I prefer cable connection as WIFI has been always just a bit too slow for me to consider it a proper option.
I did the same way when I want to share internet from my phone to my laptop. Usb cable connection then going into the settings. By active, I meant that I got a feedback messages that it's connected with a device.
My laptop to laptop setup (I use it currently as well:). Is a local LAN to LAN cable.
Coming to think about it, both laptops are on the same Wifi at it doesn't show the wifi connection option when I connect it, so the network seems to be not enabled here.
Not that it would matter for my purposes, which is only cable based, device to device connection.