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Turn your PC or laptop using Wi-Fi-adapter to the access point for other wireless devices is relatively simple.It is surprising that on such a wonderful opportunity not know so many people, even among advanced users.

In the case of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, this is just one of many innovations that went virtually unnoticed, even though the materials on this topic on the Web to find very easily. Strictly speaking, the specification of Wi-Fi network involves work in two modes – either a point-to-peer (ad-hoc mode), when all clients are connected to each other, either as an access point (infrastructure mode), when the exchange of data between two hosts goes through a third party. The work of one physical adapter in both of these two modes is theoretically impossible.

In practice, however, Microsoft decided to look at the fashion nowadays, and virtualization technologies have created a layer that abstracts the wireless adapter. In fact, we have a system like multiple modules Wi-Fi, each with its own settings, which in reality only one using the resources of a real device. This subsystem is called the Virtual Wi-Fi. A similar development is the company and Intel – Intel MyFi (My Wi-Fi). We will not go into technical details of implementing each of the technologies – it is important that we can put to work in adapter mode access point software, Software Access Point (SoftAP).

So why you may need SoftAP? First, to quickly organize a local wireless network to which you can connect another PC, Smartphone, and so on. Secondly, it is possible to distribute the Internet host machine inside our little network. In this case, clients will be behind a NAT. Does not matter how we get access to the network on a machine with SoftAP – on Ethernet, WiMax, 3G, Dial-Up (anything can happen) or something else. It is noteworthy that the computer can be connected to any wireless network and at the same time be an access point.

Thus, it is easy to create a repeater by placing a laptop on the boundary of the main reception of the wireless network and setting the same parameters SoftAP, as the parent access point. Thus, we will extend the range of the network and all clients in need will automatically reconnect to the repeater, and vice versa. Another possibility – a light “institution” wireless client traffic on any available network interface, such as VPN-tunnel. There are other possibilities of using the software access point outside the moral framework of our rubric.

To implement SoftAP we need Wi-Fi-adapter drivers that support the work in this mode. In fact, virtually all modern wireless modules, integrated or external, have this capability. Moreover, support for Virtual Wi-Fi is one of the prerequisites for getting the adapter to the list of compatible devices certified for Windows 7. Do not be lazy to clarify this point before you begin, and then update just in case the drivers from the official website of the manufacturer of the module Wi-Fi. However, in most cases the driver, “came” together with system updates will work properly. Unfortunately (not very big, though), now we can create only one virtual access point with optional encryption WPA2-PSK/AES.

To create an access point, enough to run the console (command line) as an administrator and execute one single command:

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode = allow ssid = “SoftAP Tst” key = “Yourpassword” keyUsage = persistent

Naturally, the option ssid must be specified access point name and key in a password to access the network. Later in the same way you can change the parameters of AP. After running the OS will install the right driver and the list of wireless adapters will want us to Virtual Wi-Fi. To remove the adapter you specify in the command mode = disallow and omit all the other parameters.

Now you can run the point with:

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

To stop the logical way to change the command, start to stop.

It is not recommended while working in a mode to disconnect the physical adapter SoftAP Wi-Fi, for example drag it from the USB-port – it can lead to a crash of the OS!

To view the current settings of a virtual access point, you can use the commands:

netsh wlan show settings

netsh wlan show hostednetwork setting = security

When starting SoftAP automatically start embedded DHCP-server. In order to “share the” connection to the Internet for users of the newly created wireless network, you must select the tab “Sharing” in the properties of the network interface, which just has access to the network. There must be enabled to permit public access to the Internet and choose our virtual adapter mode SoftAP.

To simplify the work with a software access point may be to advise the two programs: VirtualRouter and Connectify . The first is free, but a bit outdated and does not always work “out of the box” and the second asks for money to pay for access to certain features. However, it is worth it. The functionality of utilities far exceeds the built-in operating system to work with virtual access point. She has UpnP-server, it allows you to choose another type of encryption is more convenient management of wireless clients and much, much more. In general, a real little monster software to organize hot spot. If you really need this enhanced functionality, then $ 30 a year do not seem too large a sum. Software Access Point mode, you can create in Linux orMac OS X . It is true that in the first case it is necessary to tinker with the settings, and opportunities will be less than in Windows 7. In the second case, in the best traditions of the operating system from Apple, everything is elementary, but can only connect one client. However, with the advent of AirDrop AirPlay and exchange of information between the i-devices much easier. At the same time, as they say in those of your internet, we assume an open topic. Good luck!