You’re trapped by snow, you tried to escape in the car but hit some ice and and skidded into the curb at less than 10 mph and bent your wheel axle. There’s limited mobile reception. There’s internet but only directly connected by cable to one PC. You’re a geek who needs to work and that involves 2 laptops. Your wife also needs to work on her laptop and connect to work remotely. Your hosts , providing the house to keep you warm, also need to be able to work…this was the situation I found myself in (and still do) this weekend. The answer, turning one of the laptops into a WiFi hotspot and sharing that single Internet Connection (aka SoftAP) And also calling the car insurance!
So what’s involved?
Well first off I turned a laptop into an WiFi hotspot, which is simple with the right drivers from Intel and Windows 7. What happens here is a virtual network adapter is created to handle to the hotspot traffic.
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=SiWiFi key=password
Once the connection is setup you need to share whatever network connection is providing internet access with the new hotspot. To do that simple open the adapter settings, select the sharing tab, tick the box and select your new virtual network adapter. Obviously change SiWiFi and Key= to a ssid and key that you like. This can be used to share any internet connect, be it coming from WiFi or from Mobile or a wired connection.
The next step is to start the new adapter and hotspot whenever you need it done with a simple command at the command line:
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
Finally connect to the hotspot as you would from any laptop to a wireless hotspot.
I remembered hearing about this ages ago from Long at iStartedSomething.com but I got the detail from MSDN this time around and if you don’t like the sound of this in your corporate environment then this video on Edge will help you prevent it being used in your organisation.