Create a Wireless Hosted (Virtual) Network

by Eric Geier [Published on 26 Jan. 2011 / Last Updated on 4 Dec. 2009]

Using Microsoft's old VirturalWiFi feature, you can create a virtural wireless access point (AP).

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 include some functionality of Microsoft’s old Virtual Wi-Fi project. You can create a Wireless Hosted Network, which is basically a virtual wireless router. This can even be created while using the Wi-Fi adapter for another network.

Here’s how to create a Wireless Hosted Network:

  • Enable Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) to provide an Internet connection on the host network: Open the Control Panel or Network and Sharing Center and open the Network Connections window. Then right-click the network adapter that’s connected to the Internet and select Properties. Select the Sharing tab, check the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection, choose the Hosted Network Connection from the drop-down listbox, and click OK.
  • Configure the hosted network via the Command Prompt: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=YourVirtualNetworkName  key=YourNetworkPassword
  • Start the hosted network via the Command Prompt: netsh wlan start hostednetwork
  • When needed, stop the hosted network via the Command Prompt: netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

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