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“Virtual Wi-Fi” in Windows 7 turns Notebook into Wi-Fi hotspots

A Philadelphia developer has rooted out an unfinished feature “Virtual Wi-Fi” of Windows 7 that turns any laptop into a wireless access point, allowing other Wi-Fi-enabled devices to share connection without special software. Virtual Wi-Fi was crafted in Microsoft’s research group as a way to “virtualize” one wireless card as several separate adapters. The project was discontinued in 2006, but work made its way into Windows 7 as “Native 802.11 Virtual Wireless Fidelity (Virtual Wi-Fi) object identifiers (OIDs)” . The resulting Connectify differs from Internet connection sharing that Windows already supports via an “ad hoc” network connection, which lets several Windows computers share a single connection. “For one thing, it shows up as a real wireless access point,” Gizis said. “Two, Internet connection sharing has issues. It returns to the default settings every time you shut down a connection. And three, you can join another wireless network and still run Connectify Hotspot on same Wi-Fi card.”

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