAT5 cable but i got problem in that.The folders are sharing but packets are not transmitting.So,can u help us,plz.

  31. I have 2 PCs, host: Windows XP SP3 / guest: Windows Vista SP1.
    I can’t make Vista to accest Internet. They can “see” each other, but Vista has no Internet. I wonder why Vista does not have the assistant like Windows XP.

  32. Sorry, I was not using a crossover UTP cable :p

  33. hi this is hayath ,i have vista in my pc and bsnl broadband connection ,can i connect both the system which is in my sister home(xp)so that i can share files thru pc to pc via modem

  34. Hi I have internet connection through a wifi router @ home.My church and a little computer school is a bit away from home.@ the church i have a network through a router.but no internet connection.Recently i was able to transmit wifi from home to church.Then with a wifi adapter i was able to get internet connection to one of the computer of the church network.I want to share this internet connection with nthe net work through the router.Please help me.
    may the Lord bless you abundently !

  35. The company I used for my Wireless LAN Setup was very knowledgeable and available 24 hours a day for any problems I may have run into. Check out their site I hope this helps you.

  36. Im trying to connect my x box to my computer via router and ethernet cables and in network sharing center, windows vista will not allow me to share the internet connection for my internet device and my local area connection. It is only allowing 1 of the 2 to allow ics. Need help. Email


  38. hi,
    I am trying to connect 5800 xpress music nokia with internet sharing via ad-hoc wireless network. Here is the connection setup I am trying to work on.
    1) Reliance Net Connect Broadband+ USB internet card (Huawei EC 1260) connected to HP dv2419us laptop via USB port.
    2) An ad-hoc wireless network setup has been set on above laptop
    3) Connecting to above ad-hoc wireless network connection by 5800 xpress music nokia system.
    4) No reply from gateway! error when trying to browse internet on 5800 xpress music phone.

    Request you all to help me out in setting up the internet connection sharing between PC and cell phone.

  39. what is activity done from clients side.

  40. Hey guys just for you people who been tryin to get the xbox 360 to connect through your laptop all i had 2 do was disable my wireless the right click it while it was disabled go to sharing and check it 2 allow other devices to use the internet thn enable the wireless again wait till it connects to your internet thn try the xbox if this doesnt work thn im sorry i cnt help you but thats how i got mine to work =]

  41. i want to have itenet on my ps3 can i use laptop

  42. Doing what you said use to work but for some reason it wont any more. I’m using verizon as my i.p. and a linksys router. Ever since i got an updated verizon card I cant share with other comp.

  43. i disabled my xboxs connection to my pc from being pissed off that it didnt work how do i get it enabled again plz help

  44. wen i open “wireless network connection” and i right click on it to open its “properties”.
    On opening the properties, there is a tab of networking bu there is not tab of sharing..
    I had been sharing and using the internet previously even today in the morning..
    but now i dont know wat happened..
    Would you please help me..?

  45. I have a question a have a wireless printer Brother mfc-490cw and i’m trying to see if i can connect it to laptop without usind a router and by using ICS im running a vista 64 help

  46. this is a easy way to run internet through one computer to other VIA LAN networking just follow my steps.
    (For Host or Server)
    1- disconnect your internet connection.
    2- unplug LAN Networking Cable.
    3- in windows 7 now open network and Sharing Center.
    4- open Change Adapter Settings
    5- here remember that for sharing just right Click on your Internet connection (not other Like Local Area Connection). when you right Click on internet connection context box will appear, click on properties, now properties of you connection will appear.
    6- in properties window choose sharing tab.
    7- Check (Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet Conncetion)
    8- in Dropdown of (Home networking Connction) Choose, Local Area Connection or Wirless connection (Note: Select only that device which you are using)LAN or Wirless.
    9- after that click on Settings button. when you will click on Setting button one window will appear (Advanced Setting)
    in this window check only three Check Box (1- FTP Server, 2-Secure Web Server (HTTPS) and 3- Web Server (HTTP). after that press ok button to apply setting and again press ok button of properties window.
    10- Restart your Computer after that Connect your internet connection to internet and after that plugin the other computer Cable in connector.

    you will see on other computer after one movment you computer will connect to internet through other computer.

  47. Can anybody help me to make interned shared between two PCs?
    My desktop (Viste premium) is connected to a public wifi spot thanks to a powerful antenna and I have a strong signal. I would like to share desktop’s internet connection with the laptop (Windows 7). I have originally added one more wifi card to the desktop and set it up for ad-hoc. The laptop connects to it, but no Internet. Internet connection sharing does not work for me even when using one wifi card while the other is uninstalled. What should I do?

  48. im trying to connect my xbox 360 from my laptop but there is no sharing tab for me to click on please help

  49. hi ,thank u very much for all of u ,

    my problem is : when process all the steps 1)set up a connection or net work 2)Set up a wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network then i make up the name of the network ,then the security type ,then the pass word ,then isn’t important save this net work (check box)then next ,

    in the screen it doesn’t appear ”turn on internet connection sharing ”

    (i’m using vista home basic)

    so how to do ? anyone can help please ?

  50. i have LAN and internet,the internet i have is shared from another computer on the LAN network,now i simply want to disconect the internet specifically on my computer and leave it shared on other computers on the network as well and leave the LAN still workinf.
    please help!
    moss moze

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