Microsoft Incorporates Virtual WiFi Technology into Windows 7

May 18, 2009 by John Messina weblog
SoftAP/VWiFi Architecture

(PhysOrg.com) -- Virtual WiFi will enable Windows 7 and future operating systems to see a single WLAN adapter as multiple WLAN adapters by the operating system. This feature is available in Windows 7 RC1, however because there are no hardware drivers to support this, the feature remains inactive.

Some of you may wonder why you would ever need more than one WLAN adapter in your PC. There may be a few circumstances where multiple WLAN adapters would be needed. For instance, you may want to connect to one wireless network and use the virtual adapter to turn your PC into a hot spot so that other computers could connect to and share the internet access.

Another example, for using virtual WiFi, may be where you're connected to an existing wireless access point and want to connect to another network whether that is a separate access point or even set up an ad-hoc connection, Virtual WiFi will allow you to do just that.

Virtual is going to be a requirement for WLAN drivers sporting the Windows 7 certification logo, so drivers will be coming to add support for the feature.

Windows 7 installs a virtual device if a Hosted Network capable WLAN adapter is present on the PC. This virtual device shows up in the "Network Connections Folder" as 'Wireless Network Connection 2' with a Device Name of 'Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter' if the PC has a single WLAN adapter. This allows the virtual device to be used solely for performing software access point (SoftAP)connections.

More technical information aimed at hardware vendors and developers is available at the WinHEC 2008 session, "Wireless LAN Enhancements in .″

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

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El_Nose
not rated yet May 18, 2009
I am normally a MS Windows fan it operates my personal computer at home flawlessly -- I am a gamer and have a top of the line system and stay away from iffy internet sites, though a port scanner could always sneek in and get me through my firewalls -- anyway this seems like a non optimal solution, i think this should be abstrated away from the OS -- make the router manufactures deploy this technology and make them secure it the OS of a personal computer, or workstation on the job, is a less than optimal place to put this techology.

please comment/rate/discuss ( C/R/D -- trying to make a new internet acronym ... remeber A/S/L from back in the day :-) )
MGraser
not rated yet May 18, 2009
Actually, I can see this being useful as part of a personal bandwidth prioritization. You would assign critical tasks (ip phone, etc.) to use dedicated virtual connections that use X amount of the bandwidth provided by your total wireless connection. For such a solution, though, you'd need not only the router to handle it, but the wireless card in your pc. In order for the wireless card to actually provide the feature, you'd need the OS to support it.

I'm not sure of all the possible applications, but sounds interesting.
NeptuneAD
not rated yet May 18, 2009
I don't like Microsoft much, but if a piece of hardware is being made for a particular piece of software or even being considered to work with it, then surely they should be required to meet the standards of that software to be called compliant.
LuckyBrandon
5 / 5 (1) May 19, 2009
el nose-there are already wireless concentrators out there that seperate traffic into VLANs...this isn't what this is designed to do. this is designed to segment the bandwidth of one wireless NIC into multiple virtual NICs allowing the simulataneous connection to two or more wireless networks within range.

dhughes-most likely its residual parts of the base code taken from Windows Server 2008, which includes Hyper-V for virtualization. This also allows alotting certain percentages of your total network card usage to what essentially could be other network segments. People did ask for better and free virtualization technology from Microsoft :)
Oh to get that bandwidth, the ability to bridge all the virtual connections would need to be available. I'm not sure if it has this feature, but I somewhat doubt it, and if it does, it would likely be for connection to access points only being bridged (otherwise you could potentially bridge multiple systems together via the wireless virtualization and severely compromise system security)