Use Your Laptop as a Wifi Hotspot
Wonder if it’s possible to make a WiFi connection at home without needing any router? With Virtual Router Plus you can easily transform your laptop into a wireless hotspot and connect your other devices.
This is a great option if you are able to physically connect your laptop to a wired or a 3G network (using a data card) and also want to be able to get online with your other smart devices. This is completely free and open source unlike Connectify which offers very limited features in its free version (like data cards are not supported etc)
The program is compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8, and once you have it configured, it can be used to get any wireless device online – other laptops, phones and tablets or even desktop machines fitted with a wireless adapter.
Setting it up is easy
Once you have downloaded the zip file, don’t worry about the installation as it does not need any. You just need to extract it.
After unzipping, you would see a file “VirtualRouterPlus.exe” which is the file to be run. Leave other files untouched. Just ensure that you are connected to the network connection that you would like to share before launching the application.
You might see a permission screen based upon your, User Account Control (UAC) settings.
Creating a Network
- After launching the app, just enter something in the SSID field that will basically be the network name that would appear on other devices in the Available WiFi networks list.
- Also secure your connection by providing a password in the password field.
- Select the network connection from the “Shared Connection” dropdown that you wish to share and click Start Virtual Router Plus
The app shares connection using WPA2 encryption to help keep things secure. Virtual Router Plus can be used to wireless share any other connection you might have available.
That’s pretty much all that you need to do. Your hotspot is up and running. Other devices will start seeing a new network in their WiFi list and they can connect it to too using the same password.
If you wish to discontinue sharing network, just select Stop Virtual Router Plus and that’s it.
Only limitation that I felt was that there is no way to know if somebody has connected to the hotspot or not.