Connect your PS3 or Wii to a Wireless Internet Via Laptop or PC Tether: Can it be done?


I tried this technique yesterday (November 26, 2010) at my in-laws -- they have a Playstation 3, a Wii, and a desktop PC running Windows Vista. The PC is connected to the intenet through a DSL router using a network cable. The router has no wireless capabilities -- Verizon did not send them a wireless DSL modem. The Dell PC they own does not have a wireless card, either.

But they wanted to update the PS3's operating system. They could not play Blu-Ray discs until the Playstation's OS was updated for some reason.

The PS3 is in the living room -- 30 feet away from the home office with the DSL router.

The Playstation 3 and Wii do have built-in wireless connectivity, of course, but they had nothing to connect to.

My proposed solution -- use my laptop running Windows 7 to create a wireless connection to the internet.

This is possible through something called an "ad hoc" network connection.
You plug your PC or laptop into the network using a cable.
Then you set up your PC to share the internet connection using the built-in wireless card as the access point.

Using later versions of MS Windows, you can do this under:

Control Panel >
  Network and Sharing >
    Set up a connection or network >
      Set Up a Wireless Router or Access Point (or Ad Hoc Connection)

... or something similar to that depending on your OS and version.

This can also be done on a Mac.

Anyway, after I did that (many times!), I could not get the PS3 to recognize or find my laptop's ad hoc network name (a/k/a the SSID). The Wii would find the ad hoc network's name, but would never finish the connection. Yet, when I tried to connect to the ad hoc network using an iPhone or iPod Touch, it worked just fine. I even tried dragging all the cords and the laptop closer. Very frustrating.

Well, it turns out that a PS3 cannot connect to an ad hoc connection. It just won't do it.

So, in the end, I had to unplug the wired DSL modem, use a really long phone cord from the kitchen to the living room, and connect directly to the PS3 using a LAN cable. That worked perfectly, but was not the solution I had hoped for. (The Wii does not appear to have a LAN connector, so it remains un-updated.)

In the future I will just have to get them a wireless router (tried it before but they said it stopped working after I left). Or they will have to call Verizon to send them a wireless modem instead of the older none-wireless one they have now.

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