How to turn your Windows 7 laptop into a wi-fi hotspot

Want to share your laptop’s Internet connection with other wi-fi devices (for example, your iPad or Galaxy Tab, or friends’ laptops)? Windows 7 supports a feature called Virtual Wi-fi (if your wireless adapter driver supports it – so you might need to update the driver to make it work. Some Intel, Broadcom and Realtek adapters support the feature). Here are the steps for setting it up:

1.- Click Start and in the search box, type cmd
2.- Right click the cmd.exe link and select “Run as Administrator.”
3.- In the command prompt window, type: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=MyNet key=MyPassword replacing “MyNet” with the name you want to use for your wireless network and “MyPassword” with a password that will have to be entered on other devices to connect to it.
4.- Press Enter.
5.- Still at the prompt, type netsh wlan start hostednetwork
6.- Press Enter.
7.- Click Start | Control Panel.
8.- Click Network and Internet | Network Sharing Center.
9.- Select “Change Adapter Settings.”
10.- Right click your Internet connection and click Properties.
11.- Click the Sharing tab.
12.- Check the box labeled “Allow other network users to connect …”.
13.- Select your virtual wi-fi adapter.

Now other wi-fi devices should see your network name appear in their lists and they can connect to it by entering the password.

Don’t want to go through all that? You can take the lazy way out and use Virtual Router, a “donationware” software program that sets up the network for you.

You’ll find it here:

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