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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Turning your Windows 7 computer into a Virtual Wi-Fi router

Turning your Windows 7 computer into a Virtual Wi-Fi router

A cool new feature, now Windows 7 is able to share your internet connection via software.
The operating system can use any compatible wireless adapter and turn it into a Wi-Fi router in a few simple steps.

Once it's set up, any Wi-Fi enabled device (Laptop, iPhone, Android device, wireless printer) can use your computer’s internet connection to get online.
Intel, Atheros, Broadcom, Realtek now include support in their latest drivers. Anyway it’s best to check their support websites to see compatible wireless adapters .

After you installed the latest Windows 7 driver for your Wi-Fi adapter, the next thing to do is to set up the “software router”:
Click the Start button, in the “Search Programs and Files” box type CMD, right-click the Cmd.exe icon and select "Run as Administrator".
In command prompt type the following :
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=MyNet key=MyPassword
and press [Enter].
Replace "MyNet" with the name you want to use for your network, and "MyPassword" with any password you like to have for your network
!!! Make sure you use only WPA2 keys are allowed, it is a hardware requirement for the Wireless Cards to be certified with the Microsoft Logo for Windows 7 to only allow WPA2 keys for the Virtual Access Point.

Now it’s time to start our new Virtual Wi-Fi router, type :
netsh wlan start hostednetwork and press [Enter] 

!!!Make sure you have your wireless adapter enabled  (mostly on laptops you) or you will receive this error :
C:\windows\system32>netsh wlan start hostednetwork
The hosted network couldn't be started.
A device attached to the system is not functioning.

If everything is ok you should receive this message :
C:\windows\system32>netsh wlan start hostednetwork
The hosted network started.
!!!Of course you can stop it whenever you want typing : netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

There is one last step we have to complete and that is sharing your cable connection using the Virtual Wi-Fi adapter .
Go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings, right-click your internet connection and select Properties. Click the Sharing tab, check "Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection", and choose your virtual Wi-Fi adapter .

Now any Wi-Fi enabled device in range should see a network with the SSID you defined above, and be able to connect to it with the specified password.

For those of you who need more info about this service, see Microsoft’s official description here and here,

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