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I need to use a VPN from a Windows VirtualBox guest on a Linux host laptop. This works fine via ethernet, but I really need to do this over wireless networks, and the built-in Intel 3160 wifi card in the laptop appears not to work in bridged mode. I do not know how one ascertains for sure whether this Wifi card is supposed to support bridging on Linux. The answer doesn't come up when I search. I am merely assuming that either the hardware or the linux driver is limited in some way. When I configure the wlan0 interface as bridged the guest boots up unable to connect to any network.

I have a Lenovo y40 laptop running Fedora 22 with an Intel Wifi card that works fine:

Intel Corporation Wireless 3160 (rev 93), iwl3160-firmware version 25.17.12.0, kernel 4.1.4

As best I understand, the only way I can get this to work is by buying a USB wifi card and either: A) using it in bridged mode; B) somehow making sure the host linux OS doesn't see it and using "passthrough" so the Windows guest takes control of the hardware.

The problem I'm having with approach A is that it does not seem possible for me to easily search and confirm any given wifi USB card is explicitly supported on Linux and has solid bridging functionality. I get no definitive clarity when I search on any of the recent $30/$40 models with regard to Linux support. How do people confirm before purchasing? I'm going to be pretty annoyed if I buy three cards and none of them enable the Windows guest to get online via VPN.

Approach B seems to not be explicitly documented. When I look for examples of "usb passthrough" on VirtualBox all I see is stuff about various disk drives, nothing about wireless cards. When I poke around in the USB settings of VirtualBox 4.3.30 on the host and try to "enable USB 2 controller", it complains about needing the "VirtualBox Extension Pack." I find it odd that this isn't in the virtualbox.org Fedora package repository (which I'm using). So I am suspicious that this is an approach that no one is even using and will probably not work.

Any advice appreciated about successfully getting wireless hardware configured on a linux laptop such that a Windows 7 guest can successfully "bridge" and connect to a VPN. Searching the web doesn't give me any confidence.

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