Windows 7 has a unique â€œnot-so-heardâ€ about feature called Virtual WiFi. What it really does is, virtualize one Wireless Adapter as many separate adapters. Well, for an average Joe, such a feature would be insignificant; but quite frankly, this feature has a lot of prospect.
One such potential was tapped by a Philadelphia developer to make Connectify – a free beta application which uses Virtual WiFi in Windows 7 to share your internet connection with other computers over WiFi. In a nutshell, your computerâ€™s wireless adapter is turned into software-based Wireless router, which shows up as a WPA2 encrypted wireless hotspot for other computers.
You can participate in the beta by registering on Connectify homepage. It runs on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 only. Setting it up is fairly simple:
Â· Select the Internet connection you wish to share
Â· Choose a name for your new wireless network
Â· Choose a wireless passphrase
Â· Press the Internet Sharing button to turn on your wireless network
Â· Now, from your other devices, you can see your wireless network. Choose to join it, and enter the wireless passphrase to connect.
Connectify reminds me of JoikuSpot Light for Symbian devices, which does the same thing of sharing internet connection (3G or GPRS) using the phoneâ€™s wireless adapter. JoikuSpot Light eventually turned out to be a commercial product, but a free version is still available. Connectify is expected to have a similar fate.
(Update: Android users try out Android WiFi Tether)