Recently, I was on a friend's computer trying to solve some network problems and when I went to adjust the settings on one of the network adapters, I noticed something interesting that I had never seen before:
In addition to the normal WiFi network, there was also a 2 wireless network connection and the adapter name was " Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter ". I had never seen it before, so it made me very curious. After a few readings, I learned that a new feature of Windows 7 and can actually allow you to do interesting things with your wireless network card.
In this article, I will explain what the virtual WiFi mini-port adapter is and how to use it on the Windows 7 PC. Apparently, this is a feature that is still in beta and therefore you will not find much official documentation on how to use it.
Basically, Virtual WiFi is a technology that virtualizes your network card in the same way that VMWare virtualizes the entire operating system. Once virtualized, you can basically convert one physical wireless adapter to two virtual. It allows us to connect one virtual network card to the normal wireless network and use the other virtual card to connect to another network such as an ad-hoc network or to create a WiFi hotspot and allow others to connect to the Windows 7 machine in wireless mode as if connecting to a normal wireless access point.
To play around with creating your own wireless access point, you can proceed in two ways: use the command line in Windows 7 or download a third party program that provides a nice GUI interface and some extra features. I'll show you how to use both. If you are a little tech savvy, I would suggest using the command line as the third party program is not free.
Set up your wireless access point using the command line
The first thing you can do is share the Internet connection on your main network card so that when people connect using the virtual network card, they will be able to access the Internet via your Windows 7 computer. You can do this by going to Connection center of network and sharing and clicking Change card settings . Click on the tab Sharing and check the box Allow other network users to connect via this computer's Internet connection .
In the drop down menu below Home network connection, be sure to choose the name of the virtual WiFi mini-port adapter. It could be something like Wireless Network Connection 2 or 3, etc. Now to configure the wireless access point on the virtual network card, open the command prompt (Start, type cmd ) and type the following command:
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode = consenti ssid = VirtualNetworkName key = Password
In the row above, you need to edit VirtualNetworkName with the desired name of the wireless network and change the password in any password you want on the network. Note that all virtual wireless access points must use WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption, regardless of what. After configuring it, you can enable it by typing the following line:
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
To view details about the hosted network, such as the number of clients connected, type the following command:
netsh wlan show hostednetwork
And that's all! Now other users should be able to see their newly created wireless access point in their list of wireless networks. They should also be able to connect and connect to the Internet.
If all too much work for you, then you can use a third party app.
Set up your wireless access point using Connectify
If you travel a lot or end up somewhere where you have to connect an Ethernet cable to your computer to connect to the Internet and you don't want to joke with the command prompt, you can always check a program called Connectify to do the job for you.
This little app has a free version and a Pro version. If you just want to share an Internet connection on Windows 7, the free version is perfectly fine. The pro version has a lot of other features, which could be useful depending on your needs, otherwise I suggest not to buy pro.
Once installed, just name the network, type a password and choose the Internet connection to share. It looks similar to what we did above right? Connectify only provides a nice interface for doing the same thing.
So now you know what the Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter is and I hope you find it useful! If not, you can always disable it by going to Control Panel, Device Manager and turning it off in Network Controller. To enjoy!