Microsoft has been researching since 2002,for a technology that would
allow a wireless adaptor to appear as more than one piece of hardware
and the technology is the Virtual WiFi which is now included in Windows 7.
7 Virtual WiFi allows a single Wi-Fi card to appear as two. With two
virtual adapters, now we can connect to two hotspots at a single point
of time. We can use one virtual WiFi adapter to connect to a
hotspot and another to share the connection with other computer. But
now we are just limited to use only one Virtual adapter in Windows 7.
With the new Virtual WiFi support it's easier to set up a mesh network
of your own, where every system in the network acts as a repeater, one
grabs a wireless signal, another passes it on to other systems.
WiFi or VWiFi, is just a software layer that abstracts the wireless LAN
card hardware into multiple virtual adapters. The software handles the
connections of each adapter to ensure every adapter has an opportunity
to connect to their respective networks limited by time. The
result is an operating system which acts as if you have multiple WiFi
hardware adapters working independently. This is the similar technology
which is used in Virtual PC where we can install more than one OS
inside one single OS.
Microsoft documentation says,
Windows 7 and later, the operating system installs a virtual device if
a Hosted Network capable wireless adapter is present on the machine.
This virtual device normally shows up in the "Network Connections
Folder" as 'Wireless Network Connection 2' with a Device Name of
'Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter' if the computer has a single
wireless network adapter. This virtual device is used exclusively for
performing software access point (SoftAP) connections [...]. The
lifetime of this virtual device is tied to the physical wireless
adapter. If the physical wireless adapter is disabled, this virtual
device will be removed as well."
The Virtual WiFi is already integrated into Windows 7 now, but there is need of specific driver to take the advantage of Virtual WiFi.
But there is a good news for those who want to run virtualized
adapters. If you have an Intel WiFi adapter in your system then you are
lucky as Intel releases its driver which supports Virtual WiFi. So go
virtual and share your connection.
To understand how VWiFi
works please take a look at the picture included. This article is
prepared by taking references from different websites.
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