Quite a few smartphones nowadays have the ability to share their Internet connections by creating a wifi hot spot. This can come in handy when you have only one Internet connection and multiple devices requiring it. But did you know can do the same thing with your Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer using Virtual Wifi Hotspot.
Virtual Wifi Hotspot (Virtual Router Plus 2.6) main screen
Using Virtual Wifi Hotspot, you can connect multiple wifi enabled devices to the Internet connection on one computer. It is extremely helpful if you have to pay for an Internet connection, like at an airport or hotel. For example, when I travel and stay in a hotel, I like to utilize the hotel's Internet connection (wired (preferred) or wifi). I can connect my Netbook to the Internet and then share that connection my wifi devices (smartphone, tablet). I've even thought about bringing a Roku with me next time I travel. Just start Virtual Wifi Hotspot, enter a network name, password, select the connection you want to share and click on Start Virtual Router Plus.
Virtual Wifi Hotspot is a Codeplex open source project and is built with the Virtual Router project. This explains the difference between the project name (Virtual Wifi Hotspot) and the application name (Virtual Router Plus). Here's a quote from the project's website:
Virtual Wifi Hotspot is a free, open source software based router for PCs running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012. Using Virtual Wifi Hotspot, users can wirelessly share any Internet connection (Wifi, LAN, Cable Modem, Dial-up, Cellular, etc.) with any Wifi device (Laptop, Smart Phone, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android Phone, Zune, Netbook, wireless printer, etc.) These devices connect to Virtual Wifi Hotspot just like any other access point, and the connection is completely secured using WPA2 (the most secure wireless encryption.)
For more information on Virtual Wifi Hotspot, just follow the link below.
Virtual Wifi Hotspot for Windows 7 & 8
I recently came across a useful application called Virtual Router over at CodePlex. It creates a Wifi Hot Spot on any computer running Windows 7 (all versions except Starter) or Windows Server 2008 R2. I installed it on my Acer Aspire One Netbook and gave it a try.
Virtual Router worked great. I was able to connect to it immediately. I can see using this when at remote locations with a couple of wifi enabled smart phones. Here's a quote from the project page:
Virtual Router turns any Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 Computer into a Wifi Hot Spot using Windows 7's Wireless Hosted Network (Virtual Wifi) technology.
The Wireless Network create/shared with Virtual Router uses WPA2 Encryption, and there is not way to turn off that encryption. This is actually a feature of the Wireless Hosted Network API's built into Windows 7 and 2008 R2 to ensure the best security possible.
You can give your "virtual" wireless network any name you want, and also set the password to anything. Just make sure the password is at least 8 characters.
If you are running Windows 7 (all versions except Starter) or Windows Server 2008 R2 and have both wired and wireless network adapters, you should give this application a try. It is available for download from the Virtual Router project at CodePlex.