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Virtual WiFi in Windows 7

Posted By:Abhisek Panda       Posted Date: November 23, 2009    Points: 25    Category: Architecture/Pattern    URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com  

Virtual WiFi(VWiFi)

       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.

       Windows 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.

        Virtual 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,

"On 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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