Surfing the Net on your PPC via a PC

Surfing the Net on your PPC via a “Host” PC/ Notebook

The whole idea is to have a host PC (with USB Wi-Fi adapter) or a laptop (with Centrino, Wi-Fi PCMCIA card or USB Wi-Fi adapter) connected to the internet on the LAN, afterwhich your Pocket PC will connect by Wi-Fi to the HOST by creating a Ad hoc network which will then Bridge to the LAN.

Now, you can surf or ActiveSync without the need of an Wi-Fi Access point, USB data cable or bluetooth pairing. Imagine you are in your office with only LAN connection or maybe due to security reasons that Wi-Fi is banned, you might want to create thisl Wi-Fi ‘Access point’ using your Centrino based Laptop or spare USB Wi-Fi adapter for your collegues and your PPCs to connect to the internet.

We’ll start with a single computer that already has a wired Ethernet/Cable broadband connection to the Internet. Then we’ll build the ad hoc wireless network in three steps:

1. The first step will be to install an 802.11b wireless card in the main computer and configure it as a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) wireless connection.
2. The second step will be to install a wireless card in a second computer.
3. To complete the network and provide connectivity to the Internet, Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) will be enabled on the host.

Configuring the Host Computer

First, install your 802.11b USB adapter or if you are using Centrino Based Laptop, make sure the WIFI is turned on. If the computer is in an environment where other wireless networks are in range, Windows should display a list of available networks automatically. However, if no wireless networks are in range, the wireless connection icon may display a red “X� and may not automatically open a View Wireless Networks window. To open this window, click the icon for the wireless connection.

Do not select an available network at this time if any are displayed in the Available networks listing. If your computer previously connected to a preferred access point, remove all preferred access points. This will ensure that a connection is made only to the ad hoc network that you are trying to configure.

Figure 1.

Next, click the Advanced tab at the top of the window. Select Computer to computer (ad hoc) networks only and clear the Automatically connect to non-preferred networks box if it is selected. This setting, along with removing preferred networks, ensures connection to the ad hoc network only.

Figure 2.

Click the Wireless Networks tab again. Under Preferred Networks, click Add, as shown in Figure 1. In the Wireless Network Properties dialog box, specify a Network name (SSID). Use any name desired, but be sure to use it to configure all computers.Note that the network type is already marked as a computer-to-computer network and that this cannot be changed since it has already been specified that a connection should be made to only ad hoc networks.

Wireless Equivalency Protocol (WEP) settings are not being configured at this time because it’s easier to get an ad hoc wireless network running smoothly before attempting to configure WEP data encryption. The decision on whether or not to use WEP should be based on your environment. In most cases, for optimum protection and security, after your ad hoc network is running properly, you should return to Wireless Network Properties and specify WEP settings.

After configuring the network name (SSID) in the Wireless Network Properties dialog box, the new ad hoc network will be displayed with a PC Card icon to designate that this is a computer-to-computer network.Note the red X. When a second computer is in range and the new ad hoc network is connected, the display changes to show a working computer-to-computer network without the X.

Figure 3.

Configuring a Client PocketPC

After you installed you CF/ SD wifi card or if you have wireless inbuild into your ppc, do a scan and try to locate the SSID of the HOST PC created earlier.

Next from the Network Key tab, select Open and Disabled as illustrated below.


Bridging your wireless ad hoc to the LAN connection

Next, on your PC set up the bridge between the two networks, highlight both of your network adapters. Right click on one and select ‘bridge networks’ as shown in this picture.

Your system will grind away for a minute or so with this picture displayed

When the bridge setup is complete, your network connections will look like this. NOTE THE NEW NETWORK BRIDGE ICON.

Click image for bigger view…



If the bridge appears to be made but doesn’t actually pass network traffic, it could be that your wireless NIC doesn’t support promiscuous mode, even though, when Windows XP queries the card, it reports that it does.

You need to set the wireless adapter to ForceCompatibilityMode. First, open a command window:

1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
2. In the command window, type netsh bridge show adapter
3. Note the number assigned to the wireless adapter and type netsh bridge set a 1 e where you substitute the number displayed in the previous step for the number 1 in this step.
4. To double check the wireless card is correctly set with Force Compatibility Mode enabled, type the netsh bridge show adapter a command again.

The final setting should be as above.

Configuring WEP

As connectivity has now been established successfully, the next step is to return to Network Properties and configure WEP settings to ensure the best security possible for the ad hoc network.

On the host computer, open the Wireless Network Properties dialog box and select the Data encryption (WEP enabled) check box. Key in your personal key and make sure the same key is keyed into the pocket PC
Instant Private Networking

Not only does ad hoc wireless networking provide a lower cost method to share an Internet connection than a more expensive wireless router/router plus separate access point solution, but it affords a fast and simple way of establishing a means to share data and documents for groups with no external LAN or Internet connection. With no available DHCP server, Windows XP provides an automatic private IP address between and to network adapters.

If you’re sitting around a conference table with a group of colleagues and find that everyone is in desperate need of a Power Point presentation on an associate’s computer on the other side of the room, setting up an instant ad hoc wireless network can be the solution, allowing everyone to copy the file to their computers over the wireless network. You’ll need to have the same workgroup configured with appropriate permissions for file and print sharing, and you’ll never have to wait again to get connected to the Internet or a corporate LAN to receive copies of urgently needed documents.
ActiveSync using WIFI

Once connected, you should be able to Activesync using the wireless ad hoc created.

– Contributed by mcmxii
– Edit by etegration
Used with permission
12 July 2005


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