Introduction: How to Set Up a Wireless Hotspot - From WiFi (Windows 7)

Hello all,

In my last instructable I showed you how to setup a wireless hotspot using a pre-existing wired internet connection. Some of you may have wondered if it was possible to setup a wireless hotspot using a pre-existing wireless internet connection. Well wonder no more because this Instructable will show you how!

Similar to my last instructable you will need:

A pre-existing wireless internet connection.
Windows 7 - As far as I am aware the windows 7 OS must be either Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate. - In this Instructable, I am using Windows 7 Enterprise.

The benefits of sharing a pre-existing wireless internet connection are numerous. At my school, some of the laptops have inbulit 3g adapters. This allows them to connect to the internet using their own 3g internet connection rather than being restricted to WiFi.

Imagine this situation:
You and a friend are out camping. Due to your geeky needs, you took your computer to play some games/surf the web etc.. Your laptop has an inbuilt 3g adapter so you can connect to the internt on the fly. However, your friend is not as prepared and cannot connect to the internet. What can you do?

You can't just unpack your router and set it up, because you're camping remember? So, with only your pre-existing internet connection and a virtual NIC you will be able to follow this guide and setup your own wireless hotspot.

Disclaimer: Don't actually set this up while you are camping if you want your battery to last. Running your primary NIC and a virtual NIC will chew through the battery faster than Shaggy through a packet of Scoobie Snacks!

I don't mean to spam here but I suppose I should repeat the information I gave in my last instructable:

A Network Interface Card is a card used by your computer or laptop to communicate over a network. There are multiple types of NIC cards that connect to different technologys such as Ethernet or Wireless. Most laptops only have one NIC (Network Interface Card). This lack of multiple Network Interface Cards makes it impossible for a user to have an internet connection whilst sharing a hotspot. Thankfully due to virtualisation, you can "split" your NIC into "two" pieces of hardware and whilst one is connected to the internet, the other can be sharing this internet connection with your other WiFi capable devices.

I've written this instructable assuming that most readers didn't read my first instructable. Therefore, I will repeat all the steps over again:

Anyway enough information, lets get to the instructable.

Step 1: Enabling the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter.

This step will guide you through enabling the "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter": From my knowledge the "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter" is not compatible with all wireless cards but if it yours is compatible, and you follow my guide, it will work.

To enable the Virtual adapter open the "Run" dialogue ("Windows key"+ "R")

Then open the Command Prompt (type in "cmd" and click "Enter")

Once CMD is open type in the following command:

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Hotspot key=Password keyUsage=persistent

Where "Hotspot" is the SSID (the name of your connection) and "Password" is the password locking the connection.

Once this is done, you have enabled the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter!

Step 2: Configuring the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter.

This step will guide you through configuring your newly set-up Microsoft Virtual WiFiMiniport Adapter.

To begin with, if it has not already been done, connect to a Wireless network. Then navigate to "Network Connections" (from the Network and Sharing Center, click on the "Change Adapter Settings" link in the top left hand corner.) Enable the virtual adapter, if this has not already been done, by right clicking on the adapter and pressing "enable" in the context menu. Once you have internet connectivity via your primary NIC, and the virtual adapter is enabled, right click on the "Wireless Network Connection" button and click "Properties". Once the dialogue box pops up, click on the "Sharing" tab. From here click the check box labelled "Allow other Network Users to connect through this Computer's Internet Connection".  Click on the drop down box "Home networking connection" labelled "Select a private network connection" and select the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter which should be labeled "Wireless Network Connection 2".

Click "OK" and the "Wireless Network Connection" button should now say "Shared"

Sorry I don't have many photos attached to this step. I, unfortunately, do not have access to the computer I used to set it up with and my new computer's NIC card doesn't support this feature :(

Step 3: Starting and Stopping the Wireless Hotspot.

This final step will guide you through starting and stopping the wireless hotspot (access point).

It's time to go back to CMD.

Open a new CMD window ("Windows Key" + "R") and type in the following command:

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

CMD should confirm by saying "The hosted network started."

If you navigate back to the "Network Connections" window, you will notice the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter should now have your SSID listed with full reception!

Now. To disable (turn off the hotspot), it is best to:

Open a new CMD window ("Windows Key" + "R") and type in the following command:

netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

CMD should confirm by saying "The hosted network stopped."

And thats it! Your wireless hotspot will have started with the SSID (Name) and password you set! Try connecting to it with a different WiFi compatible device.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did creating it!