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My company will be attending a trade show in March, and the wi-fi could be spotty especially under peak loads. We don't really need Internet, we just need our Android tablets to be able to hit a laptop we'll have there. The laptop will be running a web server.

Is it possible to use a wireless router or something to enable the tablet to connect to the laptop by IP address, even with no Internet available? Please explain conceptually how to build / set this up.

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Conceptually, it's quite simple: You set up a wireless router and all your devices connect to it, creating a wireless LAN. You don't need anything else.

There are a few things to note:

  1. You can use most any wireless router, including "home" versions.
  2. If the router also has LAN ports, plug your laptop into it. That will greatly improve performance.
  3. If your Android devices support it, get a wireless router that operates in the 5GHz band. In a trade show, there will be lots of wireless interference which will slow you down. But there are more channels in the 5 GHz band so you are less likely to have interference.
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  • Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Ron. Feb 20 '14 at 16:04

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