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Wireless Network Connection Adapter Driver Windows 7

Adapter / December 8, 2021

smTutorial - 1192 - Eric Geier - fig1.pngBack in 2002, the research department at Microsoft started experimenting with the virtualization of 802.11 wireless adapters under the project code name VirtualWiFi. They discovered a way to make a single physical Wi-Fi adapter look like multiple adapters in Windows.

VirtualWiFi lets users simultaneously connect to multiple wireless networks with only one wireless card. They hoped this technology could be used in a variety of applications, including wireless diagnosis and troubleshooting, Wi-Fi mesh networking, virtual access points, and wireless repeating.

What is a wireless Hosted Network?

Though the VirtualWiFi project disbanded before the feature was fully implemented, Microsoft has included some of the underlying functionality in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft coined the name, wireless Hosted Network, for this new feature.

The wireless Hosted Network feature uses the VirtualWiFi technology along with a software-based access point (AP) feature. Thus, it lets anyone with a supported Wi-Fi adapter and driver to become a wireless AP for other Wi-Fi users, while also having the ability to connect to another wireless network. It also includes a DHCP server, so users automatically receive an IP address.

One use of this new feature might be to extend a hotel’s paid-Internet connection to other Wi-Fi users for free—not that I advocate this practice. Another more legitimate use might be to “repeat” a network’s signal. In any case, it serves as a quick mobile AP.

smTutorial - 1192 - Eric Geier - fig3.pngOthers might suggest that you can use this virtual AP as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Just remember, even though the wireless Hosted Network is encrypted, giving out the key comprises the security. People with the key can snoop on the other users that are connected. Plus the users might give the key to others.

End-users can interact with the wireless Hosted Network via the

Getting started with wireless Hosted Networks

In order to use the wireless Hosted Network feature, your wireless adapter must be using drivers certified for Windows 7. If Windows detects a supported adapter, it will automatically add a connection to the Network Connections window, named Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter, such as Figure 1 shows. If multiple supported-adapters exist, Windows will automatically choose the one to use for the wireless Hosted Network.