Skip to main content

Windows 7 Turn Laptops into Wi-Fi Hotspots

PC Advisor reports that Philadelphia developer Nomadio has discovered an unfinished Windows 7 feature (Virtual Wi-Fi) that can turn a laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot. That means other devices in the near vicinity can access the Internet without the need for special tunneling software. The company has now exploited the uncovered treasure and created a free application called Connectify, released just last week.

Microsoft's research group originally began development of Virtual Wi-Fi years ago; the feature would take a network card and virtually split it into several, separate adaptors. However, Microsoft halted its development back in 2006, but apparently never removed the feature from the operating system. Now it appears in Windows 7 as "Native 802.11 Virtual Wireless Fidelity (Virtual Wi-Fi) object identifiers (OIDs)".

Alex Gizis, CEO of Nomadio, told PC Advisor that driver support for Virtual Wi-Fi was never finished. With that said, the driver-level "stuff" isn't present, however the "low-level code" is still intact. There's also no application or setting to turn the feature on. Naturally, this is where Connectify comes in.

But Gizis was quick to point out that the software differs from Internet connection sharing. "For one thing, it shows up as a real wireless access point," Gizis said. "Two, internet connection sharing has issues. It returns to the default settings every time you shut down a connection. And three, you can join another wireless network and still run the Connectify Hotspot on the same Wi-Fi card."

Head to the official Connectify website to learn more about making your Windows 7 laptop an Internet hotspot.

  • Didn't Toms already cover news of this 'feature'?
    I remember reading an article about it, cause my first thought was 'Hey, now I can use the virtual wifi to conquer my apartment complex' various routers, and combine their connections to get better throughput :3
    Reply
  • HibyPrime
    And three, you can join another wireless network and still run the Connectify Hotspot on the same Wi-Fi card.

    This is the money maker here. Any laptop can now be used a signal extender, basically.

    Possibly even more important, you don't need a wireless router if you have a desktop near the modem, just plug the modem directly into the PC, and boom, WiFi router.
    Reply
  • makotech222
    just because its connected doesnt mean it emits a wireless signal. you need a wi-fi card to do that lol
    Reply
  • It reminds me of software that enables people's wifi cards to connect to multiple wireless networks,and adhoc computers!

    Didn't you need one network card for an 'adhoc' network, and one other to connect to the internet, or can you with one and the same card be connected to a wifi, while sending wifi signal to the pc/laptops?
    Reply
  • How can someone discover something that was already discussed previously concerning Windows 7, not only here, but on other websites?

    One 802.11 adapter (Built in or Wi-Fi card)
    = 1 Wi-Fi adapter
    + 1 Virtual Wi-Fi Adapter which can act as an access point.

    The only new thing here is the Connectify software from Nomadio.
    Reply
  • ossie
    HostAP (hostapd) is available for ages on penguins. m$ can't ever get something right, especially on established standards... Maybe only if they could impose a new "widely accepted standard" (about 85% of luser base)?
    Reply
  • Atticah
    how much is the laptop?
    Reply
  • tektek
    MS will eventually sue him .. of course let him bring out the news.. hype it up.. make millions from sales.. so he can eventually bring it back to them .. then again.. they did create it.. this will be fun to keep track of.
    Reply
  • Neog2
    DUDE this was released and talked about months ago in the RC Beta.
    It was the big thing and if i remember the orginal article i read
    said that all windows 7 new wifi adapters had to support mutiple
    connections. It was to allow mesh networks. I forget what microsoft
    calls the actual term. But Its on there knowledge base, and was on
    the net months ago. Atleast 2 months ago.
    Reply
  • Drag0nR1der
    tektekMS will eventually sue him .. of course let him bring out the news.. hype it up.. make millions from sales.. so he can eventually bring it back to them .. then again.. they did create it.. this will be fun to keep track of.
    Somehow I don't think they will, I cant think of any instance where they slapped a devloper for increasing the functionality of windows, after all they never stopped software like tweakUI, object desktop, mermory managers and other windows optimisation/customisation apps which tapped in to 'features' or code unavailable through the standard interface. Besides if the code was part of any sent as part of a developer kit then I dont think they even have recourse to.
    Reply