Internet Connection Sharing


Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is a feature that allows users to share a single internet connection with multiple devices on a local network. ICS efficiently utilizes the available bandwidth by enabling one device, usually a computer or server, to act as the primary access point for internet connectivity. This central device then distributes the connection to other devices on the network, eliminating the need for each device to have its own separate internet connection.


The phonetics for the keyword ‘Internet Connection Sharing’ can be written as:ˈin(t)ərˌnet kəˈnekSH(ə)n ˈSHeriNG

Key Takeaways

  1. Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) enables a device to share its internet connection with other devices connected to it via wired or wireless local area networks.
  2. ICS can function as a basic, cost-effective solution to provide internet access for a small number of devices, eliminating the need for multiple individual connections or specialized hardware.
  3. ICS may introduce security risks, as all the devices connected to it can potentially interact with each other, increasing the potential for unauthorized access and vulnerabilities. Therefore, it is important to use proper security measures, such as updating the connected devices’ software and using firewalls.


Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is an important technology term as it enables multiple devices to access the internet using a single connection, effectively optimizing resource usage and reducing costs.

With ICS, one device works as a gateway, sharing its internet connectivity with other devices on the same local area network.

This technology is especially vital in areas where internet access may be limited or expensive, allowing for efficient use of available bandwidth and fostering collaboration between users.

Furthermore, ICS simplifies network management for organizations and households, contributing to a seamless internet experience for all connected devices.


Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) serves as a crucial feature in today’s interconnected world, as it enables multiple devices to access the internet concurrently via a single connection. This provides users with the convenience and flexibility to connect their personal devices, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, to the internet without requiring a dedicated connection for each device. The primary purpose of ICS is to simplify and streamline the process of accessing online resources, allowing resource sharing and cost savings.

By consolidating internet connectivity, ICS also contributes to network efficiency, as it prevents redundancy commonly associated with having disconnected connections for every device. ICS functions through the use of a primary device, often referred to as the gateway or host computer, which is directly connected to the internet. The host then redistributes the connection to other devices within the network, effectively sharing the internet access across the entire network.

This sharing can be achieved through various methods, such as wired connections using Ethernet cables or wireless protocols like Wi-Fi. Furthermore, ICS is designed to provide dynamic allocation of IP addresses, facilitating seamless connectivity and network management. In essence, ICS enables users to enjoy a more interconnected digital environment, optimizing resources without compromising on accessibility or connectivity efficiency.

Examples of Internet Connection Sharing

Home Wi-Fi Network: A common example of Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is a home Wi-Fi network, where a single internet connection from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is shared among multiple devices within a household. In this scenario, a Wi-Fi router connects directly to the modem, acting as a gateway for devices to access the internet. The router enables smartphones, laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles to share the internet connection wirelessly, thus making it convenient for all users in the household.

Public Wi-Fi Hotspots: Public Wi-Fi hotspots, such as those found in libraries, cafes, airports, and hotels, are another example of ICS. In these locations, a single internet connection is shared among multiple users who are visiting or in transit. Businesses or municipalities providing the service can use routers, access points, and other networking equipment to extend the reach of their shared internet connection throughout their premises. This helps provide internet access to customers and visitors, improving customer satisfaction, and potentially increasing foot traffic and revenue for businesses.

Mobile Hotspot: Smartphones now have the capability to become mobile hotspots by sharing their cellular data connection with other devices, such as laptops and tablets, especially when traditional Wi-Fi access is unavailable or limited. This form of ICS is useful for individuals who rely on their mobile devices’ internet connection for work or leisure purposes while on the go or in areas with insufficient Wi-Fi coverage. The mobile hotspot feature allows users to capitalize on mobile data plans to ensure that multiple devices can access the internet simultaneously, no matter where they are.

FAQ: Internet Connection Sharing

1. What is Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)?

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is a feature in Windows that allows a computer with an active internet connection to share its connection with other devices on the same network. This can be done using a wired or wireless connection, allowing other devices to access the internet without needing a separate connection.

2. How do I enable ICS on my Windows computer?

To enable ICS on your Windows computer, follow these steps: Open the Network and Sharing Center, click on Change adapter settings, right-click on the network connection you want to share, select Properties, navigate to the Sharing tab, check the box that says ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection’, and click OK.

3. Can I share my internet connection with multiple devices?

Yes, you can share your internet connection with multiple devices using ICS. The exact number of devices that can be connected depends on the capacity of your network and the speed of your internet connection.

4. Is Internet Connection Sharing secure?

ICS can be secure as long as you take the necessary precautions, such as setting up a strong network password and using encryption for your wireless network. However, sharing your internet connection does introduce some risks, so make sure to properly configure your network security settings.

5. Can I use Internet Connection Sharing with a VPN?

Yes, you can use ICS in conjunction with a VPN. This will allow other devices on your network to connect to the internet through the VPN, providing the same privacy and security benefits as if they were individually connecting to the VPN.

6. Does Internet Connection Sharing affect my internet speed?

Sharing your internet connection with multiple devices may lead to slower internet speeds, depending on the capacity of your network and the amount of data being used by each device. It is important to monitor the usage of connected devices to avoid any noticeable decrease in internet speed.

Related Technology Terms

  • Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • Wireless Access Point (WAP)
  • LAN (Local Area Network)
  • Hotspot
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

Sources for More Information

  • Windows Central –
  • Lifewire –
  • MakeUseOf –
  • How-To Geek –

About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents