How to share a dial-up connection in Vista

My broadband is offline at the minute, but I wanted to try out the new Xbox360 social media updates. I do have a 3G mobile Internet modem, so I wondered if I can somehow use that to get the Xbox online. The answer is yes… and if you want to do something similar here’s how to do it.

Network ConnectionsThis is the process I used in Vista, but it should be pretty similar in other versions of Windows. First you want to be able to see all the network connections in your computer (Start Menu > Network > Network and Sharing Center > Manage Network Connections). You’ll see a load of connections including a dial-up one (if you’re using a modem) and wired LAN connection. You’ll be plugging your device (in my case the Xbox) into the wired connection and allowing it to use the dial-up connection to get online.

Right-click on your dial-up connection and navigate to the “Sharing” tab where you’ll find the option to “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”. Tick the box and check that the “Home networking connection” box below contains the name of your wired network adapter and you’re nearly there. Just click on “OK” and you should be good to go.

Right, so a quick run-down:

  1. Open your network connections
  2. Plug your device into your laptop with an Ethernet cable
  3. Right-click on your dial-up connection and choose Properties > Sharing > Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection
  4. Double-check that the Home networking connection is set to the name of your wired network connection
  5. Click OK

You should now find that your Xbox thinks it has a direct connection to the Internet and, so long as your laptop is on and dialed-up you can get online. Just be careful now not to go over your data allowance on your modem!

Incidentally, I think it should be possible to share your Internet connection wirelessly by setting the Home networking connection to be your wireless one instead of wired… but I don’t have a wireless adapter for the Xbox. If you’ve done this and can confirm or dispel the idea of using wireless, please let us know in the comments!

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  1. Someone asked a very good question on StumbleUpon about this post: why would anyone want to use dial-up any more?

    It's because, as I mentioned, my broadband is off and Windows sees those 3G modems as dial-up connections. Hope that clarifies the reasoning behind this!

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