Need an instant WiFi hotspot? Here's how

From time to time you might run into a situation where you have a computer connected to the internet (maybe via Ethernet), and you have a device you want to connect to the internet as well, except there is no WiFi hotspot to connect to. I was in a situation like this today, so I simply created a hotspot using a nifty app called Connectify.

As long as your computer is running Windows 7 and connected to the internet via some form, whether that is via WiFi, Ethernet or even a 3G/4G dongle, you can use Connectify to share that same connection through a new WiFi hotspot. It’s really simple to set-up and allows any device to connect via secure WPA2-PSK.

All you need to do is download the application here, install it while making sure your antivirus software doesn’t prohibit the installation (ESET Smart Security, for example, prohibited the service from starting), then run the app. From here you simply need to choose a hotspot name and password, choose the incoming network you want to share and through which WiFi card you have in your computer, then click start hotspot.

It’s even possible to share incoming WiFi out through the same WiFi card, which is awesome for increasing range for when your computer can connect to a WiFi network, but your phone may be out of range. The Pro version of Connectify also allows you to do more things than just create a hotspot, such as repeat the exact same network through your WiFi card rather than having to create a new SSID and password to use.

Performance using the software is also very good. I was able to almost max out my connection’s speeds on my phone, connected through Connectify, with only a slightly longer ping time; I could even watch YouTube on both my computer and phone at the same time if I wanted. It was certainly much faster than through 3G and without a small data cap.

Connectify is a very handy app, and it’s available for free with enough functionality to create instant WiFi hotspots whenever you might need to. Try it out whenever you find yourself annoyingly without WiFi.

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35 Comments

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Neowin
-1
Fail

There are so many brilliant and wonder software products out there that could be reviewed, and you are spending time and wasting user time, and confusing users with a superfluous piece of software.

If you have Windows Vista or 7, you can do this without using an app. as long as the WiFi card in the PC support Ad-Hoc. Windows 7 already has a wizard for making a Wifi Hotspot for you. This UI just makes it a lil easier.

Mohitster said,
I believe this can be achieved using the "Create Adhoc Network" functionality available in Windows 7?!

No need to install a different software!

http://www.addictivetips.com/w...computers-in-windows-vista/

Internet Connection Sharing has been available (under various terminology) since Windows 98. I agree, I don't really see a point in adding extra software to do what Windows can already do on its own. And hell, the setup wizard for sharing in Windows 7 is beyond easy.

roadwarrior said,

Internet Connection Sharing has been available (under various terminology) since Windows 98. I agree, I don't really see a point in adding extra software to do what Windows can already do on its own. And hell, the setup wizard for sharing in Windows 7 is beyond easy.


Does ICS allow creation of Wi-Fi network and sharing over it?
I think that the Ad-hoc network creation is a feature new to Windows 7 and not all Wi-Fi adapters support it.

RealFduch said,

Does ICS allow creation of Wi-Fi network and sharing over it?
I think that the Ad-hoc network creation is a feature new to Windows 7 and not all Wi-Fi adapters support it.

It was a feature of Windows Vista, too.

RealFduch said,

Does ICS allow creation of Wi-Fi network and sharing over it?

Perhaps I'm missing something, but what exactly would be the point of that? If you are receiving your internet connection via WiFi, why exactly would you need to forward that connection to another computer via WiFi as well? Why not simply connect the second computer to the same WiFi network were your first computer is getting internet access?

RealFduch said,

Does ICS allow creation of Wi-Fi network and sharing over it?
I think that the Ad-hoc network creation is a feature new to Windows 7 and not all Wi-Fi adapters support it.

Yep... If the WiFi adapter is capable of doing this. (If the WiFi adapter/driver isn't capable, the 'advertised' software above can't do it either.)

A good way to see if you WiFi adapter/driver is capable of pretending to be two WiFi adapters, look for the entry below in your Network Adapters:

Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter

It allows the WiFi to pretend to be two adapters, which is required for this feature, and can be used for other features of connecting to multiple WiFi networks at the same time, etc...

roadwarrior said,

Perhaps I'm missing something, but what exactly would be the point of that? If you are receiving your internet connection via WiFi, why exactly would you need to forward that connection to another computer via WiFi as well? Why not simply connect the second computer to the same WiFi network were your first computer is getting internet access?

Say you are at an internet cafe, and they only support WPA2 which works fine with your laptop, but your old PSP only knows WEP, you can use this to let your PSP tap into your PC via WEP and then let the PC use WPA2.

Or you are at the Airport, and they make you pay $10 an hour for a single device, and you want to use your smartphone, you can connect with your laptop, and then create a WiFi AP for smartphone that leeches off them laptop connection.

Or you are at the Airport and it requires you to click on a Web Authentication page to gain access to the internet, and your device doesn't support this, you can authenticate with your laptop and then share it to the device.

Having traveled quite a bit, you would be surprised how often I have had to pop open my netbook just to get a device on the Airport or location WiFI network by using this feature.

And yes I have always just used the built in ICS in Windows 7.

What drives me nuts is you pay for cell phone bandwidth and they want to charge you again or penalize you for using it as a hot spot for a laptop...that's beyond dumb.

mattygdot said,
You can do this natively with Windows... why install another application?

It has a couple extra features. But Windows probably provides all the functionality you would need.

rfirth said,

It has a couple extra features. But Windows probably provides all the functionality you would need.

+Bingo

99.9999% of people will never need anything but the built in ICS features of Windows 7, and to be honest, ICS in Windows 7 has been around since the mid 1990s, is built into the networking stack, and is a lot faster than a 3rd party solution.

How exactly is this any better than simply going into your network settings and turning on Internet Connection Sharing? And why exactly is this done as a news post? Shouldn't this be in the Software News section?

roadwarrior said,
How exactly is this any better than simply going into your network settings and turning on Internet Connection Sharing? And why exactly is this done as a news post? Shouldn't this be in the Software News section?

If you have 1 device and are connected adhoc WiFi to the PC then yes, Internet Connection Sharing should get the job done. This doesn't turn your PC WiFi into adhoc, it turns it into a WiFi hotspot so that you can connect multiple devices to it.

roadwarrior said,
How exactly is this any better than simply going into your network settings and turning on Internet Connection Sharing? And why exactly is this done as a news post? Shouldn't this be in the Software News section?

This is not the same.

Shadrack said,

If you have 1 device and are connected adhoc WiFi to the PC then yes, Internet Connection Sharing should get the job done. This doesn't turn your PC WiFi into adhoc, it turns it into a WiFi hotspot so that you can connect multiple devices to it.


Fair enough, but my point about this belonging in Software News still stands.

Shadrack said,

If you have 1 device and are connected adhoc WiFi to the PC then yes, Internet Connection Sharing should get the job done. This doesn't turn your PC WiFi into adhoc, it turns it into a WiFi hotspot so that you can connect multiple devices to it.

Wrong, and Wrong...
It is Ad-Hoc by default, but can Mimic Infrastructure if needed.

Multiple devices can connect - Even if using the default 'AdHoc' mode. There is only an 'authentication difference' between Ad-Hoc and 'AP/Hotspot/Infrastructure'

Any WiFi adapter that can do the dual mode of being both a client and AP can also do with with the built in Internet Connection Sharing of Windows 7.


What type of crack are people smoking, and why?

htcz said,

This is not the same.

Ya, one is built in, easy, and free...
The other is not, and cons users out of money for a product they don't need.

I dont consider this too "news worthy" as it has been asked in the forums and this answer has been given.

That said, there are certain wifi cards that do not work with this program. Connectify I believe has a compatibility list on their website so check that out before downloading or buy this.

This program has been there for a long time and previously it used to be free. They have now skimmed out some the features to charge for them which I don't mind (after all they need to make money). But the annoying ads on the app is unwanted. in windows 7, you can create a ad hoc network without this software as well for internet connection sharing.

Yes, but in Windows 7 (and Mac OS X SL) you can't connect to a wifi network and create a separate wifi network using the same card. Annoying.

"ESET Smart Security, for example, prohibited the service from starting"
Forgive my cynicism here, but is there any validity in this block?

C:Amie said,
"ESET Smart Security, for example, prohibited the service from starting"
Forgive my cynicism here, but is there any validity in this block?

ESET Smart Security's firewall, not active antivirus, stopped it, so there is no virus threat. It says on their website that the installer cannot create the proper exceptions with ESET like they can with Windows Firewall and other AV software

Scorpus said,

ESET Smart Security's firewall, not active antivirus, stopped it, so there is no virus threat. It says on their website that the installer cannot create the proper exceptions with ESET like they can with Windows Firewall and other AV software

Fair play then

sounds great thanks for the heads up

i didn't realize that it was possible to create a hotspot like that

You can also use your pc or lappy as a mifi with this app if you have a 3g dongle or a tethered phone. However there may be wifi adapters in some laptops that will cause a BSOD if you try to use them with this program.

Tom said,
Doesn't work on my university network inevitably. <_<

What was the problem? There is a troubleshooter included with the app that will tell you what went wrong