Turn Windows 7 into a Free Wireless Router
You may have seen software that turns your Windows 7 computer into a wireless router. In the past, I have downloaded Connectify software. On paper it looked good but when I installed the free version of Connectify I discovered that I could only use WEP. There was no support for WPA2-PSK as advertised on their homepage. I am guessing they must have a paid version of Connectify that will allow people to use security. Anyone referring to WEP protocol as secure loses credibility right off the bat. WEP does not provide end-to-end security and is not considered secure by most security experts today. If that wasn’t bad, Connectify only allowed me to use a password that was limited to something like 4-12 characters and the password was limited to numbers 0-9 and letters a-f. That’s right, you can only use letters a-f. Bottom line: Do not let your friends and family install the free version of Connectify. It’s security a joke.
Recently I ran across another software, developed by a fellow MVP by the name of Chris Pietschmann. Chris is a Windows Live Platform MVP and his free, virtual router software is available from Microsoft’s CodePlex community site, which is a distribution point for open source software. The Virtual Router software turns any Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 computer into a WiFi Hotspot using Windows 7’s Wireless Hosted Network (Virtual WiFi) technology. Virtual Router allows you to wirelessly share any Internet connection (LAN, WiFi, Cable Modem, Cellular, or even dial-up modem) with any WiFi device (Laptop, Smart Phone, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android Phone, Zune, Netbook, wireless printer, etc.).
The software, written entirely in C#, does not have the password limitations of Connectify. Another good thing about the Virtual Router is that it is completely free of ads. And the best thing about the Virtual Router is that it defaults to WPA2 for secure wireless connectivity. WPA2 is one of the most, if not the most, secure wireless encryption available today.
The software is currently in its beta version. You can download beta 0.9 here.