Up to date, wireless router is a basic device at home because wireless access point (AP) is required. Sometime, a wireless repeater is also needed in a big house especially that with a big yard. Actually, without wireless router, only a Windows 7 laptop can be turned into a WiFi hotpot or a wireless repeater. Many discussions can be found online regarding how to turn Windows 7 laptop into a WiFi AP or virtual WIFI hotpot, however, the internet surfing is based on a local area connection. If wanna extend a WIFI signal to an enhanced new wireless AP, generally two wireless adapters are considered.
Here, differently, with only one wireless adapter but without 3rd-party software, we can setup a wireless repeater in a laptop with Windows 7 Home Basic or Home Premium. This can boost the wireless signal to smartphones, tablet computers, or other wireless devices. Also, the mobility and flexibility allow extending the signal to a yard or a garage conveniently as you want.
It is known that a virtual wireless adapter can be created with a third party software or only Windows 7 built-in commands. But in Windows 7 Home Basic or Home Premium, usually the virtual wireless adapter cannot be created or a hosted network cannot be started. I found a specific approach to clear the issues.
We can follow the steps,
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
2. A virtual wireless adapter can be created by command of,
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=sameabcd key=12345678
where sameabcd is your new ssid of the virtual AP, key is the password for virtual AP.
If the virutal adapter named 'Microsoft virtual WiFi miniport adapter' cannot be created, we have a specific method here.
Delete all temporary point to point ssid at Manage wireless networks in Network and Sharing Center, and change all static IP to dynamic IP. Then bridge Local Area Connection to Wireless Network Connection, again run the command above, usually, the virtual wireless adapter can be created. If not, update the driver of the wireless adapter. If no again, it means the wireless adapter does not support hosted network. When the 'Microsoft virtual WiFi miniport adapter' is created, delete the bridge immediately.
3. Start hosted network by
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
If the hosted network cannot be started, similarly, we still have a specific approach here.
Delete all temporary point to point ssid at Manage wireless networks in Network and Sharing Center, and change all static IP to dynamic IP. Then bridge Wireless Network Connection to Wireless Network Connection 2, run the above command again, usually the hosted network can be started. Then delete the bridge immediately, and run the command again.
4. Go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings. Right click on Wireless Network Connection and select Properties. Go to the Sharing tab and check "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection." Then at the "Select a private network connection" drop down menu, select Wireless Network Connection 2 and click the OK button.
5. Searching the new created wireless signal, you can now get your smartphone, tablet computer, or any wireless device connected to the new WiFi AP.
If do not need wireless repeater, just stop it by
netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
to stop the wireless hosted network.
This method is free and no any 3rd-party software is required.
After you set up the hosted network for the first time, you can just start or stop it by running following two batch files as administrator.