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Rather stupid question; Wifi Sharing.

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This is going to sound rather stupid but there's a reason for it :(

Is there a way to make Internet Sharing share the WiFi connection?

The reason for this is because I'm stuck using an old mac that doesn't have a wireless card for a few days and wireless would be the only way I have internet access, I have managed to get Internet Sharing work with MissingSync and can successfully share a GPRS connection, so in essence I'd like to use it like a USB wireless dongle.



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If HTTP sharing (that is, strictly Web access) is sufficient and Missing Sync provides a full (!) TCP/IP connection between the mac and the PPC, you can use my HTTP proxy. In order to avoid linking in external sites, I cross-post my tutorial here:

Q: Can I share the Internet connection on my Pocket PC through Bluetooth/peer-to-peer (P2P) Wi-Fi? That is, can I make my Internet-connected Pocket PC into some kind of a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Access Point?

A: This is a very common question (see for example this, this, this and this threads) and, therefore, worth dedicating a blog entry to it - particularly because, as to now, noone has ever presented a really working proxy solution for sharing the network connection on a Pocket PC (before this tutorial, that is).

What's the point in all this, you may ask. Well, it's pretty simple. Let's assume you have two Pocket PC's. One of them is connected to the Internet via, say, Wi-Fi, the ActiveSync Internet pass-through or Bluetooth (say, via GPRS) and, say, your wife/husband/kids/friend is chatting via MSN Messenger or some IRC application on it. You would, however, like to connect to the Internet via the other Pocket PC('s) to browse the Web, using the same Internet connection. You can certainly do this! (Incidentally, this is a very common case in my family. My wife likes chatting via MSN Messenger and, at home, we only have Pocket PC's and GPRS connection (no external Wi-Fi access points, no cable/ADSL connections, nothing) via my mobile phone. The Pocket PC, an iPAQ 2210, she uses for MSN Messenger chat, connects directly to the Net (via BT GPRS) and also shares its HTTP Internet connection by running a HTTP proxy server. This is the HTTP proxy server that I connect to from the other Pocket PC, a VGA Pocket Loox 720, via a Bluetooth Personal Area Network built up between the two Pocket PC's. This way, we can access the Internet using the same GPRS connection at the same time, from the two Pocket PC's, without using any kind of external PC's or other tricks. That is, this solution works beatifully for Internet sharing in my practice.)

To share an Internet connection, you'd need operating system-level support for connection sharing as is present in, say, the desktop Windows. It's what is really missing from the Windows Mobile operating system. Fortunately, there're some tricks you can do to be able to access at least the Web from the client machines if you use a HTTP proxy run on the Pocket PC that shares its Internet connection. Note that you won't be able to access anything else: no MSN Messenger, no POP3/SMTP/IMAP e-mail, no multiplayer, TCP/IP and GPRS-friendly games etc. on the "client" Pocket PC's (on the "server" Pocket PC, of course, you can run any Internet client application.). Still, being able to access the Web on the "clients" is a great thing.

Your choices are as follows:

  1. use PocketPCProxy as described here. I really don't recommend this proxy server because it doesn't even support POST requests – therefore, you won't be able to fill in (send) HTML forms to, for example, send posts/log in to anywhere (unless you have previously logged in on the same Pocket PC and the login cookie is still valid.)

  2. wait until the Toonel folks allow for non-local incoming connections in their great tool. Unfortunately, due to (for security reasons, understandable) access restrictions, it's not feasible now.

  3. use my HTTP proxy server (more about this later)
As long as Toonel has no support to be used as a proxy server run on an access point, I recommend my free, open-source, POST-capable and, compared to the above-mentioned PocketPCProxy, much more advanced HTTP proxy server available for download here (its sources are also available here if interested) instead.

Just get the HTTPSnoopProxy.class file, copy it to, say, the root of your "access point" Pocket PC and get a decent Java Virtual Machine (I recommend CrEme 4.00 because of its superior speed, reliability and moderate memory consumption).

Install CrEme on the device that you would like to act as the Bluetooth Access Point. Then, on the same PDA, write a link file that invokes CrEme on HTTPSnoopProxy.class.

The link file will be, assuming you install CrEme in the main memory, as follows:

255#"\Windows\creme\bin\CrEme.exe" -Ob -classpath \ HTTPSnoopProxy 8080

To make your life easier, I've uploaded an example file here – you only need to put it in, say, \Windows\Start Menu\Programs so that it's easily accessible. It, again, assumes that CrEme 4.00 is installed into main memory and HTTPSnoopProxy.class is copied to the root directory of your PDA. If not, you must modify either the path to CrEme.exe or the parameter of -classpath.

Then, just set up a Bluetooth PAN network and find out the IP address of the "server" (the "Access point") PDA as described in my BT PAN tutorial. You will need to feed this IP address as the proxy address to either your Web browser (if it's proxy-capable; that is, it's either Minimo or NetFront) or to the Connectivity framework (if you plan to use Pocket Internet Explorer) on all the Pocket PC clients that you would like to connect to your BT "access point". Please consult the tutorial here (the "Configure Your Web Browser to Use The Toonel HTTP Proxy" section in my Toonel tutorial) on how this must be done. Please note that, instead of the localhost IP, you will need to enter the address of your actual BT access point here – that's what you've already found based on the above-linked BT PAN tutorial. The port number of the proxy is 8080; you can easily change it by changing the '8080' parameter passed to HTTPSnoopProxy in the link file.

That's all – you can start browing the Web right away from the clients; and, you will also have POST support!

Please let me know if you, for example, need compatibility info / example link files for other JVM's too. Also, make sure you ask your questions if you run into problems.

EDIT (Feb-2-2006): I've been told by the Toonel staff that the localhost restriction of Toonel is only left out in the commercial (the license fee is about $60/year) clients. That is, there won't be a working, Toonel-based, free solution. This means you will need to stick to my proxy server.

ADDITION (Feb-26-2006): Here, I've elaborated on the new networking model of Windows Mobile 5 devices. It's completely different from that of previous Windows Mobile versions and makes it possible to use an USB/ActiveSync-based PDA to share its Internet connection to the desktop computer it's connected to.

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