If you have ever wanted to turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot, a secret feature has been revealed in Windows 7 code that allows you to tether your cell phone or other wireless device to your laptop.
The unfinished feature was hidden by default because of incompatibility with many of the devices and drivers. The feature can be enabled through some simple command line scripts and a feature clicks of the mouse.
Open up the Run command with Administrative permissions and run:
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Hotspot key=passwordhere
Set the network adapter with:
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
After running the command, you should notice "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter" appear in your network and sharing settings.
Enable "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection" under your Sharing tab, under properties.
After you have configured everything, you should be allowed to wirelessly connect to your laptop with your mobile devices. However, this isn't very useful to the everyday user, but has its future possibilities.
Users have reported that the following chipsets work:
- Atheros AR5005GS (as in the TP-Link TL-WN651G)
- Atheros AR5007EG with 126.96.36.199 firmware
- Broadcom 4310-series (in many Dell laptops)
- D-link AirPlus G DWL-G510 Wireless PCI Adapter (driver version 188.8.131.52)
- Intel 5100/5300 (with latest drivers from Intel's site, version 184.108.40.206, 64bit systems only)
- Ralink RT2870 (in many 802.11n USB dongles)
- Realtek RTL8187SE (with the drivers that came with Windows 7)
- Realtek RTL8192u with 1370(Beta)
Connectify is also available that takes advantage of this feature in Windows 7.