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Turn Your Windows 7 Laptop into a WiFi Hotspot with Connectify

In some computing situations, you might need to create a WiFi hotspot quickly so other wireless devices can use an Internet connection. Today we take a look at Connectify which easily turns your Windows 7 machine into an instant WiFi hotspot.

You might be at a location where there is only one Ethernet connection available (hotel room, office or meeting room etc.) and you need to share the Internet connection with other people or devices. Connectify is a free utility which is light on system resources and makes it easy for you to set up your Windows 7 machine as a secure WiFi hotspot.

Note: Connectify only works with Windows 7 Home and above, Starter is not supported.

Connectify

Installation is quick and easy, and once complete, you can access Connectify from the icon in the Taskbar.

4wifi 

Under settings, type in a name for the WiFi network, a password to access it, then decide the type of internet connection you want to share. It allows LAN, VirtualBox Host-Only, Wireless Network Connection, and no Internet sharing. When you’re ready, click on the Start Hotspot button.

1wifi

Now you’ll see it running and can begin connecting your other wireless computers and/or devices.

2wifi 

Now that Connectify is running on the Windows 7 laptop, In this example we go over to an XP laptop and connect it. Open up Wireless Networks and you’ll see the new hotspot we just created that you can connect to.

6wifi 

You’ll be prompted to enter in the Network Key (password) you set in Connectify twice, then click on Connect.

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Wait for a moment while a network address is acquired…

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Here you can see the XP machine is connected to the Geek-fi network we created on the Windows 7 machine.

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When you go back to the Windows 7 machine you can see the device(s) connected. It also keeps track of devices that were previously connected as well.

66wifi

Right click on the Connectify icon in the tray to get different options for running it.

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In our tests, the signal strength and connection speed was adequate, but may be a bit slower than your used to. Results will vary based on the type of hardware you have sending and receiving the signal. Overall though, if you need to create a Hotspot in a pinch, Connectify is more than capable. If you’re looking for an easy way to share your Windows 7 wireless connection with other devices, and want it to be secure, Connectify get’s the job done.

Download Connectify

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/2/10

Comments (62)

  1. Zahir Khan

    This did not work for me. I tried everything I could but when I entered the security machine on another machine it just did not work further. the other machine was not able to connect to the WiFi Hotspot created.

  2. JamesR404

    You’re timing for this topic couldn’t be better! This is exaclty what I need tomorrow for a presentation, now I’ve got a good reason to get that set up of Windows 7 done! =]

  3. Jean-Michel Paris

    @Zahir

    Did you manage exception in the Windows firewall ?
    And, did you check that added network connection is ‘Private’ ?

  4. Firas

    Thank you Mysticgeek ,

    But I’m searching for program that works on windows XP to make a hotspot station with limits per person (or PC) .

    Thank you very much for all the tips and app that you share ;-)

  5. Scott

    How is this different than the ad hoc network you can set up using Windows 7? Just search Ad Hoc and it pulls up the control panel that walks you through the steps….

  6. RougeCrown

    actually you dont really need a third party software to do this… You can try this very simple method:

    1/ Create an ad-hoc connection from your computer to another computer/mobile phone
    2/ Bridge the LAN connection and the Wireless connection
    3/ Right click on the LAN connection and choose Share…

    I was able to use wireless on my phone with this method :D its not foolproof though.

  7. Odoiporos

    Is there something just like this available for windows XP?????????

  8. scotty

    Connectify really shines when you’ve got a WiFi card that can do access point mode. They recently released v1.1 that supports a lot of older Intel cards including the one in my dell!

    At college I can only have 2 registered devices on the schools wireless network. This app lets me run a WiFi hotspot in the dorms so I can also connect my iPhone and Xbox to the Internet.

    This is massive for college students everywhere as well as anyone who has to spend a lot of time in airports or hotels. Pay for one connection then run Connectify and instantly anyone traveling with you has Internet access as well. Infinitely useful.

  9. jd2066

    It looks like you forgot the best part of Connectify, you can connect to a wireless network and then share it back out as a wireless network using the same wireless card. That is part of what makes it Windows 7 only as it’s a Windows 7 feature that makes that possible.

  10. Irm

    For WinXP, create an Ad Hoc connection and use an AHK script to turn on ICS everytime you want to share internet connection. you might have to manually assign IP, default gateway and DNS on your device based on whats been assigned by your LAN card to the WLAN card and in some cases a proxy needs to be defined.

  11. Diego

    Very nice tip – Sometimes I get stucked when trying to share my internet connection from my laptop with my Nokia N85 cellphone – because it just does not work as expected.
    Thanks!

  12. hind

    what is the password for this programe???

  13. Chef

    This program appears to work very well, but my xbox 360 keeps telling me to enter a WEP key. The Virtual network uses WPA2 security, and is definitely broadcasting that way. I do have the WPA2 compatibility update on my xbox, but it keeps demanding a WEP key… any thoughts?? I even tried to connect via “specify unlisted” on X360 but to no avail. :(

  14. fazleth

    hey guys,
    im connected to the pc at work, which in turn is connected to the internet via proxy. i can succesfully connect my iphone to the hotspot created by connectify, bt dont have access to the net. cud anyone shed some light on why this is the case?

    thanks!

  15. james

    hi, i’m trying to connect a xbox 360 to a bt hotspot, i have a username and password for the hotspot but cant seem to connect, does anyone know how? i’ve also tried to use a ethernet cable through my laptop but dont seem to have a option to share the connection? its this because its a public network? any ideas would be good, the xbox picks up the signal as unsecured, do i need to input IP adress manualy? thanks in advance for any help.

  16. bill

    could someone please put up a tep by step on how to connect xbox 360 using connectify? what do i need to do on xbox as it sees the hotspot but wont connect. any help would be appreciated thx

  17. alimaid

    How can we use the UPnP to make it running? because my PSP can’t connect to the hotspot I created and it tells under “security” that it is not supported… thanks for the help if any…

  18. Carla

    Hey guys,

    I do have a problem with the programm. Its installed correcty on Win7 (64) but I can only chose “No Internet Sharing”….No way to chose “Local Area Connection” or “Wirless Network Connection”. I have no idea how to solve this problem… Could anybody help me please?

  19. Psp I

    Is there amy way to make it work with PSP

  20. UPNP

    So for the UPNP not working a majority of the time when I set up a hotspot, it usually will not let me connect to the internet via wireless on a pc either. The closest thing to an answer I can provide from my own experience is that it will work sometimes by providing a different password to connect to the hotspot you set up. ie: you start the hotspot and get no UPnP. Stop the hotspot and change the password. Start hotspot over.

  21. jm

    can i create that even i’m using cricket broadband?

  22. palash

    every time i click start hotspot , it says ” The WiFi device reported that is powered down . Please enable your wifi adapter and try again.”… please help me…

  23. Waelboy

    Well, that would be very nice just if Connectif is giving the option to choose a WEP connection, it doesnt even allow me to choose any type it automatically skips the mode and provides a WPA2-PSK Connection. how comes you are allowed to use WEP?

  24. Indo

    why my cellphone can’t connect the wifi? there’s always note “disconnect”

  25. Sherif

    Thank you .. :D

  26. Justin

    This worked wonders for me! I have free internet in my apartment complex, but My laptop is the only computer to pick up access. now I have access for all my computers and devices in my home, Great program, 100% recommend this!

  27. sin

    i’m also having problems concerning xbox and also ds. it seems to work ok for local connection – i was able to watch videos/listen to music via windows media center. however the internet connection fails. would really appriciate it if some1 can lend a hand

  28. LynX

    at first it was working like clock but then it prevented me from using my VPN,then it came up with some nonsense message that your wi-fi modem doesn’t work or something like that…and now i’m searching web like a damn search engine just to find another way…

  29. derek

    can someone confirm that it will work on android?im having a problem here. i cant connect my device

  30. help

    this didn’t work on my psp

  31. G han

    I was working fine on a win 7 x64 going from a wifi antenna card thru the internal wifi card on a new hp laptop to iPad and other laptops. Then I installed win Sp 1

    Now the remotes can connect but no internet. Any experience with SP1 for win7?

  32. nshah

    why my cellphone can’t connect the wifi? there’s always note “disconnect”
    It not work….!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Karen

    I have just installed Connectify on my PC. It is working as it should on my iPhone 3G with no fuss at all, but not making the connection on my iPad 1 – it shows a wireless signal but Safari, for example, but will not connect to the Internet. I can’t see anything that I’ve done differently with the iPad. Any suggestions?

  34. Raj

    I am able to connect to my Iphone 3gs but with hotspot created by connectify, although it shows the wifi sign as connected in my iphone but the internet doesnt seem to work. help please. fazleth and karen on ipad above seems to have the same problem.

    Raj

  35. krishna

    RAJ

    mine is a SAMSUNG GALAXY ACE….i got the same problem for me..

    but i have found..”mhotspot” sotware..its working…relly…grat..no need to install it!!!

    try this…www.mhotspot.com

  36. sarish

    every time i click start hotspot , it says ” The WiFi device reported that is powered down . Please enable your wifi adapter and try again.”… please help me…

    palash u also found the same problem ..did u find ny solution

  37. marikaz

    i can only use this program while connecting to a wireless network..it dsnt support a wired one … and
    i could’nt connect to my local area connections after installing this program even when it’s shutted down…
    any help plz?

  38. baddevil

    in the easy setup wizard…am choosing local area connection instead of wireless network connection…but it said ” no internet on local area connection…when i am connecting to it… it gives me error in connecting … any help please :)

  39. Jas

    it says no internet sharing when i click on it its the single option there

  40. str

    @LynX : Same problem, did you find a solution?

  41. moosa

    i love you… all works perfect..

  42. rjlanc

    It worked fine for me but it killed my VPN connections to work so that I always received an error 651 message. Uninstalling connectify fixed the problem

  43. ManiG

    I got the same problem. Connectify disconnected my LAN and only after uninstalling I was able to re-connect.

    It gave Error 651. Someone please help me resolve this.

    Thx.

  44. Santo

    This worked without any issue. I was able to connect Vista computer and a Smartphone without any issue. Thanks to Mysticgeek for this excellent article.

  45. Ashish

    I am using a 3G wireless modem for connecting to internet. I have installed the program connectify. It is successfully connecting to my iphone. But when I am turning on my wireless modem connection, my computer hangs. How to share wireless internet connection using connecify.

  46. Elijah

    i am trying to share my LAN internet connection through my wireless card, more specifically to a Motorola Xoom tablet..
    First i tried with a normal windows Ad-Hoc wireless network setup, but no success because Android runs on Infrastructure and has no support for Ad-Hoc… So, when i looked up for the network from my tablet i wouldn’t find it..
    Then i found this software Connectyfi and finally my tablet detected my network.. But then i came into another problem: i coudn’t share internet as i had planned, i even overviewed all my settings but no succes..
    Finally, i used UPNP’s advice.. And i had access to internet on my tablet..
    But i still got a problem, i cant fully navigate. I cant access Facebook or some other pages.. Does anyone know something about it?

  47. Doug

    FWIW, Connectify V2 supports Win 7 Starter. Apparently, Starter was not supported when the article was written.

  48. Neville

    Well it works great but can it work at home
    When there’s any Internet connection?
    Cause I don’t have Internet at home
    And I try to use my laptop
    With connectfy-me but it doesn’t work

  49. Gautam

    connectify installer.exe file could harm ur computer is it true

  50. sharK

    Hey I got the same problem like [quote] [b]Waelboy[/b]
    Well, that would be very nice just if Connectif is giving the option to choose a WEP connection, it doesnt even allow me to choose any type it automatically skips the mode and provides a WPA2-PSK Connection. how comes you are allowed to use WEP?[/quote]

    How to change WPA-2 to WEP encryption in connectify. Thanks a lot.

  51. sharK

    Waelboy and who has the same problem. I found the solution:

    On connectify tray icon select Options – “Show all settings” and “Always show Ad Hoc mode”. Then you can configure WEP AdHoc

    It really works!

  52. Sumofwhich

    I’m running on windows 7, and after installing connectify, setting up a hotspot, windows get laggy.
    After uninstalling connectify or restoring to previous restore points, it does not lag anymore.
    Why is this happening? Is there any fix to it? Tq!

  53. beealady

    Not all adapters support Window 7 virtual Wifi.
    Check with your manufacturer specs.

    Alternatively to Connectify, you might wish to try Virtual Router instead.
    The Wireless Network create/shared with Virtual Router uses WPA2 Encryption, and there is not way to turn off that encryption. This is actually a feature of the Wireless Hosted Network API’s built into Windows 7 and 2008 R2 to ensure the best security possible.

    Instructions:
    http://petra.cc/images/virtualWiFi.jpg

    Website with download:
    http://virtualrouter.codeplex.com/

  54. kota

    i have installed connectify-me in my laptop(windows 7) but i am unable to connect my phone to the wifi. it says ” remembered, secured with WAP/WAP2 PSK”……where as on my friends laptop i can connect my phone to the wifi with same procedure
    please help……..

  55. dr.asif

    this is really fantastic…but its a trial version,how can i get a license key

  56. Rajeev

    This is amazing.. Thanks alot even free version is very fast and great I am able to connect the Ipad easily.. :)

  57. Ali

    hi
    i have ADSL CABLE to connect to the internet my own line and have the router but it’s not wireless
    so can i connect my phone using the USB cable or Bluetooth device to my computer internet
    my phone is T-mobile wing and uing windows 7
    thx

  58. mann

    hi all ,

    can u guys plz help me for this …

    i normally use hotspot shield on my laptop , and i want if some one connect to my laptop ,
    using connectify , he can excess all blocked sites without installing hotspot shield .

    is it possible , that connectify routes his all bandwidth through hotspot shied

    thanks

  59. Billy

    what is the password for this programe???

  60. Kamadev

    Would it work with the Nook Color ?

  61. Bimbi

    A third-party wireless network manager is currently controlling your wireless functionality. This needs to be disabled for hotspot functionality.

    I get this problem when i try to start the hotspot,
    can anyone solve it for me ?
    how to do it ?

    thanks alot :)

  62. Ron

    Where can I get this application?

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