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home network without a router


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#1 sunfish02

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:06 AM

I have a new HP Pavillon g4 with Windows 7 Home Premium installed and connect to the internet via an external antenna to a hotspot nearby. I'm trying to create a Home Network or Ad-Hoc computer to computer network without a router and without cables, using my Windows 7 computer as the master, receiving the internet, and my second computer running on XP SP2 as a slave. I have tried ad-hoc setup, but my XP does not connect to the internet (the XP connects without problem when I insert the external antenna directly). Does anyone know if it is possible to share internet between Windows 7 and XP and how to go about it? I googled for hours and tried different setups, all failed. I have successfully installed the "Virtual Router Manager", it works well between Windows 7 computers or tablets, but not with XP. Any help is much appreciated.

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#2 Baltboy

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:57 AM

To share a connection in that way uses ICS (Internet Connection Sharing).ICS requires that you use two physically separate adapters. So to do a fully wireless ICS network using your laptop would require that you use the internal wireless adapter (which I am assuming is the external antenna) for one side of the network and another adapter connected via USB or some other external connection to serve the other side of the network. Short explanation why is that ICS uses NAT to connect the other computers to the internet which requires two seprate networks...one WAN and one LAN. I can explain more in depth if you would like but that is the quick and dirty explanation.
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#3 sunfish02

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:28 PM

Thanks BALTBOY - but: Is there not a way to do what the "Virtual Router Manager" does between Windows 7 computers? This "Virtual Router Manager" works perfectly well without two physical adaptors, it turns my Windows 7 laptop into a hotspot at home. But only to share between devices with Windows 7. It proofs that Windows 7 (or my computer?) has the capability to send a Wifi signal to nearby computers, but XP cannot connect, although it "sees" the provider. I'm looking for a way around this without buying new hardware.
Yes, I would like you to explain more in depths, but I'm by far not a computer guru, just an average user with some basic knowledge. Thanks for your troubles!

#4 Baltboy

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 03:03 PM

What your using when you use the virtual router software you reference is an emulator. It is creating an emulated software router on your Windows 7 pc. So really the functionality you are using has nothing to do with Windows 7 it is all a function of the software you installed. Since the software doesn't support XP (probably because the way the hardware is accessed and managed is very different in XP) you cannot connect your XP computer.

ICS is similar to the software you are using in that it does the same task but it does not use emulation. It is actually making the one PC that ICS is installed on perform the hardware functions of a router. A router by definition connects two DIFFERENT networks so they can communicate as though they were on the same network. So what you have is the WAN side or the internet side and the LAN side or your home network side. Every device on a network needs to aquire a unique IP address or there would be no way for the data to get directed to it. The WAN adaptor is connected directly to your internet connection so it will receive the IP address form the ISP. Since your ISP or hot spot will only assign you the one IP and it cannot be shared with another device ICS uses NAT to connect the other devices. NAT (Network Address Translation) assigns IP addresses that are reserved for private internal networks according to the TCP/IP standard to the LAN side of the network using the second adapter. That adapter then becomes the default gateway for the local network and all internet traffic will get routed through it to the WAN adapter. It also acts as the DHCP server for the LAN side of the network so that connected devices automatically recieve unique addresses on the LAN. However these reserved IP addresses will not work over the internet because thousands of networks can potentially be using the same IP address range. So NAT encapsulates or wraps that transmission using the IP address supplied by the ISP so it can be routed to and from the destination on the internet. Upon its return the data is unwrapped and routed back the the originating computer.

Essentially the Virtual Router software you are using is doing the same exact thing as described above but it fools the hosting windows computer into thinking it has two separate adapters through emulation. Since ICS is the only "built-in" way to share a connection through windows unless you can find another free software router that supports XP you are out of luck.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#5 jhayz

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 09:37 PM

You may want to try Connectify on your Win 7 laptop as a host network to share wifi connection.

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#6 sunfish02

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:09 AM

Thank you BALTBOY for this sound information, much appreciated!

#7 sunfish02

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:20 AM

to JHAIZ: thanks for the link. I installed "Connectify-lite" and it did not work. Apparently it only works with Windows 7 machines. I then looked for an alternative on http://alternativeto.net/software/connectify/ and found many similar softwares. So far i've tried
- VirualRouter
- Connectify
- Maryfi
- WifiSpot
- MyPublicWifi
- mhotspot
none of them worked between my Windows 7 and XP laptop. However, in the process I managed to mess up some settings and was without internet access until I did a System Restore ;-)
If anyone knows of a software that works with Windows 7 AND XP, please let me know.

#8 SleepyDude

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:08 AM

Hi Sunfish,

You probably have some problem with your Windows XP configuration because Connectify should work with XP but you need to have windows controlling the Wireless connection.
http://support.connectify.me/entries/20654107-windows-xp-and-third-party-wireless-network-manager

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#9 sunfish02

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:24 PM

Hello SleepyDude,
I reinstalled Connectify (Lite) and all works fine on my Windows 7 laptop, the one that receives internet. In SETTINGS I chose:
- Internet to Share: Realtek RTL8187 Wireless 802.11b/g 54Mbps USB 2.0 network adaptor (that's my ALFA external wireless antenna)
in Advanced settings:
- Share Over: Realtek RTL8187 Wireless 802.11b/g 54Mbps USB 2.0 network adaptor
- Sharing Mode: Wi-Fi Access Point. Encrypted (WPA2)
When i click "Start Hotspot" it looks like it's all systems go, totally normal.
On my XP computer I now see "Connectify-me" with a full strength signal. When i click connect, the Wireless Network Connection window opens for a few seconds while it is trying to connect. Then a new window opens informing that "Windows is unable to connect to the selected network. The network may no longer be in range. Please refresh the list of available networks, and try to connect again".
When I refresh, the network is still there, but I cannot connect.
I followed your advise regarding the "Windows wireless zero configuration" on my XP - all is (and was) set correctly. I'm at a loss why it is not working. By the way, I tried to connect to Connectify with my Android tablet, a little ViewSonic bookreader with Wifi, same result, it can see the Connectify link and attempts to connect a couple of times - but in the end cannot connect. This tablet connects well if I use the "Virtual router" software.
What else can I try?

#10 SleepyDude

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:52 PM

Hi,

Try changing the Sharing Mode to Wi-Fi Ad-hoc, encrypted (Wep)

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#11 sunfish02

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:35 PM

Hi SleepyDud - no luck so far!
In the Connectify Window, Advanced Settings, Sharing Mode: When I select Wi-Fi Ad-Hoc, Encrypted (WEP) I get a red Note "Can't be same as 'Share Over'". In the 'Share Over' dropdown list I had selected:
A. Realtek RTL8187 Wireless 802.11 b/g ...
the other options are
B. Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller
C. Broadcom 4313GN 802.11 b/g/n 1x1 Wi ...
When I select B., a red message reads "PRO only feature"
When i select C., a red message reads "Wi-Fi disabled"
- end of the road.
Could it be that this software only works in the PRO version (payable, and not cheap).
Any other hints?

#12 SleepyDude

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:16 PM

Sorry I should investigate further, found two other articles:

- http://support.connectify.me/entries/20307637-does-connectify-run-on-windows-vista-or-windows-xp
- http://support.connectify.me/entries/20316691-access-point-mode-vs-ad-hoc-mode

For windows XP it will only work in ad-hoc mode, for access point you need to have one network device for the internet and other to share the wireless signal that is why the software ask for the other adapter.

In your case you have only one adapter to connect to the internet and to share the wireless signal.

Edited by SleepyDude, 24 September 2012 - 03:18 PM.

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#13 jhayz

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:15 AM

Your XP desktop connecting to wireless is using what type of wifi device?

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#14 sunfish02

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:10 PM

SleepyDude, thank you for the links. It is clear now that XP can only work in Ad Hoc mode, and since I don't have two different wifi cards in my Windows 7 laptop the summary is "can't be done". I was hoping there would be kind of a "virtual router" available for what I'm trying to do, because I think I'm not the only one having a new Windows 7 computer and one or two older ones with XP. Anyway - thank you for your help!

*********************************

To jhaiz: I'm not 100% sure where to find my XP wireless device, but I assume it is one of the items listed in the device manager under Network Adaptors:
- 1394 Net Adaptor
- Atheros L1 Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T Controller
- Intel® Wireless Wifi Link 4965AGN
When i disable the Intel® device, Wifi is not working, so it must be that one.

Just for your info, on my Windows 7 laptop I have the following devices listed in the device manager under Network Adaptors:
- Broadcom 4313GN 802.11b/g/n 1x1 Wi-Fi Adapter
- Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller
- Realtek RTL8187 Wireless 802.11b/g 54Mbps USB 2.0 Network Adapter
It is the last one that connects to Wi-Fi via an external ALFA antenna

Thanks for your time and help!

#15 SleepyDude

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:36 PM

Hi SleepyDud - no luck so far!
In the Connectify Window, Advanced Settings, Sharing Mode: When I select Wi-Fi Ad-Hoc, Encrypted (WEP) I get a red Note "Can't be same as 'Share Over'". In the 'Share Over' dropdown list I had selected:
A. Realtek RTL8187 Wireless 802.11 b/g ...
the other options are
B. Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller
C. Broadcom 4313GN 802.11 b/g/n 1x1 Wi ...
When I select B., a red message reads "PRO only feature"
When i select C., a red message reads "Wi-Fi disabled"
- end of the road.
Could it be that this software only works in the PRO version (payable, and not cheap).
Any other hints?


Hi,

From your last post it seems you have 2 wireless connections, this should work. Can you make sure you have the Broadcom wireless enable and select C on the program options you describe above?

• Please do not PM me asking for support. Post on the forums instead it will increases the chances of getting help for your problem by one of us.
• Posts in the Malware section that are not replied to within 4 days will be closed. PM me or a moderator to reactivate.
• Please post your final results, good or bad. We like to know! Thank you!

 
Proud graduate of GeekU and member of UNITE
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Rui

 
 





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