Windows 8 have many awesome features which have been inherited from Windows 7 and one of the feature includes the virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot). Using the virtual Wi-Fi router feature, you can create a virtual Wi-Fi connection which lets you connect other PC’s/tablet or phone to internet through the virtual Wi-Fi and IP addresses.
Virtual router has many advantages and it lets you create internet Wi-Fi hotspots even when you are not using an internet connection through a Wi-Fi. In short, creating a virtual Wi-Fi router on your Windows 8 PC will give Wi-Fi access to other PC’s, tablets or phones through your Windows 8 PC/tablets Wi-Fi.
Let’s take a look at few advantages of creating a Wi-Fi router (hotspot):
- You don’t need to have an actual Wi-Fi router to give access to Wi-Fi internet
- You can use the internet from your ethernet or 3G/4G network to use as Wi-Fi on other devices
- Let’s you share internet connection with your other PC’s tablets or phone using the Wi-Fi
- Your virtual Wi-Fi router have different IP’s to track easily
You might be wondering, how is this possible? and what hardware would be needed to setup the virtual router (hotspot). The requirements are not that difficult to fulfill and are supported by almost all devices. You can find the requirements below.
- An active internet connection whether a Wi-Fi, through LAN or 3G/4G network
- Supported Wi-Fi card on the host device which have the internet access to setup virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot)
- Wi-Fi support on devices on which you want to use virtual Wi-Fi network for internet access
To check whether your Windows 8 PC/tablet meets the requirements to create a virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot), follow the instructions below.
Checking for compatibility of host Windows 8 PC/tablet:
- First of all, go to Start Screen and type ‘cmd’. You would be showed the ‘Command Prompt’ in results. Right click on it or swipe down on its tile to bring the app bar. You would see the option to ‘Run as administrator’ in app bar on bottom. Press it.
- You would be asked; ‘Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer’. Press ‘Yes’.
- Your ‘Command Prompt’ will open. Here type the following.
netsh wlan show drivers
- Press ‘Enter’ to execute the command. You would be showed a complete list of your internet properties. Search for ‘Hosted network support’.
- If it’s ‘Yes’ then, you are good to go otherwise, you will have to upgrade your Wi-Fi card.
Tip: Don’t close the Command Prompt as you will be needing it in the next steps.
Now, when you have fulfilled the above simple requirements, you can proceed to the setup of that virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot). Just follow the instructions below to create a virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot) on your Windows 8 PC/tablet.
Creating a virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot)
- If, you have the Command Prompt open, simply type in the following
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=<enter_network_name_here> key=<enter_password_here>
- Here, <enter_network_name_here> would be replaced with your desired name e.g. Windows8CoreVirtual and <enter_password_here> would be replaced with the password e.g. 987654321.
- Once you have entered the correct Wi-Fi name and password, press ‘Enter’.
- Your virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot) would be created.
- Now, we need to activate it. Simply type the following in the command prompt
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
- Your virtual router would be started.
- That’s all!
Now, you will want to connect other devices to that virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot). Simply follow the instructions below but, before that, you will have to enable the internet sharing.
Enabling the internet connection sharing for virtual Wi-Fi router.
- First of all, go to Start Screen and type ‘Network and Sharing’. Select ‘Settings’ from the right filters and press ‘Network and Sharing’.
- Your ‘Network and Sharing Center’ window will open in desktop. Here select ‘Change adapter settings’ from the left column.
- Here you will see the complete list of adapters in your PC/tablet. Here select the connection type you are using e.g. a Wi-Fi network or a Ethernet etc by right clicking it and selecting ‘Properties‘ or selecting ‘Change settings for this connection’ from the menu ribbon above.
- A pop-up window would open. Here navigate to ‘Sharing’ tab and check the ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection’ and select ‘Local Area Connection* 13’ from the drop down list.
- Press ‘Ok’ and you are good to go.
Connecting other devices to that network.
Connecting to this new virtual router (hotspot) is simple and similar to connecting to a real Wi-Fi network. Simply go the network settings on your Windows PC/tablet or phone and select this network from the settings. Enter the password and Bingo! You are connected to internet connection without an actual Wi-Fi connection.
Note: This internet virtual Wi-Fi router (hotspot) will keep running until have internet connection on host Windows 8 PC. Similarly, if you shutdown the host Windows 8 PC, the Wi-Fi network will stop working.
You may visit our Tips & Tweaks section for more tips, tricks and tweaks about Windows 8.