Wi-Fi networks can be set up without desktop computers and Internet service by means of laptops and routers. Purchasing a personal hotspot is another way to access Wi-Fi without a desktop computer and Internet service.
A laptop with wireless capabilities can serve as the basis for an ad hoc Wi-Fi network. The steps to do this vary wildly, depending on the computer's operating system and hardware. If the laptop does not have a Wi-Fi card, one must be purchase, or a USB adapter may be used.
A smartphone can also be used to create a personal hotspot. This practice is called tethering, and generally requires the user to subscribe to a wireless carrier that supports tethering; in lieu of this, unlocking the smartphone may suffice. The personal hotspot allows the user Internet access without having a standing account with an Internet service provider, since once tethering is established, any wireless device in the immediate vicinity can take advantage of the access.
A Wi-Fi network can be created without Internet service by plugging in a router. This allows the user to network devices in his home and share an Internet connection between them only if the device hosting the network has an Internet connection.