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What Is the Windows Internet Connection Sharing Tool, and How Does It Work?

The Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) tool allows you to share an Internet connection with other devices on a Local Area Network (LAN). But how does this tool work and how do you enable it? What are the pros and cons?


This article answers all these questions. In addition, we will show you how to configure various settings for ICS tools.


The ICS tool uses one computer (the host) to connect other devices to the Internet. To achieve this, it uses Network Address Translation (the technology that allows devices on a local network to share the same public IP address).

The device that shares an internet connection through ICS is the gateway machine. This means that the internet traffic flowing on the other devices must also go through this device.

So, how do you enable the ICS tool on your Windows device? Let’s find out.

Here are the steps to enable the ICS tool:

  1. Press Win + X to open the Quick access menu.
  2. Select Network connections from the options.
  3. Click on the Wi-Fi option on the left.
  4. Click Change adapter options on the right side panel.
  5. Right click on the Wi-Fi option (or other relevant option) and select Properties.
  6. Navigate to the Parts tab.
  7. Check the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection and then press Okay. Now the ICS tool is up and running.

To disable the tool, follow the previous steps and uncheck the box Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection box. Finally, press Okay and then close the Internet Connection Sharing tool.

Now let’s see how to connect another device to the host PC:

  1. Enable the ICS tool on the other device by applying the previous methods.
  2. Right click on the network icon on the taskbar and select Open Network and Internet Settings. You can also type Network status in the search bar of the Start menu and select the Best match.
  3. Click on the Network Center option under Advanced Network Settings.
  4. Select the Set up a new connection or network option on the next screen.
  5. Then click Connecting to a wireless network manually and then press the Next one knob.
  6. Finally, enter the host device details on the next screen. From there, press the Next one and follow the steps on the screen.

maybe you should configure some system settings for the ICS tool to work properly. So, we will look at how to configure the settings of the “ICS tool” and the settings of the “ICS service”.

ICS tool settings

Let’s see how to configure the ICS tool settings:

  1. Press Win + X to open the Quick access menu.
  2. Select Network connections from the options.
  3. Then click on the Wi-Fi option in the left pane.
  4. Click Change adapter options on the right side panel.
  5. Right click on the Wi-Fi option (or any other internet connection you use) and select Properties.

By default you have to land on the Networking tab.

The Networking section is a place where you can configure various network settings.

To get started, press the Configure to configure the network adapter settings. From there, follow the on-screen instructions, then press Okay.

Then scroll down to the “articlessection on the Networks tab. From there, check the relevant boxes to enable the options in that section.

Now let’s go to the Parts tab. Here you can configure the Internet Connection Sharing settings.

Follow these steps to configure the settings on the Sharing tab:

  1. Check the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection on the Share tab.
  2. Click on the Home network connection drop-down menu and select the relevant option.

Then check the Allow other network users to manage or disable the shared internet connection box.

From there, you can configure advanced settings by pressing the Settings knob. When you are done, press the Okay to save these changes.

Now let’s see how to configure some ICS service settings.

ICS service settings

Here are the steps to configure the ICS service settings:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run Command dialog box. Otherwise try the several other ways to access the Run Command dialog.
  2. Type services.msc and press Okay to open the Services window.
  3. Locate and right click on the Share internet connection maintenance.
  4. Select Properties from the options.

Navigate to the General tab. There select the Startup type drop-down menu and select automatically. Finally, press the Get started button, press Applyand then press Okay.

Then open the Properties window again and navigate to the login tab. There, choose the account you want to use while running the ICS tool. By default, the local system account should be selected.

Here’s how to add another account on the Sign In tab:

  1. Click This account from the options.
  2. press the To leaf through knob.
  3. Enter the account information, then press Okay.
  4. Finally, press Apply and then press Okay on the Login tab.

Now let’s go to the recovery tab. Here you can select your computer’s response in case the ICS tool fails.

To access this section, open the ICS properties window according to the previous steps, then select the recovery tab.

Here’s how to configure the settings on the Recovery tab:

  1. Click on the First failure drop-down menu and select Restart the service. That way, your PC will restart the ICS tool if problems occur.
  2. Then configure the same settings for the Second failure and Next failures drop-down menus.
  3. Press Apply and then press Okay to save these changes.

Finally, let’s take a look at the dependencies tab. This section lists the services that the ICS tool depends on.

To access this section, open the ICS properties window, then select dependencies.

By looking at the options in the Dependencies tab, it is clear that the ICS tool only relies on the Base Filtering Engine service.

For now, we are not configuring any settings for the Base Filtering Engine service. But if the ICS tool is having problems, you may want to tweak a few settings for the Base Filtering Engine service.

Now let’s look at the pros and cons of using this tool.

Some of the benefits of using the ICS tool are:

  • Free and easy to use: You don’t have to pay to use the ICS function. The best part is that the tool is also easy to set up and use.
  • Connect different Windows versions: The ICS tool allows you to share an internet connection with any kind of Windows version, be it Windows 10 or Windows 11.

The disadvantages of using this tool include:

  • Data privacy issues: The ICS host has access to all internet traffic flowing on all connected devices. So this means that there is a chance that the host will gain access to your sensitive information.
  • Connected devices depend on the host: If the ICS host device encounters problems, the other devices will also be affected. So you probably have an unstable connection if the host device continues to experience problems.

If you want to share an Internet connection with multiple devices, look no further than the Internet Connection Sharing tool. This feature is free to use and offers many benefits.

And if you’re looking for better speed and reliability, consider merging multiple internet connections.

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