Sunday, March 25, 2012

How To Use Laptop As Wifi Router


I started using my first ever Android smartphone a few days ago and thought it was lame not being able to take advantage of its internet connectivity-dependent features (browsing, video streaming, file syncing, data backup, app downloads, etc.) at home. I’ve been using cable-to-cable DSL connection even with the fact that my laptop came wifi-ready when I bought it more than a year ago.

This article was originally posted on my now-gone blog (ImageBurner) on March 12, 2012.  

While googling for information on a good wifi router, I luckily stumbled on a freeware dubbed Virtual Router by CodePlex. As stated on the project description, Virtual Router allows any Windows 7 or 2008 R2 computer to be turned into a wifi hotspot with the use of Windows 7’s Wireless Hosted Network technology or Virtual Wifi.

On a more specific tone, “Virtual Router is a free, open source software based router for PCs running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Using Virtual Router, users can wirelessly share any internet connection (Wifi, LAN, Cable Modem, Dial-up, Cellular, etc.) with any Wifi device (Laptop, Smart Phone, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android Phone, Zune, Netbook, wireless printer, etc.) These devices connect to Virtual Router just like any other access point, and the connection is completely secured using WPA2 (the most secure wireless encryption.)” In my case, use laptop as wifi router.

How To Make My Laptop A Wifi Hotspot


To make your laptop a wifi hotspot, you’ll need the following:
  • A wifi-capable/ready computer that runs on a Windows 7 Operating System (any version except Starter Edition); 
  • Preferably a DSL or broadband cable connection (I haven’t tried this process on plug-in types, or broadband sticks as we call it, but maybe it could work as well); 
  • Virtual Router installation, its installer you can download through this link

I’ve outlined the whole process below using screenshots to make everything easier to follow.

Go to virtualrouter.codeplex.com to download the software for free. When the download finishes, install it as you would install any other program.
Go to http://virtualrouter.codeplex.com/ to download the software for free. When the download finishes, install it as you would install any other program.  

After installation, if Virtual Router doesn't auto-start, double-click on its shortcut icon on the desktop or on the Start menu, or if it does (for most cases) simply right-click on its icon at the system tray and select Manage Virtual Router on the pop-up menu.
After installation, if Virtual Router doesn't auto-start, double-click on its shortcut icon on the desktop or on the Start menu, or if it does (for most cases) simply right-click on its icon at the system tray and select Manage Virtual Router on the pop-up menu. 

On the Virtual Router Manager window, edit the settings fields or leave them by default though I would always recommend using a password for security reasons e.g. avoiding bandwidth misuse by unauthorized users. Click on the Start Virtual Router button when you're done.
On the Virtual Router Manager window, edit the settings fields or leave them by default though I would always recommend using a password for security reasons e.g. avoiding bandwidth misuse by unauthorized users. Click on the Start Virtual Router button when you're done. 

You should see a notification on the bottom-left portion of the window.
You should see a notification on the bottom-left portion of the window. 

On your smartphone, go to the wifi settings to start the connection.
On your smartphone, go to the wifi settings to start the connection. 

Your phone should be able to detect the new wifi setup.
Your phone should be able to detect the new wifi setup. 

Key in your password and press Connect.
Key in your password and press Connect

Your phone should start collecting information from the wifi source and be connected shortly afterwards.
Your phone should start collecting information from the wifi source and be connected shortly afterwards. 

Congratulations! You may now go waste some time and watch cat videos.
Congratulations! You may now go waste some time watching cat videos.  

For troubleshooting, additional information and/or answers to FAQs, check out the software’s documentation. Of course, you can always drop a comment below for more inquiries about the topic.

Wireless Network Adapter:
Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller
PC OS:
Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit (6.1, Build 7600)
Phone Used:
Samsung Galaxy Y Young GT-S5360
Phone OS:
Android 2.3 Gingerbread

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