8 Free Virtual Routers – Create WiFi Hotspots On Laptops & Desktops

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For those looking into setting up their own small office, cafe, small restaurant, budget hotel and so on, you can either purchase an expensive router that handles all the traffic or use a old laptop or desktop as a virtual router to share the Wi-Fi.

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Starting with Windows 10, you have a build in feature that allows you to share your WiFi, but it is pretty basic. If you want to create an advanced virtual routers with bandwidth control or quota when sharing the internet, you will need something more powerful and customizable. The following tools might be of you help.

1. Omnify Hotspot

Free and Paid

Omnify Hotspot

Omnify Hotspot allows you to create a wireless access point and share your internet. It’s easy to use and quick to start as you only need to give it a name and password, and then connect your smartphone, tablet, media player, e-reader, printer, laptop, and other wireless devices. The network name can also include Unicode characters and Emojis.

Instantly share any Ethernet, Wi-Fi, VPN, Tethering, or 3G/4G LTE connection with friends, colleagues, and your own devices. You can share your mobile data plan through tethering or with a USB dongle adapter. Keep all your devices online effortlessly – wherever you go.

  • Wi-Fi repeater – Wi-Fi repeater enables you to repeat an existing wireless network and extend its range. If you’re connected to a network, you can start the repeater to immediately boost its signal strength and range. It can help you connect all your devices to Wi-Fi with a reliable connection.
  • Bridge mode – In bridge mode, your devices are connected directly to the network you’re sharing. This makes it easier to share files, printers, and other content among all your devices. In normal mode, your devices are invisible to the network you’re sharing and connected to your computer instead.
  • Network traffic monitoring – Keep a close eye on the network usage of each connected device. You can track the upload and download bandwidth in real time, along with historical traffic usage.
  • Firewall access rules – Access rules define the critera used to allow or deny traffic to a connected device. You can decide whether you want connected devices to have access to your local network and internet by default. In addition, access rules can be defined per device to override the default access rules. You can finally share your internet while protecting your computer and network.

2. Netify Jump

Netify Jump

Netify Jump is a software-based system that effectively transforms your computer into a WiFi router and/or repeater. Netify Jump can broadcast WiFi right from your PC, so that any other WiFi-enabled device can get online. In addition using the built in “File Jump” service devices can beam files to and from other connected devices.

3. mHotspot

mhotspot

mHotspot is a completely free software which converts your windows 7 & 8 laptop into a virtual wifi router and creates a secure wifi hotspot.

You can share a single internet connection(LAN, Ethernet, Data-Card, 3G/4G, Wifi) for multiple devices like Laptops, iPhones, Android phones, PDAs, iPads etc. No router or external hardware is required apart from your existing one. Features :

  • Connect upto 10 devices to the hotspot
  • You can set your own hotspot name without any restrictions
  • Share any type of Internet Connection(LAN, Ethernet,3G/4G,Wifi etc)
  • Android phones, ipads, PDAs, tablet-pcs and other devices can access
  • See the details of the connected device(Name, Ip Address, Mac Address)
  • See the network usage(Upload and Download Speed, Transfer Rates)
  • Secures your wireless hotspot with WPA2 PSK password security
  • Set max. number of devices that can be connected (upto 10 devices)
  • Extends your Wifi range(Acts as a repeater)
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4. Maryfi

maryfi

Maryfi is a free and easy to use virtual router software creator for Windows 7 , 8 and 8.1 computers. With Maryfi, users can wirelessly share any Internet connection: a cable modem, a cellular card, or even another Wi-Fi network. Other Wi-Fi enabled devices including laptops, smart phones, music players, and gaming systems can see and join your Maryfi hotspot just like any other Wi-Fi access point and are kept safe and secure by password-protected WPA2 Encryption. MaryFi works in case you are using proxy or even vpn connection.

You can connect any WI-FI enabled device to MaryFi connection. this includes but not limited to: Smart phones, Android, Mac ios, Ipad, Ipod, Iphone, Apple TV. With Maryfi, users can wirelessly share any Internet connection such as: a cable modem, a cellular card, or even another Wi-Fi network. Other Wi-Fi enabled devices including laptops, smart phones, music players, and gaming systems can see and join your Maryfi hotspot just like any other Wi-Fi access point and are kept safe and secure by password-protected .

5. Connectify Hotspot

connectify

A fully featured virtual router right inside your PC! With Connectify Hotspot, you can transform your PC into a real WiFi hotspot, and share your computer’s Internet connection as Wi-Fi with any other PC or mobile device. Just give your Hotspot a name and password, and you’re ready to go. Connectify Hotspot isn’t just the world’s most powerful hotspot software, it’s the easiest, too. Just give your Hotspot a name and password, and you’re ready to go.

  • Custom IP and DHCP Controls
  • Bridging Mode
  • Wi-Fi Repeater Mode
  • Get Ethernet-only Devices onto Wi-Fi
  • Share Internet from 3G or 4G Networks

6. ARPMiner

arpminer

ARPMiner is a simple captive portal / hotspot software running under Windows (Vista, Windows 7/8, 2008/2012 Server). ARPMiner consists of a GUI and a service application called TekSpot. TekSpot has a built-in HTTP server and a proxy DNS server. RADIUS Accounting is supported in only SP edition. Features:

  • Real time monitoring of connected users.
  • RADIUS AAA support (Commercial editions only).
  • WISPr 2.0 authentication and partial RADIUS dictionary support.
  • Customizable HTTP interface.
  • Performance monitoring through Windows Performance Monitor.

7. MyHotspot

MyHotspot

Give your customers the flexibility and extra mobility with Wireless Internet Access. MyHotspot is a professional Wireless LAN software solution for providing internet access to your customers. Customers will be redirected to your login page to authenticate with a user account or a prepaid-code before getting Internet access.

The PayPal payment option allows your customers to create and pay for network access directly. The software controls download, upload, data transfer, time usage, and visited pages. MyHotSpot Billing software runs on your Windows PC, controls unlimited user or prepaid-code accounts, and displays data to customers on your self-branded pages. MyHotspot billing software is the definitive tool for managing your public WIFI-HotSpot in internet cafes, schools, hotels, bistros or gaming cafe / game centers.

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8. HandyCafe Server

handycafe server

HandyCafe Internet Cafe Software was written by using the latest technology and concept. Many newly added features contribute to the software’s elasticity and skill. HandyCafe is an Internet Cafe Software which brings prestige to the business with an easy to use structure and its reliability in the network media.

Some new features and other conventional ones of HandCafe are summarized below. Most of them are not given by other programs and thanks to these unparalleled features, managing an internet cafe and network wasn’t ever so enjoyable and easy. HandyCafe is being used by; Internet Cafes, Libraries, Schools, Militaries, Business Networks, Home Users, Governments, Hotels, etc.

9. Microsolut Hotspot

microsolut hotspot

[ Discontinued ] Microsolut is one of the pioneers of complete WiFi solutions / Lan. They develop leading software solutions to secure and manage wired or wireless networks, Hotspot billing Software Manager has a solution. Whether you are from a big Corporate, SME, Hotel, Resort, Cyber Café, Camping, they have a low cost effective solution for you. Not just for business alone, they have solutions for Universities and colleges too.

  • Bandwidth management (With Billing, Login Page, Password, User ID. Ideal for Hotels)
  • Users control without any client software installations.
  • Set your own price plans.
  • Wifi hotspot / Wifi billing system.
  • Create logs of URL addresses that customers visit.
  • Complete wifi billing system with Paypal integration.
  • Get real-time statistics and usage reports.

10. Virtual Router

Virtual Wireless Router

[ Discontinued ] Virtual Router is yet another Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and 10 Virtual Hotspot software, unlike Connectify, Virtual Router is free and open source. Virtual Router turns any Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and Windows 2008 R2 Computer into a Wifi HotSpot using Windows 7’s Wireless Hosted Network (Virtual Wifi) technology. The Wireless Network created/shared with Virtual Router uses WPA2 Encryption, and there is no way to turn off that encryption. This is actually a feature of the Wireless Hosted Network API’s built into Windows 7 and 2008 R2 to ensure the best security possible.

Virtual Router is a free, open source software based router for PCs running Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Using Virtual Router, users can wirelessly share any internet connection (Wifi, LAN, Cable Modem, Dial-up, Cellular, etc.) with any Wifi device (Laptop, Smart Phone, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android Phone, Zune, Netbook, wireless printer, etc.) These devices connect to Virtual Router just like any other access point, and the connection is completely secured using WPA2 (the most secure wireless encryption.)

Turn Your Microsoft Windows 7, 8 or 10 Laptop into a WiFi Hotspot

Video Tutorial on Internet Sharing via Windows 7

Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 has this feature whereby you can share your 3G, 4G or LTE modem internet connection with other notebooks, smartphones or iPad tablets. This is a free feature in service pack 1. It does not provide much control like the other free software but it does the job pretty well. Watch the video they created:

Free Wi-Fi: Friend or Foe?

free wifi wireless

16 Comments

  1. Gravatar
    Phillip Nakata [ Reply ]

    Actually they’ve documented it but didn’t promote it. It all revolves around (1) the netshell wlan commands, (2) what wireless cards are supported and have drivers that support dual mode, (3) having an new access point in addition to the client, and/or (4) how to support users better in pure ad-hoc networking (which is pretty poor unless you make them part of the same ‘home network name’ or supply chat/web/video/file/remote-access capabilities).

    Anyway…. that’s why it’s not more visible….

    On the other hand, the bigger question should have been how we can get the capabilities of the ORIGINAL MS Research for “VirtualWIFI” (notice as one word), that created MULTIPLE (vs. just one more) ‘virtual adapters’ that could SIMULTANEOUSLY connect to more than one access point (makes hopping a lot easier). This is similar to work I did a couple years back having multiple (3) phone lines in and figuring ways to flip back and forth between the gateways, as well as ways to bond the pipes together (normally a trick reserved for the server eh?).

    • Gravatar
      ZamZam [ Reply ]

      I have a windows 7 pc with a Realtek RTL 8188CE Wireless LAN 802.11n

  2. Gravatar
    Wireless USB adapter [ Reply ]

    Thank you. It’s exactly what I’m looking for.

    • Gravatar

      How To Share Your Windows Internet Connection Using Virtual Router?

  3. Gravatar
    Anthony [ Reply ]

    Thanks, this is great. I never new Win 7 had this feature.

  4. Gravatar
    Andrei [ Reply ]

    Hey there,

    The first thing Connectify did on installation was to scramble with the DSL settings… damn it, and it wasn’t my computer . Luckily I unisntalled the app and the internet connection was restored

  5. Gravatar
    jeremyjoseeedd [ Reply ]

    Thanks, this is a nice post. But it seems that this app doesn’t work on my laptop (DELL XPS M 1530). I really wanted to share WiFi with my Android phone so I kept trying apps until I met Virtual Hotspot, I know it’s the one. Freeware, easy to install, supports X64, Windows XP, Vista etc. Now I work really happy with Virtual Hotspot.

  6. Gravatar
    Daniel Nations [ Reply ]

    do you have virtual wifi hotspot for windows xp, vista and mac?

    • Gravatar

      where to download Virtual Router – Wifi Hot Spot for Windows 8, Windows 7 and 2008?

    • Gravatar
      S. Racki [ Reply ]

      XP !!! Vista!!! OMG

  7. Gravatar
    Whitson Gordon [ Reply ]

    You should be able to connect to that wireless network from your other devices with no problem. Virtual Router Plus

    • Gravatar
      gameboy [ Reply ]

      How to set up Virtual Wifi in Windows 8? any tutorials such as video?

  8. Gravatar
    Khirulnizam Abd Rahman [ Reply ]

    Why don’t I use my laptop to be a wifi router?

    • Gravatar
      Joanna Stern [ Reply ]

      I found a solution using net32 virtual wi-fi router … I just used the free Connectify to create virtual hotspot for my Windows 7 Starter netbook

      • Gravatar

        If you want to turn your Windows 7 laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot without configuring any… … Go to the Codeplex website and download the Virtual Router installer

  9. Gravatar
    Otha Gutteridge [ Reply ]

    The next time you re in a hotel or anywhere else that will only let you connect a single device to the Wi-Fi, use these tricks to connect all the devices you might want.

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