Windows 7 as a Wireless Access Point

As you may already know Windows 7 adds native Virtual WiFi technology from Microsoft Research as mentioned by Long on his blog. This lead me to this MSDN page stating

“On Windows 7 and later, the operating system installs a virtual device if a Hosted Network capable wireless adapter is present on the machine. This virtual device normally shows up in the “Network Connections Folder” as ‘Wireless Network Connection 2’ with a Device Name of ‘Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter’ if the computer has a single wireless network adapter. This virtual device is used exclusively for performing software access point (SoftAP) connections and is not present in the list returned by the WlanEnumInterfaces function. The lifetime of this virtual device is tied to the physical wireless adapter. If the physical wireless adapter is disabled, this virtual device will be removed as well.”

Wait a minute! SoftAP! Seriously? This was a surprize since I had been exploring a solution for this exact problem for more than a month. However I was disappointed at first when I got my hands on Windows 7 RC. There was no setting for this so called SoftAP feature. Forget that, I could not even find the virtual wireless device named “Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter”. It just did not exist. Some people on the web speculated that this was because of missing driver support even though Virtual WiFi functionality is a requirement for WLAN drivers under the Windows 7 certification logo. This did not fit. I was never prompted for installing uncertified drivers. As a matter of fact I did not have to install any drivers at all. Everything was done by Windows 7 automatically. I decided to investigate, and found the solution. Basically there is no native GUI to do all this, so you have to use command prompt to do all this. Here is what you need to do.

Run cmd.exe as administrator and enter the following command

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow “ssid=<ssid>” “key=<passphrase>” keyUsage=persistent

where is <ssid> is the SSID and <passphrase> is the WPA2-Personal key you want to associate with your SoftAP.

This will create the required “Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter” and also set up your hostednetwork. You may now setup Internet Connection Sharing or Network Bridging for this newly found adapter. All this is onetime setting.

What is left now is to start the hosted network. The command to start/stop the hostednetwork is “netsh wlan start|stop hostednetwork” and it needs to be run as adminstrator. Since you will have to start/stop the hostednetwork every time you start/stop your computer, I would advice you to create desktop shortcuts for there commands and set them to run as administrator.

It seems some drivers do face some problems with these commands and may need windows to restart to function correctly again. Enjoy. Here are some screenshots for hostednetwork without ICS or bridging and no clients connected.

UPDATE (21 March 2010): If you prefer using a GUI then try Connectify.

195 thoughts on “Windows 7 as a Wireless Access Point

      • how can i steal wireless signal if i don’t know the password?
        can i use the command prompt to allow the restricted websites when i use public (Wireless LAN) provide by Cisco?
        and… what can i do with command prompt and how the cmd can notify me if there’s someone is hacking into my system via ad-hoc, online?

      • thanks for your time.
        i tried more times to do that by command or gui but nothing happenned
        and there is amessage”the group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation “

  1. I apologize and retract my former comment… once I figured out how to enable Internet Connection Sharing, it all started working and working much better than my previous attempt at setting up an “ad-hoc network”.

    Here’s a C&P from another site (http://forums.techguy.org/networking/799417-internet-connection-sharing-problem.html) that helped me sort out that beast:

    “the following services must be running, i.e., started and not disabled–ideally “automatic” if you want it to work on restart–for ICS to function properly:

    Application Layer Gateway Service
    Network Connections
    Network Location Awareness (NLA)
    Plug And Play
    Remote Access Auto Connection Manager
    Remote Access Connection Manager
    Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    Telephony
    Windows Firewall

    I had–in some stab at wisdom–disabled all the services I wasn’t using, and I was not able to start ICS until I went all the way through the list. Unfortunately, I found that Windows Firewall has to be running, even if you’re running another product, such as Symantec Endpoint Protection.”

    Only gotcha now is, if you’re using a VPN (like Cisco Anyconnect), you need to disable ICS in order to set up the VPN connection. Not a big deal in my case. Thanks!

    • Thanks Ishan, and thanks Billy for listing the services! Minor correction, “Remote Access Auto Connection Manager” is NOT required. The others appear to be needed. Of course, “Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)” service must be running as well.

      In my case, after configuring the virtual wifi AP as indicated, connecting to the Internet (with a 3G cellular modem — physically a USB stick with a SIM card inside), typing “netsh wlan start hostednetwork” in cmd, I was stuck.

      My config:
      =================================================
      Internet port to share:
      Name = “MobileTelco 3G modem”
      Device Name = “HUAWEI Mobile Connect – 3G modem” (model: E1752, fwiw)

      Wireless PHYSICAL wifi interface:
      Name = “Wireless Network Connection”
      Device Name = “Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N 6200 AGN”

      Wireless VIRTUAL wifi interface:
      Name = “Wireless Network Connection 2″ <= confusing name!
      Device Name = "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter"
      =================================================

      PROBLEM:
      "Access type: No network access" status on the virtual miniport, despite the new hosted AP advertised correctly (checked with a wifi scanner on my android phone). Wireless clients could even connect to the hosted AP, but received no Internet connectivity. Routing looked OK as well.

      As a sidenote, the virtual "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter" had been created earlier, probably by VirtualBox (still had to set the shared password key as indicated by Ishan with netsh … ). Although this shouldn't matter, it added to my confusion ;-)

      HINT #1:
      DON'T apply sharing on either the virtual wifi or physical wifi interface, assuming your Internet-facing port is other than wifi. The operation will succeed (sharing can be applied on any one port at a time) but probably isn't what you want to achieve here. You want to apply sharing ONLY on your Internet-facing port (or, uplink port, in the general case).

      HINT #2:
      On the "Sharing" tab of the Internet-facing port ( = shared port = ICS'd port, typically LAN or cellular 3G mobile/modem), make sure to point to the correct *other* port to *share through*, which should be the VIRTUAL wireless ( = port to share through), and is selectable under the drop-down option labeled "Home networking connection".

      WARNING: Unfortunately, the GUI drop-down for "Home networking connection" is active only before clicking the sharing checkbox. Then the drop-down becomes a read-only text field you cannot change (without un-configuring). Looks like a GUI bug.

      HINT #3:
      Together, ICS + the hosted AP functionality can allow for e.g. sharing an otherwise PC-only Internet feed with Android devices lacking support for ad-hoc wifi (IBSS) (cf http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=82 )

      Hint #4:
      The ICS service performs NAT (network address translation) and serves DHCP to clients on the inside (offers 192.168.137.0/24 by default), all in one service. The DHCP implementation is simplistic, limited, and not entirely reliable. Only a few options are available through the registry (ScopeAddress, StandaloneDhcpAddress, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/230148). For more about MS' wireless hosted AP, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd815243%28v=vs.85%29.aspx. On windows clients of the hosted AP, a manual "ipconfig /release & ipconfig /renew" can help when Internet access appears to hang occasionally.

      COMPLETE SOLUTION:
      ### create virtual vwlan hosted port, set AP ssid to advertise, and its password
      - [cmd] netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=HostedSSID key=WPA2password
      ### suggest to leave the virtual port IPv4/IPv6 configuration on automatic
      - [gui] un-check "3G modem" port sharing over the (wrong) physical "Wireless Network Connection" port, press OK
      - [gui] enter again the 3G modem port "Sharing" tab, select the VIRTUAL port this time (_with_ the 2 in the name!)
      - [gui] re-enable "3G modem" port sharing over the (correct) virtual "Wireless Network Connection 2" port, press OK
      - [gui] disconnect from the mobile 3G Internet
      - [gui] re-connect to the mobile 3G Internet
      ### restart ICS service
      - [cmd] net stop SharedAccess & net start SharedAccess
      ### re-start the virtual hosted AP interface
      - [cmd] netsh wlan stop hostednetwork & netsh wlan start hostednetwork
      ### verify status
      - [cmd] netsh wlan show hostednetwork

      Good luck everyone!

      • I have spent 24 hours banging my head against this one, and this superb and careful walkthrough did the job. The main stumbling block for me was the need to set “Home Network Connection” to the actual internet connection, and the GUI bug that makes that tricky to do. I would never have guessed either without this help. Thanks Jenny.

  2. Sir, I did set up the hosted network using the cmd commands. But I am unable to start the hosted network. It’s giving the error “The hosted network couldn’t be started”. Moreover the network is not visible in the network connections. I have windows 7 on my PC and want to create an AP so that I can use internet on my android phone (which doesn’t support ad-hoc wifi networks).

    • “It seems some drivers do face some problems with these commands and may need windows to restart to function correctly again.”

      If you don’t see the adapter in network connections, try restarting windows.

      • no, you have to go to the properties of your ethernet adapter or whatever adapter you r using and click the “sharing” tab and click the first box.

        • Actually it’s not the ethernet adaptor (or i’m the one who did this differently), it’s Virtual WiFi Miniport Adaptor. Just in case someone need the same solving as mine. ^^

          CMIIW

          ~K

  3. “It seems some drivers do face some problems with these commands and may need windows to restart to function correctly again.”

    Ok. Is there a way to avoid restarting windows, please? Thank you

    • you can try disabling/enabling the device and/or uninstall/reinstall the drivers for the wireless adapter using the device manager. it’s a guess, i have not tried and i don’t have access to such devices right now.

  4. you are just awesome man!!!!….. the trick really worked for me….i am amazed..!!!!….. thanks a lot for this post… and please help me in changing the key of SSID.

    • you can use the following commands to individually change the ssid and the key respectively:
      netsh wlan set hostednetwork “ssid=
      netsh wlan set hostednetwork “key= ” keyUsage=persistent

      • Hi Ishan, Need your help again. Can you explain how do I find which device is accessing my hostednetwork? Is it possible to monitor my hostednetwork?

    • I couldn’t find such an options. As a workaround you could first uninstall the nic you don’t want to use as the AP, and install it again once you have the softAP setup.

    • Any wireless client device that supports WPA2-Personal keys should be able to use such a softAP. To the best of my knowledge all modern wifi enabled handheld devices support this.

      • Thanks, that was indeed helpful. I did everything and got stuff working too and tried to connect my Android phone. It kept obtaining IP address for the longest time and then stopped saying “Avoided Poor Internet Connection”. Not sure what that means but it cannot sure indicate the strength of the network. Please help.

  5. Your tutorial’s just so awesome. but i don’t know how to create the start/stop shortcut, how can i do that. thank u very much.

    • You can create a desktop shortcut by right-clicking on desktop and selecting New -> Shortcut. This should open up a dialog where you can enter the shortcut command.

  6. sr, i need ur help because i think it work but it don’t.

    I did exactly what u said and i got exactly what u got (include “Access type: no network access”), my Ipod touch also saw the Access Point and connected, but it couldn’t get anything from the internet. Although I set the “Local Area Connection” share and it connect to the internet normally. thank u so so much.

    • You might not have properly setup Internet Connection Sharing. I believe you want to share “Local Area Connection” with the home network “Wireless Network Connection 2″ i.e. the virtual adapter. Once you setup ICS, try reconnecting your wifi devices.

  7. I thought I’d take this opportunity to say thank you, this is exactly what I need. You’ve been a huge help, thank you.

  8. Hi Ishan!! I cannot see the “Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter” on my network connections screen.I followed all your steps. Please help!!! Android Phone not Supporting AD HOC !!!!

  9. The error is ==>>
    ” The group or resouce is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation”
    “press any key to continue”

    HELP!!!!1

  10. Hi Ishan, your solution is great, my android tab and blackberry can detect the wifi hotsppt created using your ics method,but it allways failed when obtaining the ip address. I have try a couple different ip using an automatic or static ip, but the android tab and blackberry still failed when obtaining the ip address. Do you haveany idea? Thanks

  11. I cannot see the said “Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter”..

    Got the following error when i start the netsh,
    ———-
    The hosted network couldn’t be started.
    The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested opera
    tion.
    ———-
    Am I missing anything?

    • I have the same problem!
      and I also tried use conectify and shows me an error about the wireless interface, and I think is related. But I really don’t know what to do, I already try updating my drivers

  12. hi, i’ve set up ics , but hot sure if i got it done correctly, im getting no internet access on the hosted network. any help from anyone is very much appreciated. thanks in advance.

  13. wonderful. but you didnt mention about IP address should it be fixed or automatic because my mobile phone failed to obtain an IP from my access point, and when I made a fixed IP i got connected successfully but unfortunately without internet , I don’t know what is the problem?

  14. Hi, I have a problem. I follow your guide and understand the ICS and how to use netsh but when I start the hostednetwork it disconnects/dissappears after about 5-10 seconds. If I start it again it does the same thing.

    I have tried Connectify but that also loses connection from time to time, but with connectify the connection drops less frequently (maybe a few times a day)

    I just want to be able to connect my phone to my computer without using a router…

    Any thoughts?

  15. Thanks for this post. Very informative, although I did ran into some problems. I had to install the drivers from Ralink instead of the newest from Linksys (which didn’t support virtual wifi).
    But now I still have another problem: how do you force the radio type used? It now uses 802.11b and I want it to be 802.11n.

  16. I have a question, I have done everything explained in your post, and still can not seem to get the Wifi adapter working. When I enter the phrase “netsh wlan start hostednetwork” the network appears momentarily and then disappears again, can anyone help me with this?

    Thank you

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  21. Hi Ishan,

    I need your knowledge about networks! I would like to buy an access point to provide wi fi access to users at the office with laptops and iphones.

    Is it possible to connect this wireless access point, direct to a hub , or direct to a Ethernet socket ?

    Was thinking about the NETGEAR 54 Mbps Wireless Access Point WG602v4 . Any suggestions?

    Highly appreciated. . .

  22. I was successful in completing the following step under the cmd command:
    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow “ssid=” “key=” keyUsage=persistent

    I now want to change back to my default configuration. How can I do that?
    Thanks!

    • Ishan Arora
      June 21st, 2011 – 20:05

      you can use the following commands to individually change the ssid and the key respectively:
      netsh wlan set hostednetwork “ssid=”
      netsh wlan set hostednetwork “key= ” keyUsage=persistent

  23. I figured it out. Enter the same command, with the exception of “disallow” instead of allow. The problem I was having is that the new access point overrid my existing acces point which no longer allowed my laptop to connect to wifi signals in public areas. The problem was resolved by the “disallow” command.
    Lee

  24. Hi,
    Every thing is working fine but when i connect through my cell phone it again and again asks for key and the key i set it shows as invalid. Kindly assist me waiting for your replies.
    Hamza

  25. it didn’t work for me. I was trying to share my Lan connection over wifi so a friend of mine can use it but it didnt work out… the shared network didnt appear.

  26. Worked like a charm when the key was hex
    But only for a few seconds, and then a BSOD…..

    After 3 times I gave up… will try again on SP2 ?

    It felt so close…

  27. hai Guys,
    After I enable SoftAP and client connected is there a way to disconnect client from host PC ? I want to disconnect client PC from Host PC (where softAP is enabled)

  28. Hi guys
    i have been trying this all day without any succes.
    The problem is that i can create the hostednetwork and it is even visible. I also did share the internet connection, which is LAN. my mobile phone keeps trying to connect without any succes. From my laptop i get the folowing message. The DHCP-Server does not react, errorcode 031 it seems like there is a problem with the automatic IP-Adressconfiguration.
    when try the command “netsh wlan show hostednetwork”, i can see that there are 2 connected clients which i suppose are laptop and mobile.

    can somone help me please?

    • Hi Will. Check my comment above, maybe you have a similar issue?

      On my shared Internet uplink port properties (3G usb modem, instead of LAN for you), sharing was pointed at the physical wifi port instead of the virtual wifi port. Just like you, clients could connect to the hosted AP, visible with “netsh wlan show hostednetwork” as well, and yet the sharing PC would not serve DHCP, and would not NAT Internet traffic through even with IP settings hard-coded on clients.

      Try to un-share your LAN, OK to apply, go back to Sharing tab of the LAN port again, make sure to (re)select the virtual wifi port name, OK to apply again. Then cycle your ICS service (net …) and restart hosted AP (netsh …), and check the status again.

      When everything works, on the sharing PC, right after typing “netsh wlan start hostednetwork”, the virtual port should appear in real-time inside the Network and sharing Center GUI under “View your active networks” with the status “Access type: Internet”, the same status as your LAN uplink, even without any clients attached.

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  30. Hi Jenny,

    thank you for your reply.

    the problem is that the virtual wifi port name does not appear in the list of the networks i can share my lan with. so i can not select it. but when i start the hosted network i can see it in the Network and sharing center GUI. anyhow the Access type is “No network access”. what should i do to bring the access tyoe at least to “No internet access”?

    Thanks
    Will

  31. Hi Will,

    [ Honestly, after a few days, I find my own setup VERY UNRELIABLE. It's not just the clients behind ICS having problems. ICS makes my mobile uplink (the "shared" connection) hang randomly and very often, much more often than before, I mean rarely holds stable over 5~10 min. Still trying... ]

    Maybe yet another related gui bug? Did you try to un-share, reboot clean, and try re-share the LAN again? You should see a drop-down under the first checkbox, listing your physical wifi AND virtual wifi ports. If you see only the physical wifi name there, the virtual port instance is not registering correctly. Maybe try to delete the miniport when you see it, and restart from scratch?

    Also, I had the virtual Miniport adapter completely disappear on me earlier. Not sure, but maybe that fixed it:
    disable the physical wifi adapter
    disable the VirtualBox Host-Only Network adapter (conflicting?)
    reboot
    re-enable the physical wifi only ***
    (finally, re-create virtual wifi from an admin cmd prompt)
    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow “ssid=” “key=” keyUsage=persistent
    reboot again
    now the virtual Miniport remains

    *** at this step, IF the miniport wifi is already registered OK in the system, THEN it appears when you enable the physical wifi

    My Miniport always shows-up in the list, connected or not, under “Change Adapter Settings”
    Control Panel => Network and Internet => Network Connections => menu View, select Details

    However, in the default “Network and Sharing Center” view, the Miniport adapter DOESN’T show unless it is actively connected.

  32. Here’s a few more ICS sanity check ideas

    (1) Double-check again your required service dependencies one by one

    ICS requires many services to be running (in “Started” status) to function properly, with direct and indirect dependencies, either on ICS itself, or on the shared network adapter.

    For e.g. even if ICS was started without error, it cannot access all the network properties it requires if WMI hangs or dies.

    My updated ICS dependency list
    =============================================================
    == Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service dependencies ==
    =============================================================
    Application Layer Gateway Service
    Base Filtering Engine
    DCOM Server Process Launcher
    Network Connections
    Network List Service
    Network Location Awareness (NLA)
    Network Store Interface Service
    Plug and Play
    Remote Access Connection Manager
    Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    Telephony
    Windows Firewall
    Windows Management Instrumentation
    =============================================================

    (2) Windows SFC check — just in case, verify system files integrity (sanity check that all important windows system binaries are valid ie. nothing corrupted).

    Must RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR. Follow these steps:

    1. Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
    2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    sfc /scannow
    The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.

    For additinal information abot SFC scan, refer to: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/929833

    eg:
    =============================================================
    C:\>sfc /scannow

    Beginning system scan. This process will take some time.

    Beginning verification phase of system scan.
    Verification 100% complete.

    Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

    C:\>
    =============================================================

    (3) Reboot and check for error and warning messages appearing in the Event Viewer.
    HOWEVER, you can IGNORE the following two ICS-related events:
    Event ID: 31004
    Event ID: 34005

    =============================================================
    Log Name: System
    Source: SharedAccess_NAT
    Date: 5/5/2011 9:27:27 PM
    Event ID: 34005
    Task Category: None
    Level: Warning
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer:

    Description:
    The ICS_IPV6 was unable to allocate 0 bytes of memory. This may indicate that the system is low on virtual memory, or that the memory manager has encountered an internal error.

    Log Name: System
    Source: SharedAccess_NAT
    Date: 5/5/2011 9:24:12 PM
    Event ID: 31004
    Task Category: None
    Level: Error
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer:

    Description:
    The DNS proxy agent was unable to allocate 0 bytes of memory. This may indicate that the system is low on virtual memory, or that the memory manager has encountered an internal error.
    =============================================================

    Microsoft basically acknowledged them as non-critical bugs in ICS, but has yet to issue a bugfix patch.

    See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2550111

    “Event IDs 34005 and 31004 may be logged in the System event log of Windows 7 when Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is enabled on an available Network connection”

    “These events can be safely ignored as they are incorrectly logged because a request to allocate zero bytes memory is invalid.”

    Note, I managed to get rid of the ICS_IPV6 error (Event ID: 34005) by disabling the TCP/IPv6 protocol on the shared network adapter
    right-click => Properties => Networking tab, uncheck TCP/IPv6, OK
    (since I only use IPv4, no need for IPv6; ymmv)

  33. Just a warning, all of the above appear to be required but not sufficient. I’m getting this error now:

    C:\>netsh wlan stop hostednetwork & netsh wlan start hostednetwork
    The hosted network stopped.

    The hosted network couldn’t be started.
    The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation.

    C:\>

    • UPDATE #1:
      Probably due to a “confused” software state about the hardware 802.11 wireless port switch.

      A similar underlying condition could contribute to instability for active connections, where the hosted AP was initially started fine, but then hangs repeatedly upon successive restarts (also, see UPDATE #2)

      Eg. laptop has a hardware ON/OFF wifi switch, along with a pop-up application that notifies within Windows of any changes. After a few OFF-ON cycles, something gets corrupted. Even though the hardware appears to work fine, the hosted virtual AP subsystem thinks otherwise.

      Try to turn the machine off (complete power off), and restart with wireless enabled.
      ——————

      Below is the normal message seen when the wifi radio is OFF by hardware, or the port is disabled by software in Control Panel
      ——————————————————————————————–
      C:\>netsh wlan stop hostednetwork & netsh wlan start hostednetwork
      The hosted network stopped.

      The hosted network couldn’t be started.
      A device attached to the system is not functioning.

      C:\>
      ——————————————————————————————–
      If you see this, make sure to enable, and if applicable, turn on your 802.11 wifi hardware switch :-)

      For reference, sample output when wifi is enabled and working OK:
      ——————————————————————————————–
      C:\>netsh wlan stop hostednetwork & netsh wlan start hostednetwork
      The hosted network stopped.

      The hosted network started.

      C:\>
      ——————————————————————————————–

      Hosted AP working fine serving two clients:
      ——————————————————————————————–
      C:\>netsh wlan show hostednetwork

      Hosted network settings
      ———————–
      Mode : Allowed
      SSID name : “HostedAP”
      Max number of clients : 100
      Authentication : WPA2-Personal
      Cipher : CCMP

      Hosted network status
      ———————
      Status : Started
      BSSID : XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
      Radio type : 802.11a
      Channel : 7
      Number of clients : 2
      YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY Authenticated
      ZZ:ZZ:ZZ:ZZ:ZZ:ZZ Authenticated

      C:\>
      ——————————————————————————————–

      • After hardware button on-off I can connect from iPad and Android, but have no Internet access.
        Before reset I cann’t connect to the hotspot, but keep “obtaining ip address”.

    • UPDATE #2:
      Identified further instability from the DNS Client (dnscache) service. When that service breaks or goes out of sync, resolution requests through ICS’ virtual AP address time-out (default IP is 192.168.137.1), effectively resulting in loss of client connectivity.

      symptoms:
      - timeout, resolving through the shared PC (e.g. nslookup google.com 192.168.137.1)
      - failure, ping by name, cannot resolve (e.g. ping google.com)
      - success, ping by IP (e.g. ping 209.85.148.99)

      Actually, the DNS Client cache is an optional service, and ICS with hosted AP work fine without it (tested, no complaints). So could drop it altogether. However, I prefer to run with the DNS caching service enabled, since it usually speeds-up access.

      SOLUTION:
      To reduce instability, cycle the dns cache each time the hosted AP is started.

      OVERALL, RELIABILITY HAS IMPROVED A LOT !

      Following a fresh power-off and restart, ICS with hosted AP can hold active clients for a few hours without dropping or hanging (now, the uplink cellular signal is the limiting stability factor).

      Here are my latest virtual AP start/stop/status scripts for Internet connection sharing (ICS) through Windows7 virtual AP feature.

      —————————————–
      virtual_AP_start.cmd
      —————————————–
      :: ===
      :: ONE-TIME windows7 virtual hosted AP interface setup
      :: (1) GUI: define the PHYSICAL shared Internet uplink, shared over the VIRTUAL wifi adapter, from Control Panel
      :: (2) CMD: set the virtual AP ssid and pre-shared WPA2/AES password
      :: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=VirtualAP key=my_secret
      :: ===

      :: restart unstable/buggy DNS Client (dnscache) service — cycle just in case
      net stop “DNS Client” & net start “DNS Client”

      :: restart the VirtualAP dependency ICS service = ‘SharedAccess’
      net stop SharedAccess & net start SharedAccess

      :: restart the Virtual Hosted AP service = ‘hostednetwork’
      netsh wlan stop hostednetwork & netsh wlan start hostednetwork

      :: verify hosted VirtualAP status
      ::
      :: netsh wlan show profiles
      netsh wlan show drivers
      netsh wlan show hostednetwork
      —————————————–

      —————————————–
      virtual_AP_stop.cmd
      —————————————–
      :: stop the Virtual Hosted AP service = ‘hostednetwork’
      netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

      :: stop the ICS service = ‘SharedAccess’
      net stop SharedAccess

      :: restart unstable/buggy DNS Client (dnscache) service — cycle just in case
      net stop “DNS Client” & net start “DNS Client”

      :: verify hosted VirtualAP status
      netsh wlan show hostednetwork
      —————————————–

      —————————————–
      virtual_AP_status.cmd
      —————————————–
      :: verify hosted VirtualAP status
      netsh wlan show drivers
      netsh wlan show hostednetwork
      —————————————–

      • Dear Jenny, I think I face the same problem, unstable wifi connection to my LG Android.
        I’d like to try your scripts, but i dont know how to make it.
        I already have the shortcut to start the hosted networks, how to add so many script into the shortcut?
        Do I just put extra command in the command line?

  34. thx!!! It seems that is the only way to create a wireless network in windows 7, ’cause I tried everything, connectify pro, virtual network app and nothing.

  35. Hey everyone, just a quick fix I found on Microsoft’s website for internet connectivity issues on your connected wifi clients

    I’m running Windows 7 Pro on my hosting machine and Droid 3.1 on my tablet with an ASUS wifi adapter on my computer.

    By changing my network from a “Work” or “Public” type network to a “Home” network, full connectivity was restored to my tablet.

    I’ve been wracking my brain about this for the last two days, searching hundreds of sites and double checking everything I did initially. After I made this one little change, everything worked great.

    Hope this helps,

    -Jordan

  36. why in windows 7 i can not come wireless network connection 2? I have included command netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode = allow ssid = sulapto’s key = sulapto..

  37. First of all.. Thanks to Ishan Arora for making this page.. You are an angel..
    The second goes To jenny for writing down very detail guide.

    It works!!! im using Win 7 Pro 64Bit, TP-Link TLWN723N USB Wifi and connecting My Galaxy Tab 10.1
    Wow.. You guys are awesome!!!!!!!

  38. argh i was pulling my hair out trying to get windows hosted network working on my home server.

    If running netsh wlan start hostednetwork causes your themes,group policy client,windows update and other services to crash like clockwork the problem is Internet Connection Shareing is started regardles of weather you disable it or not (which can royally screw up your network) i deleted sharedaccess from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services after backing up the key and finally my wifi access point works.

  39. I really have a big problem with connecting my tablet to my laptop by Wifi connection. :(
    This is my story….

    C:\Users\Masih>netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=mywifi key=123456789
    0
    The hosted network mode has been set to allow.
    The SSID of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
    The user key passphrase of the hosted network has been successfully changed.

    C:\Users\Masih>netsh wlan start hostednetwork
    The hosted network couldn’t be started.
    The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested opera
    tion.

    Why I can’t create that?! :(

  40. hey there z prblm ..
    i do all thing as u given
    and adapter z working but it show that no internet access ..
    my phn cnctd wifi from laptop but but there z no any interent access how to solve that prblm plz help..
    adapter showing msg that no internet access how to solve that prblm ???

  41. Thank you very much.. Initially I could only fire the following command:
    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow “ssid=” “key=” keyUsage=persistent

    However could not start the hosted network using the start command. It gave the following error:
    The hosted network couldn’t be started.
    The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation.

    However, I tried uninstalling the drivers and reinstalled them and glad to know that now it works!!!
    Saved my fortune… Thanks a lot..

  42. I am not able to enable my microsoft virtual miniport adapter. After running the command :
    netsh wlan start hostednetwork
    as an administrator in cmd it show error it shows an error : The hosted network could’t be started.
    The group or resource is not int the correct state to perform the requested operation.
    Please suggest what should i do??

  43. Hi ishan And others,
    Am using Win7 in my lenovo7 G560 laptop.I don’t know how to use Wi-Fi and i don’t find Wi-fi icon anywhere.. Please help me guys……….

  44. Hi Everyone..,
    Is there any possibilities to find the Browsing history after deleting the history by pressing Cntl+Sift+Delete.. help me

  45. Rubbish… Nothing happened using this method.. i am using lenovo ideapad laptop with windows 7 64-bit, c2d T6400 CPU, 4GB DDR-2 RAM..

  46. Rubbish… waste of time.. Nothing happened using this method..
    i m using lenovo y530 with windows7 64-bit, C2D T6400 CPU, 4GB DDR-2 RAM..

  47. Hey, Guys. It’s such a pain to do that. Too troublesome, right? To turn your Windows 7 as a wireless wifi hotspot, all you need is a free software named Virtual Hotspot. It’s easy to install and use. Only several clicks, you can turn your laptop with any system into a wifi hotspot. And then you share the internet access point with your family and friends. Devices like iPone, iPod, NDS, Wii can connect to the free hostpot. A good way to save your time and money. Most importantly, it’s free, free, free again. Try google Virtual Hotspot.

  48. Nice! But is there anyway to make the protection system to be WEP instead of WPA2?
    Thanks! I would appreciate your answer.

  49. I have weird problem..

    First of all i did everything you said but the problem i have been having is not findable any other comments above. It is visible on network sharing center and it says “internet access” and my iphone can connect it but when i open websites nothing happens… also i tried psvita it connected and the machines are thinking that they have connection but like endless loop they are waiting data to come so they dont say “no internet connection”" ps vita succeed obtaining ip address but failed internet connection..

    what can be the problem? firewall.. i tried… what else?

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  51. Thanks for this great tutorial. One question though, where you mentioned creating desktop shortcuts for the commands and showing the screen shots, you don’t go into detail about how you created them. Please help.

  52. Hey Buddy,

    I create hosted network and i connect it in my another laptop, But it seen ”No Internet Access”.
    So HELP me how can i use internet And browse any site (Like Google,Yahoo-mail,G-mail, Facebook, Etc.)

    Help me buddy.

  53. hi. i got a connection with my cellphone from my laptop’s hotspot that i created. but i cannot browse. i dont have a wireless adapter and my wireless device is not capable of AP. please tell me where to find a softAP and how to use it. thanks.

    • You have to make your internet connection shareable. Goto Control Panel -> Network & Internet -> Network Connections (Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections) Select your internet connections, right click, choose properties, open Sharing tab, enable sharing (choose to share with Wireless Network Connection 2).

  54. Thank You Very much Sir!! was browsing asus website, yahoo answers, and even reached ubuntu forums.. but you are the only person who got the answers. my Asus USB N10 which is originally has AP feature but the asus interface is not working for win7 64, i just followed your instructions and comments on the replies.. and worked perfectly fine! thanks so much!!

  55. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did
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  56. sir,i want to know that how can i confugure pc network share in my mobile via bluetooth or wifi.my handset support wifi.

  57. my comment didnt show but the spam ones above are showing lol

    i did exactly as state, im positive! but my cmd (running as admin) says Key is not a valid argument??

  58. When I issue this command laptop screen becomes black and automatically restart the machine.
    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow “ssid=testssid” key=test123 keyUsage=persistent

    I started Connectify (http://www.connectify.me). Some thing happens when I tried to start the hostpot.

    I am using windows7 and “Realtek RTL8168D/8111D Family PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC (NDIS 6.20)” ethernet

  59. Having read this I thought it was extremely informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this informative
    article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time
    both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  60. i follow your line and working like charm, at home router conneckt to ethernet netbook, netbook wifi-hotspot, one desktop conneckt usb wifi dongle to hotspot

    and last one android phone conneckt wpa-hotspot-netbook

    working very good

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  62. Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your blog
    posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Many thanks!

  63. Kindly note if you are running Norton Endpoint protection. You shall have to :
    1. Go to Symantec Endpoint Protection : Status
    2. Select Pptions in Network Threat Protection Menu
    3. Select Change Settings
    4. Go to Unmatched IP traffic settings and Select Allow IP Traffic

    Do not forget to change network status to Home. If its public it won’t work.

    For those using Virtual Wifi Router exe program, kindly go Configure Firewall rules and allow Virtual WIFI application .

    Enjoy:)

    • Hi
      thanks for the trick.
      I’m using symantec.
      I did as you mentioned, wifi is working fine.
      Now i have a question-
      If i set “Allow IP traffic”, would that be a risk in internet security??

  64. netsh wlan start hostednetwork
    as an administrator in cmd it show error it shows an error : The hosted network could’t be started.
    The group or resource is not int the correct state to perform the requested operation.
    Please suggest what should i do??

  65. Ishan … Hats off… Working perfectly . I used to make wifi using Ad-hoc setting in my windows 7 laptop, where only the apple products could detect the Wifi . Now using this virtual wifi setting, my iphone, hauwei Mediapad 7 lite and all the ios and android devices are detecting the wifi and able to access the internet .

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  67. My PC does not have any Microsoft Virtual WiFi Mini Port Adapter, instead of that it has Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection. What should I do to create a Hotspot ?

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  69. I by-mistakely diabled the hosted network from control panel.
    now whenever i type netsh wlan start hostednetwork, it says:
    ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started.
    The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested opera
    tion.’
    please tell me how to re-enable it again….

  70. I have done the first step in cmd.exe in admin mode, it says correct,

    “the hosted network mode has been set to allow” and the rest of the lines as they should be, but i don’t see any Virtual Adapter in my network connection…..

    plz help……what should i do?

  71. OMG….. I am sooooooo happy right now.. I was able to connect my ipod!!!!! Yaaaaay!!!!! Thank you so much Ishan for this excellent walk through!!!!!! Thank you!! Thank you!!! You have no idea how happy i am since I’ve been trying to figure how to share my connection to my ipod!!!

    God Bless!!!

  72. awesome work Mr. Ishan really was searching for such thing since 4 days.. as my android phone could’nt detect any wifi adhoc created by my windows laptop.. thanks …

  73. i cant access the internet on my NOKIA 5800 S60 v5 mobile. it can detect the wlan network, even it connects, but i dont get the net connection or speed……. plz help…..

  74. I’m using Windows 7 64 bit with an Alfa wireless adapter. I’ve setup my windows hotspot as directed, but when I try to share the connection I keep getting this:

    “An error has occurred while Internet Connection Sharing was being enabled.

    The dependency service does not exist or has been marked for deletion.”

    Has anyone got any idea how to fix this? I’ve looked everywhere and can’t seem to find a solid answer for this particular issue.

  75. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

  76. Hey I just wanted to let you know, I actually like the written material on your site. But I am utilising Flock on a machine running version 9.10 of Ubuntu and the UI aren’t quite proper. Not a serious deal, I can still essentially read the articles and search for info, but just wanted to inform you about that. The navigation bar is kind of challenging to use with the config I’m running. Keep up the great work!

  77. Hello Ishan,
    Thanks for very informative writeup. I have one question:
    Is there any way to make this Access Point (AP) permanent, in the sense when I restart the machine still it can appear again without running the commands again. Scenario what we have is, user does not have full admin rights but one time installation can be done by IT dept. How to maintain the AP after PC is restarted.

    Please suggest your view on this.
    If anyone else who know about it, please respond.

    Thanks,
    Manish

  78. Anyone know how to change the “Max number of clients” in Hosted network settings? Mine is only 4 by default and I see so many others posting up to 100. I’m running a 64bit Windows 8 OS.

  79. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and
    wished to mention that I have really loved browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing for your feed and I am hoping
    you write once more soon!

  80. Great post. Helped me a lot.
    I just want to add my exp, in my case i have Fujitsu Amilo notebook, your suggestions didn’t work the first time. Problem is the Wifi driver, i had to upgrade Wifi 5100 driver to the latest from Intel. After the upgrade it was easy to configure.
    Thanks!

  81. Excellent post, Ishan…

    My HP Wireless mouse worked initially and then suddenly it stopped working. while configuring I used to get the error softAP bla bla bla…I tried many things and was frustrated. This post helped me to setup again. in my case, I had ‘Wireless Network Connection 2″ but was disabled. I just enabled it and all done…

  82. Seriously, I’ve tried contacting the admin, I’ve tried unsubscribing, I’ve tried everything. I’m still getting emails every single time someone comments.

    Admin, take note: If you do NOT remove me from your feed I will press charges for internet harrassment. Let’s see if this moves your butt.

  83. Great method, Worked for me.

    Additionally, In Sharing Tab in properties of Local Area Network Adapter you will have to enable Internet Access to Wireless Connection 2.

    Thanks.

  84. when i tried to start that hosted network, got an error like this ” The hosted network couldnt be started. The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation.”
    what should i do? help pls..

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  87. Hi,

    Thanks for this. I have one question: Do you know how to prevent the wifi adapter from connecting to other networks (using Windows 7)? I am using my ethernet connection to provide for the hosted network and do not need my wifi adapter constantly connecting and disconnecting (because there are a ton of weak open networks around me).

    Thanks again!

    Frank

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  89. My university has a proxy restrictions and the proxy needs to be authenticated. My iPad does not support proxy authentication for 3rd party applications. So, I shared my computers wifi connected to the same proxy server. Initially my ipad was working fine but then it asked me again for proxy authentication. Is there any way to bypass proxy on devices connected to the shared network?

  90. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

  91. Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  92. Hello Sir,
    I was able to successfully configure my laptop into a wifi hotspot. I have also created a shortcuts for turning on and off for the setup. The shortcut scripts are as follows,

    C:\Windows\System32\netsh.exe wlan start hostednetwork

    C:\Windows\System32\netsh.exe wlan stop hostednetwork

    On double clicking the shortcuts the hostednetwork should start or stop accordingly. I am able to stop the hostednetwork using the script above. But the script for starting the hostednetwork is’nt working as expected. Will you please assist me/help me fix the issue.

    Regards,
    Srinivas

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