We talked about Connectify, a software that uses available Hotspot Enabler Tools to create a Windows 7 hotspot. If you do not want to use the software, you can use the command-line technique to create a Wifi hotspot. Long Zheng came with an update which explains how it works:
After downloading and installing the drivers, assuming your WiFi chipset supports the functionality (which I can verify the 5300 can but 3945 cannot), a new “Wireless Network Connection” with the adapter name “Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport” will automatically appear in your network connections.
That explains why I saw this into my list of Network Connection, though in a disconnected state.
How to enable Windows 7 Hotspot or Virtual WiFi from Command Prompt
Long Zeng also explains how you can enable that without using Connectify, and here is what you need to do. Launch the command prompt with administrator privilege. Type as below, and you would see the output similar to me.
C:\Windows\system32>netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=aryanwin7vwifi
The hosted network mode has been set to allow.
The SSID of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
The user key passphrase of the hosted network has been successfully changed.C:\Windows\system32>netsh wlan start hostednetwork
The hosted network started.
Change the bold marked username and password for yourself. Once complete, it will create Windows 7 Hotspot. You will be able to share your active internet connection to anybody using the hotspot.
The process is much simpler in Windows 10 now. Windows offers a dedicated toggle switch to create a hotspot as we do in our smartphones. You can configure hotspot names, set up a password, and more using the feature.
Troubleshooting Windows 7 or Windows 10 Wifi Hotspot (Posted by Phil)
If you are having trouble creating Wifi Hotspot in Windows 7 or Windows 10, follow these suggestions.
Open Command Prompt and type netsh wlan stop hostednetwork. Leave this window open
- Open Device Manager
- Right-click on your wireless card and select ‘update drivers’
- Browse my computer for driver software (vs. Automatically)
- Select your original wireless network (most likely by the manufacturer vs. MS)
- Leave this app open to see the next step that the driver has been installed correctly
Go back to Command Prompt and type netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow
Look back at the device manager. The driver should be installed w/o problems correctly in the device manager window. You may close this window
Next, open the Network and Sharing Center and Change Adapter Settings. See ‘Not Connected’ .. Microsoft Virtual Miniport Adapter
Go back to the command prompt again, and type
- netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=test101 key=password
- netsh wlan start hostednetwork
From the Network – Adapter Window, the Microsoft Virtual Miniport Adapter should show up
The only reasons that the adapter might not show up are if the adapter did not support use as a client and an access point simultaneously. It is different from either:
- Wireless ad-hoc networking that uses your wireless as an access point only (cutting out your connection to your regular access point or
- Microsoft’s original VirtualWifi (notice words are together) driver. It turned the single wireless card into multiple client adapters (as well as this was a direct ‘net’ driver vs. a ‘netsh’ driver).
The only other problem I’ve had was that occasionally when testing different integrations. It throws off the Winsock TCP/IP stack values of some of the temporary TCP variables.
TCP/IP stack repair options for use with Windows Vista or Windows 7 or Windows 10
- Start, Programs\Accessories and right-click on Command Prompt, select “Run as Administrator” to open a command prompt.
- Reset WINSOCK entries to installation defaults: netsh Winsock reset catalog
- Reset IPv4 TCP/IP stack to installation defaults. netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log
- Reset IPv6 TCP/IP stack to installation defaults. netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log
- Reboot the computer.
To find out what’s going on with the whole virtual wifi state on a Windows 7 machine:
- Open a command window, and type netsh wlan show all
After starting the hostednetwork, I have seen at times that the other computer connecting does not always get local and Internet access.
- Check the Virtual Wireless Adapter IPv4 Properties: (hosting computer)
- The IP should read 192.168.XYZ.1 and the Mask should be 255.255.255.0
Few things to note
The name of the adapter for the Microsoft Virtual Miniport Adapter may be “Wireless Network Connection XY.” Where XY usually is ‘2,’ but maybe anything – mine is ‘9’. My initial IP for that access point is 192.168.137.1 where it first started at 192.168.2.1)
The DNS settings have the button “Use the following DNS server” – vs. automatic, and the DNS addresses are blank. In Connectify only [vs. Virtual Router Manager beta], one DNS address listed was 192.168.2.1)
If the DNS of the active (started) hostednetwork is showing these entries (the IP address) as blank or not of the format 192.168.xyz.1, then reset them while the adapter is active. Disable and Re-Enable it from Device Manager
Restart the hostednetwork by typing the following on the command prompt:
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
Check to see now on the 2nd computer than connects to your access point. The IPv4 properties should read:
- IP Address: 192.168.XYZ.XYZ (where the first XYZ matches the same address as on the new access point – in my case it was 192.168.137.46
- Mask: 255.255.255.0
- DNS Address should read 192.168.XYZ.1 (Where XYZis again the same as the access point above.
Can you use IPv6
Though you can get the connections going without using IPv6, many of the enhancements to both wireless protocols as well as for IP to IP transfer, in general, are best optimized by leveraging the use of the IPv6 channel
Do you use the Wifi Hotspot feature in Windows 7? Let us know in the comments if using the software is easier or this method works for you.