So, recently I was on a friend’s computer trying to troubleshoot some network problems, and when I went to configure the settings for one of the network adapters, I noticed something interesting that I hadn’t seen before:
In addition to the usual Wi-Fi network, there was also a connection to wireless network 2 with the adapter name â€œMicrosoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapterâ€. I had never seen such a thing before, so I became very curious. After some reading, I found out that this is a new feature in Windows 7, and it can really let you do some pretty cool things with your wireless network card.
In this article, I will explain what a virtual Wi-Fi mini-port adapter is and how it can be used on a Windows 7 PC. Apparently, this is a feature that is still in beta, so you won’t find much official documentation on its use.
Basically, Virtual WiFi is a technology that virtualizes your network adapter in much the same way that VMWare virtualizes your entire operating system. After virtualization, you can convert one physical wireless adapter to two virtual ones. This allows you to then connect one virtual network adapter to your regular wireless network and use a different virtual adapter to connect to another network, such as a peer-to-peer network, or to create a Wi-Fi hotspot and let others connect to your Windows 7 machine wirelessly. networks. as if they were connecting to a regular wireless access point.
To play around with creating your own wireless hotspot, you can do it in two ways: use the command line in Windows 7, or download a third-party program that provides a nice GUI and some additional functionality. I’ll show you how to use both. If you are a little tech savvy, I would advise you to use the command line as the third party program is not free.
Set up the wireless access point using the command line
The first thing you can do is share the Internet connection on your primary network adapter so that when connected with a virtual network adapter, they can access the Internet through your Windows 7 computer. You can do this by going to Network and Sharing Center and clicking Change adapter settings. Click the Sharing tab and select the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection check box.
In the Connect to Home Network drop-down list, be sure to select the name of the WiFi virtual mini-port adapter. It could be something like Wireless Network Connection 2 or 3, etc. Now, to configure the wireless access point on the virtual network adapter, open a command prompt (Start, type cmd) and enter the following command:
netsh wlan set to hostednetwork mode = allow ssid = VirtualNetworkName key = Password
In the line above, you need to change the VirtualNetworkName to your desired wireless network name and change the password to whatever password you want on the network. Note that all virtual wireless APs must use WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption no matter what. Once configured, you can enable it by entering the following line:
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
To view detailed information about the hostednetwork, such as how many clients are connected, enter the following command:
netsh wlan show hostednetwork
That’s all! Other users should now see your newly created wireless access point in their list of wireless networks. They also need to be able to connect to the Internet.
If this was too much work for you, you can use a third party app.
Set up the wireless access point using Connectify
If you travel a lot or find yourself in a place where you need to plug an Ethernet cable into your computer to connect to the Internet, and you don’t feel like fooling around with the command line, you can always check out the Connectify program to do the job for you.
This small app has a free and professional version. If you just want to share your Internet connection on Windows 7 then the free version is for you. There are many other features in the pro version that might be useful depending on your needs, otherwise I suggest not buying the pro version.
Once installed, you simply name your network, enter your password, and choose the Internet connection you want to share. Looks like what we did above, right? Connectify provides a user-friendly interface for the same.
So now you know what Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter is and hopefully you find it useful! If not, you can always disable it by going to Control Panel, Device Manager and disabling it under Network Controllers. Enjoy!