A home wireless network doesn’t need to be complicated to set up. In fact, if you just want something simple and easy and aren’t concerned with having a high level of security or more than a few devices connected to the network, you can turn a Windows PC into a WiFi hotspot by using one of a few choices of free software.
To set this up, the basics are pretty much the same for all three software programs: just download the program, follow the instructions, and hit “Start.” You do need to have a wireless card on the PC, which is what is used to transmit the WiFi signal instead of receive it.
Virtual Router Plus is a free, opensource software program that can be used on a PC with Windows 7 or newer, including Windows 8. It can take any wired or wireless connection and transmit it securely to any WiFi device. Make sure to use a password with at least eight letters.
The program uses WPA2 encryption, which is the most secure type of encryption for a wireless network. The computer transmitting the signal also needs to stay awake and running for the other devices to receive a WiFi signal, so you may need to adjust your power settings on the computer transmitting the signal.
Connectify is another free software that will transmit wired and wireless signals. It can even be used to boost your WiFi signal at home if your router isn’t powerful enough to reach all parts of your home. Connectify offers a pro version that will allow you to transmit 3G/4G signals and drag and drop files that you want to share with all devices on the network. You can share files between devices even when you don’t have an active Internet connection.
The pro version also allows you to customize the network so you can limit what each device receives, including bandwidth. Connectify can be used on PCs running Windows XP and newer, up to Windows 8.
Virtual WiFi Router is another free program to create a mini home wireless network. This program can be used on PCs running Windows Vista and newer up to Windows 8. It also has a display to show you who is using the network you create.
All three programs are relatively straightforward to set up, however, if you follow the instructions and the program you choose isn’t working for you, or if you would prefer to use a more permanent and secure network with a router, you may want to look at getting help from a computer tech support company that offers home wireless network support.