December 2009 - Posts

Turn Windows7 Laptop into a WiFi Router

Thinking of buying a new wireless router from the market, just for the cause that you need to share your incoming internet connection between few devices? Or, may be, you are at the Airport and you have access to the internet over there via any devices, but you would like to do some stuffs in your WiFi supported phone, but the Network Provider ‘sucks’ the balance out of your account as the mosquito sucks the blood out of us... :-)

In such scenario, Windows7 laptops provide a solution. Windows7 has a new hidden extra capability to use the existing Wireless Adapter as Virtual Router and act as WiFi Hotspot.

This process could be done with the earlier versions of Windows via ad-hoc. ad-hoc is quite easy to use and useful too, in a sense that two computers need to establish a peer-to-peer connection in order to share files or the internet for a limited period of time.

Getting back to the main topic, its very easy to use the inbuilt capability incorporated by Microsoft into Windows7. All we need is a wireless adapter installed into our machine. And most essentially, that wireless adapter must be capable to form a Virtual Miniport Adapter. So, here we get started:

First of all, please make sure that your Wireless Adapter has the latest device driver. If you are confused about it, then Right Click on My Computer –> Click Manage and in the LEFT PANEL, click on Device Manager where you will find your Wireless Adapter, already installed. But right click on it –> Properties. A Dialog will appear and click on the Driver Tab, where you will see “Update Driver” Button. Click there and rest will be done by the computer.

But, we are not done with our major task. All, we need to do is now play with couple of commands. And we’re DONE.

So,

  1. Goto Start Menu and find Command Prompt.
  2. Right Click –> Run As Administrator
  3. Type – netsh wlan hostednetwork set ssid = <NET_SSID> key = <NETWORK_PASSWORD> enable=yes
  4. again – netsh wlan start hostednetwork

So, doing this, you will be able to see a new Wireless Adapter in your Network Adapters List, named as Wireless Connection2 by default, which will be the access point for a WiFi Hotspot.

Now, if you want to share your incoming internet connection then, all you need to do is, Right Click the connection->Click Properties->select the Sharing Tab and Check the box called “Allow other users to use this internet connection” or smth like that….

Meanwhile, an application Virtual Router at CodePlex is also available for this purpose.

Works well for me. Please post back for problems.