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Connectify turns Windows 7 laptops into Wi-Fi hotspots

By Jos · 39 replies
Oct 30, 2009
  1. Few years ago a little-known feature called Virtual Wi-Fi was crafted by Microsoft's research group as a way to "virtualize" one wireless card as several separate adapters in Windows. The project was discontinued in 2006, but some of the code apparently made its way into Windows 7, and now at least one company is taking advantage of it with a new application that can turn any laptop into a wireless access point.

    Read the whole story
  2. mattfrompa

    mattfrompa TS Evangelist Posts: 576   +73

    very interesting concept, although I can't think of many times i would personally find it useful. Anyone with a good example I am all ears.
  3. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 1,006   +249

    Seems pretty cool, but I can't exactly imagine making use of it.
    If there's a fee involved, there's no way I would bother toying around with it either, even to find a use for it.
  4. Deso

    Deso TS Rookie Posts: 124

    wow that's so cool, my wireless router is in the basement, so I'll be able to make my brothers wireless laptop in the middle floor, connect to my laptop in the second floor of the house and hopefully have a better single there then to the router? awesome
  5. elroacho72

    elroacho72 TS Rookie Posts: 102

    This sounds great! I would beta test this. I can't see how the project got discontinued in 2006.
    It would be just as cool back in 2006. I think this would be a great use of that old laptop in a low spot in my house. I can also see using it with a cell phone and a laptop . I can't wait to see all of its applications it could be used for. I will download it now.
  6. Jos

    Jos TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,073   +97

    It definitely could come in handy whenever you have to pay for expensive Wi-Fi (an airport, for example) and want to share that connection with others... or perhaps even to extend your Wi-Fi range at home.
  7. Colonel Lance

    Colonel Lance TS Enthusiast Posts: 46

    Wow, this is pretty awesome. I wouldn't be surprised if this was an accident on Microsoft's part, though I would not be surprised if it was intentional either. MS seems to be making some good choices as of late, I'm pretty impressed.

    I can see this being very useful, mostly in the ways that Jos mentioned.
  8. MBK

    MBK TS Rookie Posts: 41

    I had no idea how this could be useful until i read this comment. Seems like a good idea, especially sharing expensive connects (at least fron a consumer's point of view, don't think the network admin are going to like it very much).
  9. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 605   +67

    That's cool, but how is this any different than setting up an ad-hoc network? I've done this a number of times with Vista, and it's also available in XP. It's simply a wireless connection with Internet sharing on.

    This feature has always existed in windows. If you had internet plugged into any computer via ethernet and that desktop or laptop also had a wireless nic, all you had to do was right click on the icon for the wireless device, go to properties, and under the sharing tab, select the checkbox that says "Allow other users to connect through this computer's internet connection." Then make sure the output nic is the wireless device and there you go. I guess small minded people who hated vista for no reason never had the opportunity to enjoy that option.
  11. lesajm

    lesajm TS Rookie

    It is great to see progress like this. Any new ways to connect are always desirable.
  12. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,376   +72

    To Deso: You can get a repeater router (for wireless g only) and it would use a lot less power than keeping a laptop on all the time. It would also cost a lot less if you're buying new.
  13. freedomthinker

    freedomthinker TS Enthusiast Posts: 140

    I really support this , im using Windows 7 right now and im soo happy . When i had a problem on XP , everytime i turned my PC on i had to restart my modem to get some connectivity ! This is totally awesome !
  14. abautu

    abautu TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Seems very nice. I wonder why is this Window 7 dependent? Why can't it be implemented in other OSs (obviouslly, with more code in the application, compensating for less OS support)?
  15. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 821   +29

    From a bit of reading on the Connectify FAQ you don't have to have your laptop hooked up via a hardwire ethernet connection. You can use your wireless connection, with the same network card, and then re-broadcast it as a new wifi hotspot.

    Also, I believe you could do what you are talking about on Xp Pro.

  16. InsaneVr6

    InsaneVr6 TS Booster Posts: 219

    I am always iffy about wireless hotspot's because they usually aren't very well protected. The cool thing about this is that it encrypts it with WPA.

    Windows 7 so far seems to be very well executed and what Vista should have been. A lot of cool features that even third parties are already taking advantage of.
  17. skitzo_zac

    skitzo_zac TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 413

    I could of used this last year when I was hosting a LAN at home and was needing to extend the range of my wireless network.

    But yeah, is there any reason this is Win 7 exclusive?
  18. jurrasstoil

    jurrasstoil TS Rookie Posts: 27

    When it stays free, i'd def. have a use for it.

    I'm getting a small netbook to be a bit more mobile than with my current 15.4". When i'm home it's running 24/7 most of the time and this would save me some bucks for a wireless router.
  19. RickD

    RickD TS Rookie

    Somehow I doubt that you could get Windows 7 to run on an old laptop. If it can run Windows 7 then it's good for far more than a simple access point.
  20. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,442   +1,907

    It's a nice feature to expand your wi-fi connection. This could be more important than 802.11n It's another good reason to buy windows 7.
  21. gamingmage

    gamingmage TS Rookie Posts: 63

    This is amazing! Especially for small businesses that want to get wifi in their business either for themselves or for customers. Such as mom and pop donut shops or cafes. This should be very interesting nonetheless.
  22. RickD. I run Win7 reasonably well on a 2.4 GHz Dell Inspiron laptop with 1 GB RAM. This old piece of Dell detritus was designed for XP.
  23. elroacho72

    elroacho72 TS Rookie Posts: 102

    You would be surprised about W7 .With the W7 RC out I have put it on a lot of desktops and a few laptops. System requirements only call for a 1 GHz processor. I don't see why it wouldn’t! And it won't cost a thing. I'll let you know how it goes.
  24. JieMan

    JieMan TS Rookie Posts: 62

    Sounds great , but I have no use for this as I only have this one PC ... boy oh boy could I use a little nettop . ha ha

    I could really see this going if you have a Company or a larger home where you can setup tethering all around so you could move about freely and only have to have one main access point. I guess it would depend on where people were moving around tho.
  25. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 786   +173

    WIndows 7 just keeps getting better and better! I kno this has been there before, however, it wasn't as utilized as now.
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