What can you do if you find yourself with access to only a wired internet connection, but need to get devices online wirelessly? With Virtual Router Plus you can easily transform your laptop into a wireless hotspot to do just this.
This is a great option if you are able to physically connect your laptop to a network, but also want to be able to get online with your tablet or iPod. Read on to find out to use this fantastic free tool.
The program is compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8, and one you have it configured it can be used to get any wireless device online – other laptops, phones and tablets or even desktop machines fitted with a wireless adaptor.
You’ll be transported to the CodePlex website and the download will start automatically. There’s no need for installation, but as the program is provided in zip format you will need to extract it.
When you’ve done this, make sure that you are connected to the network connection you would like to be able to share and then launch the application by double clicking the VirtualRouterPlus.exe file.
Unless you have disabled the feature, User Account Control or SmartScreen will kick in and block the program initially, so you will have to permit it to run.
Create a Network
When you choose to share your connection using Virtual Router Plus you are essentially creating a new network. Just as with any other network it need to be assigned a name to make it easy to identify – just enter something appropriate in the SSID field.
Wireless signals, by their very nature, travel. To prevent other people from using your network without permission, password protection should be implemented.
This not only limits network access to those you share the password with, but implements WPA2 encryption to help keep things secure.
The final thing you need to do is indicate which network connection should be shared. In most cases this will be the wired LAN connection. Make your selection and click Start Virtual Router Plus.
Share the Connection
That’s pretty much all there is to it. After a brief delay you should be able to detect the newly created network on any computer or device that has a wireless adaptor fitted.
Connecting to the network is no different to connecting to any other. Whether you are using a Mac, PC, or a mobile device, simply perform a scan for available networks, select the one you have created and enter the password.
In this example we have shown how the program can be used to share a wired internet connection to other devices wirelessly, but this is not the only scenario. The connection must be shared wirelessly – so the computer you’re using to share the connection needs to have a wireless adaptor – but the connection that is being shared can be one of several types.
It makes sense to share a wired connection when only one is available, but it is also possible to share a data connection. This is handy if you are using a data dongle to get online and want to share this connection with multiple devices.
If you connect two wireless adaptors to a computer it can be transformed into a repeater to help push a weak single further than would otherwise be possible.
Let us know what you think and share your ideas for how the program could be used in the comments below.