Feb 12, 2013
Most of the time, we search for ways of sharing an existing internet connection from one device to another. And most possibly the reason behind this is to reduce the costs spent when consuming the cyberspace. Normally we utilized existing internet connections on our mobile phones or tablets by putting the device into a WiFi access point mode automatically becoming a WiFi hot spot. This method of sharing an existing Internet connection is very common and can be done on almost any Android devices. Just turn your WiFi on and set your device to act as an access point device. This can be easily done just by tapping the ‘Activation’ slide button or any similar action. On Samsung devices this can be found on the ‘Connectivity’ options found in the ‘Settings’ app.
Sometimes, there are cases that we want to do the other way around. That is, to share the Internet connection of a PC to mobile devices. Though it is possible to share an Internet connection from your PC, common solutions requires introducing additional device/s. Device such as router and LAN cables were needed for connecting the said device to your DSL modem. So to avoid extra cost brought by routers and similar devices, software applications can be used instead. In most Android phones, there’s the Reverse Tether app that can share a PC’s Internet connection to your Android phone. For more info about Reverse Tether app visit this link. Take note that you will need a cable for this one though giving you a hint that your PC will not act as WiFi access point or WiFi hot spot.
So there’s the Reverse Tether app for most Android phones, so what’s left for other users who can’t use this app on their phone? Introducing Virtual Router Plus for Windows PC. This software is a free, open source software based router that can be installed on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012. What the software does is to make an existing Internet connection on your PC available to all WiFi devices. Virtual Router Plus can share your Windows PC’s Internet connection (WiFi, LAN, cable modem, cellular, dial-up, etc.) via WiFi technology. As I have said before, your Windows PC will automatically function as a WiFi access point device or WiFi hot spot that is ready to accept incoming connections from other mobile devices.
To use Virtual Router Plus, you should download the zip package first from codeplex website and extract the contents to a folder. There’s no installation needed so just double-click the executable file to launch the software based router. You can change the ‘Network Name(SSID)’ to any text that you want. There’s also the ‘Password’ text box where you can put the password of your choice to be used by clients when connecting to your WiFi hot spot PC. In the ‘Shared Connection’ drop down box, you can choose which existing Internet connection you can share via WiFi. Just choose the correct source of your PC’s Internet connection and your good to go. If all things are set, just click ‘Start Virtual Router Plus’ button and wait for a couple of seconds. Then on your mobile device, try searching for the SSID that you specify or it should appear automatically in your WiFi hot spot list. Provide the password afterwards and everything should be ok. Remember that on your Windows PC, your WiFi should be working and turned on.
By the way, Virtual Router Plus uses Wireless Hosted Network Technology that should exist in your Windows PC. To determine whether your Windows PC supports this feature you can try typing the command below in a DOS command prompt window.
After hitting the ‘Enter’ key, a series of text information will be displayed on your screen. Find out if your PC is supported by looking for ‘Hosted network supported’ with a value of ‘yes’. Once connected the connection between WiFi devices and to your PC is protected by a WPA2 encryption technology that is the most secure wireless encryption according to the developer. So there’s nothing to worry about sensitive information being leak out of your network.
I tried using this app on my Windows 7 laptop that is connected to the Internet via corporate LAN and unfortunately it’s not working. Maybe there’s a proxy server in the middle of the connection that would require another step in the authentication process. I wonder if the developers would soon incorporate this feature in their next release of Virtual Router Plus. I think that it would be great for any corporate user enabling them to utilize the existing LAN for their mobile devices. What do you think?
When I got home, I try Virtual Router Plus on the same laptop but this time using the DSL Internet connection and it works for my iPad 2 tablet and Samsung Wave II smartphone. The only problem is that the connection is limited to the WiFi’s coverage limit. According to Wikipedia, 802.11b or 802.11g WiFi technology has coverage of 32 m (120 ft) indoors and 95 m (300 ft) outdoors and can double the range if using 802.11n.
Remember that this is just a simple solution for those people who want to easily connect their WiFi enabled smartphones or tablets to a WiFi hot spot without the additional cost. Keep in mind that a dedicated hardware router is much better in terms of performance and bandwidth especially if you’re planning to connect more WiFi enabled devices in the future. In my experience, a Windows PC with Virtual Router Plus installed can accommodate up to 3 smartphones or tablets that is used in browsing the Web. For downloading files, you should limit the connection to 2 WiFi devices only. By the way, I’m using a 1 Mbps Globe Wimax connection for my Internet connection.
What do you think of Virtual Router Plus? Have you tried using any software like this before? Tell us what you think by posting your comments below.
This router is the perfect solution for adding a wireless network to your home or business. It fully complies with wireless standards and is guaranteed to work with any manufacturer’s 2.4Ghz wireless adapter and most manufacturers’ DSL/Cable modems. Medialink Wireless Routers support the most current Security Protocols and Encryption Types to allow you to easily keep out unwanted intruders to your wireless network. The following Security features are supported: WPS (WiFi Protected Setup), WPA and WPA2 Security Protocol, WEP, TKIP, and AES – 64 and 128 Bit Encryption