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Connectify turns Windows 7 into a Wi-Fi hotspot

Wi-Fi

By Barry Collins

Posted on 2 Nov 2009 at 08:35

A new piece of software claims to turn a Windows 7 PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Called Connectify, the software takes advantage of code that was written into Windows 7 by Microsoft, but not completed before the release of the operating system. It essentially turns a PC's wireless adapter into a hotspot, which can be used to share an internet connection with other PCs, smartphones or other wireless devices.

The Connectify software allows you to stipulate a name and password for your virtual hotspot, and all the data passed over the connection is protected by WPA2 encryption.

The software differs from the ad-hoc Wi-Fi mode that's been available in Windows for many years, because it appears to other computers as an ordinary wireless hotspot, and doesn't require any special configuration.

The software's makers claim Connectify could come in very handy at paid-for hotspots. "You're sitting in a coffee shop that charges you for a wireless connection. With Connectify, I can pay for that connection, and still have all my other devices, like my iPhone, connected to the internet," Alex Gizis, the CEO of Connectify's publisher, Nomadio, told PCWorld.com. The software could also turn a Windows 7 PC into a Wi-Fi signal repeater, potentially saving the need to spend money on additional hardware.

Unfortunately, the software failed to work in our brief tests this morning, with Connectify failing to recognise our laptop's wireless card. Download the free Connectify beta and let us know how you get on on comments below.

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User comments

Nope, doesn't work for me either.

It's just a beta, so I'm giving them some slack. I have an Acer Centrino 2 laptop (bog standard, then) running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. Connectify doesn't work; "No compatible Wifi Devices found".

By scombellack on 2 Nov 2009

iPhone over laptop?

Either I am missing Alex point or is he really trying to suggest connecting iPhone through Wireless? I can see it working the other way around i.e. iPhone hotspot for laptop?

By pkubecka on 2 Nov 2009

Something strange here

So, it's supposed to open up your wireless network to allcomers. It's based on unsupported, unfinished code within Windows. It doesn't actually work in testing. Are you sure this is something you should be promoting?

By Grace_Quirrel on 2 Nov 2009

The moral of the story...

Is make sure YOUR router password is not the one written on the bottom or someone will note it down and make a hotspot of your connection using a laptop outside in the street !

By cheysuli on 2 Nov 2009

Works on Windows Mobile

It's integrated on Windows Mobile 6.5 and it pretty usefull. Much better than arseing about with Bluetooth! Just set an encription key, ID and your off.

By JStairmand on 2 Nov 2009

@pkubecka

Some iPhone apps recognise a 3G or Edge connection and refuse to load.

Some networks also don't allow the streaming of certain types of data or allow VOIP calls, for example. To use those functions, you need a wireless connection.

Sounds like it would be a great tool for setting up "man in the middle" attacks to get peoples usernames and passwords though ;-)

By big_D on 2 Nov 2009

(update - works now)

I got the latest Intel drivers. Didn't work. I then forced an update of the "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter".. And it worked!
Now to just find a use for it.

By scombellack on 2 Nov 2009

Great example

"You're sitting in a coffee shop that charges you for a wireless connection. With Connectify, I can pay for that connection"

You can pay for my wireless connection. Wow, thanks.

By peterm2k on 2 Nov 2009

This has been a feature built into Ubuntu since 9.04 (possibly earlier).

By rowanparker_uk on 2 Nov 2009

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