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I've got a new laptop with a wireless card which runs Windows 7. At work, I put the laptop in a docking station that gives the laptop a hardwired internet connection and functions pretty much like desktop PC. But there isn't any WiFi signal in my building that I can use, so various portable devices that depend on WiFi for an internet connection (iPod Touch and Kindle) are hobbled. I'd like to provide them internet connections without spending more money, if possible.

So what I'd like to do is install some sort of virtual WiFi router on my PC. Is that possible?


N. B. There is a related (but not identical question) that has an answer that I think will work for me. It won't hurt my feelings if this question is closed with a link to the other question, but I think they require different answers.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You might want to try Connectify.me.

Meet the app that lets you transform your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot at the click of a button.

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Keep in mind that for Windows, that only works in ad-hoc mode... with hardware/drivers that implement the correct instructions for that software to work. –  TheCompWiz Jan 25 '12 at 19:08
    
support.connectify.me/entries/… I suspect devices not on that list will have issues in varying degrees. –  TheCompWiz Jan 25 '12 at 19:10
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I have used it succesfully as a router. Not ad-hoc mode. It was nescessary for me to get my android devices onto the internet as they do not support ad-hoc, and i installed it on more than one machine from different manufacturers. The questioner should really give it a go. There is a free version so low risk! –  nwaltham Jan 25 '12 at 19:12
    
From the site description this looks like exactly what the questioner needs. Good find. –  yosh m Jan 25 '12 at 20:43
    
This does indeed meet my needs so far. –  Jon Ericson Jan 25 '12 at 21:10
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One way is to create an adhoc wireless network.

See article: Share an Internet Connection Between Wireless Machines with an Ad Hoc Network in Windows 7 at How-To Geek.

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Interesting suggestion, but the Kindle at least does not support Peer-to-Peer networks. Seems like it would be a better way to move documents from one computer to another than to email them to myself, however. –  Jon Ericson Jan 25 '12 at 20:41
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In short... No. Here's why: 99% of consumer-grade wifi adapters and their drivers do not have any capabilities to perform the necessary "Access Point" bits. Manufacturers deliberately remove that functionality. That remaining 1% of devices out there that do offer AP functionality are either poorly-designed hardware and software, or are insanely expensive and require a server-OS of some flavor.

That being said... more-often, you can find support in Linux for a much larger selection of hardware to implement the AP bits... or you can simply buy a cheap $15 access point and save yourself $1000 worth of headaches.

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Hmmm... I wonder if you are answering a different question than the one I intended to ask. FYI, I tried the suggestion in the answer to the question I linked to and am able to connect both of the WiFi devices to the internet via my laptop's wireless card. I guess I must be in the lucky 1%. –  Jon Ericson Jan 25 '12 at 19:12
    
@JonEricson I am speculating, but it sounds like you are making ad hoc connections and using internet connection sharing. While that may fully suit your needs, that is very different from using it as a WiFi router. –  TimothyAWiseman Jan 25 '12 at 20:15
    
@TimothyAWiseman: Yeah, I'm probably using the wrong terminology. It would be helpful if the answer shed some light on my mistake, so I could learn from the answer. As it is, the answer is pretty much meaningless to me. –  Jon Ericson Jan 25 '12 at 20:32
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