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Peer-to-Peer WiFi configuration (Windows 8 and 10)

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2017 01:54PM MST
Thanks to our colleagues at Intellitext LLC for their assistance with these instructions!

You might also be interested in:
   Peer-to-peer WiFi Configuration (Windows 7/Vista)
   Peer-to-peer WiFi Configuration (Windows XP)
   Peer-to-peer Linking on Apple Macs with Parallels
   Use batch files to connect Windows 8 or 8.1 to ad hoc network
   Use batch files to switch IP addresses automatically (for Windows 7/Vista and Windows 8)
   Linking two or more Readers to a Transcriber
   Troubleshooting Peer-to-peer Linking

TypeWell will automatically detect and use a peer-to-peer WiFi link when it's set up correctly. Follow these steps to set up peer-to-peer WiFi linking between a Transcriber laptop and a Reader laptop running Windows 8 or 10.

IMPORTANT UPDATE for Windows 8 and 10 users:

Microsoft Windows discontinued support for IBSS (for Peer-to-peer Linking) and SoftAP (which TypeWell uses for Internal Linking). These features were deprecated starting with Windows 8.1; however, many people were able to continue using those features long afterward because their WiFi device drivers hadn't yet been updated by Windows Update. This explains why some Windows 8 and 10 computers that previously could support peer-to-peer linking might suddenly be unable to, following a Windows Update.

You may be able to restore these features in your computer by rolling back the WiFi device driver to an earlier version. For example, see this solution in Intel Community forum.

If you're not sure whether your WiFi device driver supports that IBSS feature — which is required for the configuration below — please go back to Pre-Configuring Wireless Settings for Peer-to-peer WiFi Linking.

The following steps assume:

  • TypeWell Transcriber or Reader software has been installed on both laptops,

  • wireless hardware on both laptops is enabled, and 

  • the WiFi drivers on both laptops support the IBSS parameter.

WiFi device capabilities show IBSS feature is supported


In the transition to Windows 8, Microsoft removed many graphical options for configuring/managing ad hoc networks, so there are a number of extra steps to take to get a Windows 8 or Windows 10 PC connected (compared to earlier versions of Windows).

First, you're going to connect your wireless to a special TypeWell-only network. Once you do this, you will no longer be able to use those wireless cards to connect your computer to the Internet. If you want to use both the Internet and TypeWell wireless from the same computer simultaneously,  you can add a second wireless card or plug in an Ethernet cable. Read about sharing wireless or Use batch files to switch IP addresses automatically.

[Find where to set up a special Network]

How you set up a special network depends on your wireless hardware. Start by opening your the Network and Sharing Center and verify that the Set up a new connection or network option is listed.

Windows 8 set up new connection

If you don't have the option to change your network settings using the Network and Sharing Center, you may need to ask your wireless hardware manufacturer how to get into the configuration screen. If possible, get the manufacturer to tell you how to turn off the manufacturer-specific configuration program so that you can use the standard Windows wireless configuration windows.

The rest of these Network-configuration instructions tell how to set your wireless up using the standard wireless configuration controls in Windows 8 and Windows 10. If you have a manufacturer-specific configuration method, or a different version of Windows, you'll need to adapt these instructions accordingly, or call the manufacturer's tech support to ask how to achieve the same settings.

[Ad-hoc mode]

Set up a new Network for use by TypeWell, in ad hoc mode. In the Network and Sharing Center, click Set up a new connection or network. This will start the network creation wizard. Choose Manually connect to a wireless network.

[SSID/Network name]

This step is the most important for making sure your two computers can wirelessly communicate — they must be using the same network name. The first field is where you fill in the Network name (SSID). Make up a name for the private network these two machines will be using to communicate. In the example below, we used the name "Intellitext Tim." This Network name will be one that’s already being broadcast by another TypeWell computer, or one that you wish to broadcast from your Windows 8 or 10 computer.

Both machines in a pair must use the same Network name; but if you are setting up more than one pair of TypeWell computers, give each pair a separate Network name so that they won't crosstalk and interfere with each other. For instance, one pair might use the network TypeWellA and another pair might use the network TypeWellB. Use the same capitalization for the network name on both computers.

[Encryption off]

Now in the drop down menu below where you typed in your network name you must select No authentication (open). This will cause the third field in the wizard to become greyed out.

Un-check both checkbox options at the bottom of the window, and then click Next, and then Close.

Manually connect to a wireless network wizard

[Set connection type using command prompt]

In order to perform the following steps, you will need to be able to access the command prompt window as an administrator. To access the command prompt window go to the Windows 8 or 10 Start screen, type command prompt and when the Command Prompt option appears, right-click and choose Run as administrator. If a User Account Control window pops up, choose Yes.

command prompt run as administrator

Type the following command netsh wlan set profileparameter “YOUR NETWORK NAME” connectiontype=ibss and press Enter. Replace YOUR NETWORK NAME with your own (from the [SSID/Network name] step above), but remember to include the quotes.

At this point, it’s a good idea to restart your computer for the changes above to work correctly.

command prompt set connection type

[Remove other Networks (optional)]

In previous versions of Windows you could open a list of available wireless network profiles by going to the Network and Sharing Center and clicking Manage wireless networks. From this list you could prioritize connections, change profile information and delete profiles for networks you no longer require access to.

For those earlier versions of Windows, we suggested that users clean out the list of other wireless networks to help make the TypeWell peer-to-peer connection work reliably day in and day out. This would prevent Windows from attempting connections to other networks and thereby losing the TypeWell connection.

You can read more about managing wireless networks in these tutorials:

How to manage wireless network connections & profiles in Windows 8
How to delete or forget wireless network profiles in Windows 10

If you find that for TypeWell peer-to-peer linking to work, you must "Forget" or manually disconnect from other stored profiles in Windows 8 or 10, please let us know so we can update this page for other TypeWell users.

[IP addresses 192.168.247.1 and .2]

For both TypeWell computers to link on the ad hoc network, both computers must be connected to the network and both computers must have their IP addresses set to the valid TypeWell values.

To set the wireless IP address to the valid TypeWell values, follow these steps:

From the Windows 8 start screen, type Network and Sharing Center and choose the Network and Sharing Center option, and then click Change adapter settings (on the left side).

Right-click on the wireless adapter and click Properties. This should open a window with the Networking tab already selected.

There's a scrollable box below the label This connection uses the following items. Scroll down to the bottom of this list and look for an entry called Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). If there is more than one such entry, pick the one that mentions your wireless device or Version 4.

Wi-Fi properties

Select the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) entry and click on the Properties button just below the scrollable box. This brings up the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties window. The General tab should already be selected.

Click on the second radio button Use the following IP addresses.

In the IP address field, type 192.168.247.1 on one of your computers. Type 192.168.247.2 in this field on the other computer. If you had a third computer in the same network as these first two, you'd use 192.168.247.3 for it. TypeWell can never use IP addresses higher than 192.168.247.4.

Press the Tab key on the keyboard. This will cause the Subnet mask field to fill in with the value 255.255.255.0.

TCP/IPv4 properties

Click OK to close this window.

Click the Close button at the bottom of the remaining window. This will activate all your changes.

If a message appears about an IP Address Conflict, you've accidentally used the same IP address on both computers. They must each have a different IP address. Set one of them to 192.168.247.1, and the other to 192.168.247.2.

[Connect to the ad hoc network]

You've finished creating the peer-to-peer wireless network!

The following are instructions to manually connect to the network:

From the command prompt window, type the following command netsh wlan connect “YOUR NETWORK NAME”. Replace YOUR NETWORK NAME with your own, but remember to include the quotes.

command prompt connect to ad hoc

You should see a confirmation, "Connection request was completed successfully."

[Turn on TypeWell wireless option]

Start TypeWell on both computers. Click on the Link menu on each computer and look for the "by Peer-to-peer WiFi" menu item. If the Wireless option is grayed out on one of the computers or shows a "Wrong IP" error message, please see "Still Gray?" in the Troubleshooting article.

TypeWell Link menu

Under TypeWell's Link menu, select the By Peer-to-peer WiFi item and check the box to Enable Peer-to-peer WiFi Linking.

peer-to-peer WiFi linking setup window

Then check the TypeWell Link menu to make sure that the entry near the top says Linking ON. If it says Linking Off, then click Linking On.

Linking menu verification

If a window comes up that says something like TypeWell is trying to access the network, make sure you choose the option that lets TypeWell do so! Such a window would be your firewall program trying overeagerly to protect you.

Once you've turned the Wireless menu item on on both computers, the Link menu may flash for a moment and then it should change to say "Linked." (In versions of TypeWell prior to V5, they'll show "Searching wireless" for a moment in the status line at the bottom right of TypeWell's window, and then they both should switch within a few seconds to saying Linked on Wireless in that bottom corner on both computers.)

If one or both of the TypeWell programs continues to flash "Linking" or "Searching wireless", please see "Still searching?" in the Troubleshooting article.

Once you see this Linked (or Linked on wireless on older versions) message on both computers, anything typed on one TypeWell will be transmitted to the other. It works!

[Manually connect/disconnect OR use batch files to automate the process]

Windows 8 won't automatically connect to an ad hoc network by itself. Unless you use the batch files provided by Intellitext, you'll need to type the command each time you start your computer: netsh wlan connect “YOUR NETWORK NAME”.

To manually disconnect from the ad hoc network, open the command prompt window again and type the command netsh wlan disconnect and press Enter.

command prompt disconnect

You should see the confirmation message, "Disconnection request was completed successfully..."

Alternatively, you can use batch files to automatically A) connect/disconnect to the ad hoc network, and B) set or remove the TypeWell IP addresses.

[Test a power-up]

Sometimes you'll get wireless working once, but it won't work correctly when the machines turn on the next day. Test that by shutting off both computers, and then turning them back on and trying step 13 again. If they won't link, the problem is likely that you didn't perform the remove the other wireless network connections in step 11, so you're not getting a reliable connection on the TypeWell network. Re-check step 11.

[Add Security afterwards]

If you have any trouble getting your TypeWell connection to work the first time, make sure that you are not using any kind of encryption. Turn if off on both computers until you get TypeWell linked.

Once linking is working reliably after each reboot, you can go back and make the connection secure. The directions above set you up with a connection that will allow any stranger to connect with your computers. They can't necessarily DO anything to your computer, but to reduce the chances of someone accessing your private files, or messing up something on your computer, you should take these steps.

There are two ways to increase security. You can do either or both. The first and easiest is to prevent sharing of your files with others.

To do this, go to the Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel, right-click on your wireless network icon, and click Properties:

WiFi Network chosen with Properties highlighted

Look in the scrollable list for the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks item. This item allows other computers to wirelessly connect to your computer. Un-check the box next to it if you don't want to permit this:

Network Properties menu with File and Printer Sharing option highlighted

Note that you'll still be able to connect to someone else's printer on their computer — this just prevents them from connecting to your files or printer, if you have one.

The second security measure you can take is to use encryption over the wireless connection. This can be pretty frustrating to get right, and many people use TypeWell with only the first security step above to prevent outside access to their files. But if you are a techie and understand what WEP is, go the extra mile if you would like.

Go to the Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel, and click on Change adapter settings on the left side:

Network and Sharing Center

Right-click on your desired TypeWell network, and click the Status option in the menu:

WiFi option with Status highlighted in menu

Under the General tab, click on Wireless Properties:

WiFi Status dialog

Go to the Security tab, and input the new security key for the TypeWell network:

Wireless Network Properties dialog

Make sure to type the exact same password on both computers, or they won't be able to communicate with each other.

Next: Troubleshooting Peer-to-peer Linking

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