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Connectify, Your Free Software Wireless Router

Posted by Afewgoodmen on March 31, 2010  /   Posted in Tips

What is Connectify?
Connectify is roughly a 900 Kilobyte windows 7 application or software that enables you to turn your Wi-Fi enabled personal computer into a wireless hotspot to share your Internet connection, and create wireless networks on the go, which you can then connect with your Mobile phones, laptops or other Wi-Fi appliances. Connectify is actually a wireless router replacement! It doesn’t need any extra hardware. The download itself is quite small, Less than 1 MB.

Minimum Requirements to run Conectify
The minimum requirement to run Connectify must include the following.
1. A Computer running any version of Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Yes, your system must be windows 7.
2. The Computer should have wireless LAN or Wi-Fi.
3. No other Hardware or software is required apart from the Connectify application which can be downloaded from the Connectify website; http://www.connectify.me/download/index.html for free.

How does it actually work?

This Connectify stuff sounds like real fun, doesn’t it? Perhaps it looks too good to be true! Yes, but it is actually true. Genuine.

When I first informed one of my colleagues last year about Connectify, as it first came out, (It was still in the beta version then], he retorted, “That possibly can’t be true. You must need an extra hardware to create a wireless router orhotspot!” Well after I purchased my windows 7 HP laptop, Dv6 series and downloaded and installed a stable version (V 1.1) of Connectify in my system, it worked seamlessly. So how is it possible to create internet hotspots without the use of a router?

Exploit of Hidden Mechanism/Code in Windows 7
Well, rumours have it that Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system contains a highly interesting software layer — invented and developed at the company’s in-house research division — that has a sort of “virtual Wi-Fi” hidden in it in some layers of code. Although, it wasn’t finished completely before Windows 7 went into the market, the virtual Wi-Fi is still there. It is interesting to note that some Blogs have it that some Microsoft employees are even unaware of this feature in windows 7.

Essentially, Connectify allows a user to group multiple Wi-Fi connections together to boost coverage and speeds. Connectify exploits this virtual Wi-Fi to create a software based router or Hotspots for Wi-Fi sharing. Now you can only imagine what this exploit can do to turn your laptop into a fully functional router!

The Connectify website stated it succinctly “Connectify hotspot just like any other Wi-Fi access point are kept safe and secure by rock solid WPA2 Encryption. So don’t break the bank paying for multiple Wi-Fi connections on the road, Connectify is free and can actually save you money.”

Hands-on Experience by the Author
My first experience with Connectify was one of doubt, then awe. I downloaded the less-than-1-Megabyte application from the Connectify website with my Starcomms plan connection and it took me something less than 2 minutes. I then installed it. It took me less than a couple of seconds for installing. The app actually seats at the right hand corner of the windows 7 taskbar. After installation, my first attempt at configuring the hotspot failed. But after restarting my system, it appears Connectify configured itself atomically and I created a hotspot. The interface of the Conectify is quite simple. You just click on the icon at the systems tray at the right end of the task bar, and the Connectify menu shoots right up like a mushroom. You then have an option of naming the Wi-Fi connection. You can also put in a password which you have to type in the device you wish to connect to the hotspot. You can connect as many Wi-Fi enabled devices as possible. But by doing that just note that you will essentially reduce the internet speed if the devices are too many. The Application maker claims that the hotspot is secure with WPA2-Personal (AES) encryption system (See above). I couldn’t verify this, but suffice to say that, without the password, no device can connect with your hotspot. I was able to confirm this.

Connection of Wi-Fi Enabled Devices/Phone
Now with all these settled, I decided to connect my ipod touch and iphone 3G to my laptop via Connectify. I should say that my ipod touch and Iphone 3G detected the Wi-Fi hotspots as it does to normal wireless routers. After the connections were established on the devices with the hotspot, I was able to browse the internet, update my applications and generally transfer files via Wi-Fi from the mobile device to my computer and back via the Connectify Wi-Fi. I was even able to control my PC remotely via Wi-Fi with the aid of an application in the ipod touch/iphone. Of course, this function can come in handy during a seminar or paper presentation with PowerPoint slides where you would need to be some distance from your PC.

Another application that also worked seamlessly with Connectify Wi-Fi hotspot was the i-remote lite application that I downloaded from the Apple itunes apps store for free. This app transformed the ipod touch or iphone into a mouse pad, bringing the multi-touch feature into good use as a wireless mouse pad or track pad. I could thus control any function of my windows 7 from any where I was in my room or office!

This is not all. You can also create a hotspot even if you are not connected to the internet! All you need to do is to select “No Connection” in the Connectify application from the pull down menu under “type of Internet Connection”. You can thus create this wireless hotspot and use your laptop computer to interact with other Wi-Fi enabled devices like Mobile phones, Sound systems etc in so many ways. Thus, transfer of files, playing music or even remote control of your PC can be carried out via the wireless hotspot generated, with or without an internet connection.

The wireless hotspot covered the whole radius of my parlour or Office, although I did not take it out to do a detailed study of its radius of coverage. Safe to say it should work for several meters radius.

I also connected the Connectify Hotspots wirelessly with a Nokia 5800 mobile phone. The results and browsing speed was commendable. But mind you, the network speed depends on the initial network connections of your laptop. Of note is that the Connectify Router capabilities also worked in cyber-cafés, whether your laptop connection is via a cable cord or wireless LAN. The Connectify can still share this connection of your laptop to potentially any Wi-Fi enabled device.

Conclusion
The Connectify application is a good Wi-Fi router replacement. It is especially useful for private use. It stands to have an immediate impact on Wi-Fi users, but could potentially impact various broadband access technologies over time. With Connectify, you have a software solution to share the data connection of your PC whether dial-up Connection or mobile broadband connection with a friend or your Wi-Fi enabled devices. And this differs distinctly from tethering options because tethering generally only allows one other device to milk that parent connection. By creating a Wi-Fi hotspot, multiple devices can join in the connection which is very slick, and has engendered me to trying out Connectify. It’s likely that we’ll see other interesting extensions of the virtual Wi-Fi software layer in Windows 7 as well, including applications with broadband technologies other than Wi-Fi, as mentioned above.

For any skeptics out there, you should try Connectify to confirm it or to see its varied usefulness. Just imagine not needing to dish out hard earned money to buy a wireless router! Some routers, like the Starcomms Router, costs as much as N45, 000.00. So please appreciate what you’ll gain by just taking advantage of this. Now, what are you waiting for? Please, upgrade your system to Windows 7 and join the Connectify users’ train. Perhaps you can say Hi to me and share your experience of Connectify with us here or in the Connectify group page on facebook. I think that there are lots of features that we are still trying to understand in the windows 7 Operating system (Example is the God Mode). The virtual Wi-Fi and Connectify is one of the functions I extol in Windows 7 and I believe the best is yet to come.

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About Afewgoodmen

Guest writer, Ovie Albert, is a Phycisian by profession and a Tech lover by interest. Blogs at www.oviealbert.com.

27 Comments

  1. Computer March 31, 2010 8:44 pm / Reply

    Good one! More power to your elbow.

  2. computer March 31, 2010 9:06 pm / Reply

    Just downloaded the application on my phone. Would test it when on pc

  3. deoladoctor March 31, 2010 9:18 pm / Reply

    @Afewgoodmen
    Thanks for this beautiful review. Some of us have been sharing our laptop’s internet connection with our PDA using Bluetooth Phone Manager in the PDA. Possibly, there may be such software also for symbian and other smartphones. Which one do you think would have better function in terms of smoothness of use, radius of coverage, and battery economy? BTPhone Manager or Connectify?

  4. MAHOGANY March 31, 2010 9:29 pm / Reply

    unfortunately i have been reluctant to upgrade to windows 7.

  5. Afewgoodmen March 31, 2010 10:22 pm / Reply

    @deoladoctor. Thanks. Wifi is a more versatile technology than bluetooth. I think Wifi hotspots with connectify should be a surer bet for an Internet hotspot than a bluetooth phone manager. But again, I do not have any experience on your PDA Bluetooth manager so I may not be able make any categorical statements. Just inferences.

    @COMPUTER. It appears you are using a Windows XP Computer. COnnectify only works with Windows 7.

  6. deoladoctor April 1, 2010 12:38 am / Reply

    “When I first informed one of my colleagues last year about Connectify, as it first came out, (It was still in the beta version then], he retorted, “That possibly can’t be true. You must need an extra hardware to create a wireless router orhotspot!”

    That was me. Afewgoodmen was too modest to mention this fact. In fact, i went on to tell him that N.T.A., Radio Delta, and others would be brodcasting using virtual softwares instead of the normal broadcasting stations if what he said were true. (It would be far cheaper for them). He was almost convinced that i was right because it does not make sense saying you broadcast without the necessary hardwares. At the time, what we did not know was that the wilan on the laptop which normally receives wifi transmissions could be “manipulated” to broadcast as well. This ability to “manipulate”, i believe, is what is present and lying dormant in windows 7 and which Connectify is able to bring to the fore.

    However, a question arises. If the wilan is made to “loop on itself” and transmit as a hotspot, How does it handle a situation where the laptop is browsing using a wifi hotspot? Would connectify still work when the laptop is in a hotspot environment and using the hotspot to browse? In other word, will it be capable of receiving and transmitting simultaeniously? So far, the experience has been with use of wired LAN, Starcomms, MTN, and Zain modems as means of internet connectivity because we do not have any wifi hotspot in this our part of the country.

    Experimentations and comments on this would be highly appreciated.

  7. Computer April 1, 2010 9:51 am / Reply

    Lol! I was using bolt browser not pc. I stated in my comment that i just downloaded it on my phone. Was suprised when i saw safari-window xp.

  8. kay123 April 1, 2010 2:26 pm / Reply

    Thanks for the information, I sucessfully upgraded my vista os hp laptop to windows 7 today. I got the cd some months back but installation failed on several attempts. I am a step from downloading then installing connectify.

  9. EyeBeeKay April 1, 2010 4:06 pm / Reply

    A great a technically sound post!

    ‘Connectify’ typifies another instance where exotic and innovative software programming can actually perform the function of / replace hardware.

    This software appears to be ‘JoikuSpot’ in another garb, but running on a PC…

  10. Afewgoodmen April 1, 2010 8:38 pm / Reply

    @COMPUTER. Sorry, I never knew you were using your phone to browse. Your post previously showed that you were using an XP Operating system. I have the same problem myself. My post is usually correctly recognized as coming from a windows 7 Laptop but it is also incorrectly stated that I use Internet explorer 7. I actually use I.E. 8!

    @Deoladoctor. Thanks for your further elucidation on Connectify. I couldn’t have said it as succintly yet elaborately as you just did. I have a hands on experience too on the Connectify application if you are using a hotspot. I have used my PC to browse in Cyber Cafe using their Wi-Fi connections. I think I must have stated it in the Connectify Review above. You can still reshare this hotspot to your mobile devices using Connectify. Yes, Connectify can still recreate its own hotspot from another hotspot. Receive internet network/connection via your Laptop inbuilt wireless LAN and transmit at the same time via Connectify windows 7 virtual Wi-Fi Exploit. An endless loop, So to say.

    @kay123. Yes you are a step from using COnnectify. A new improved version, 1.2 was released two days ago, on the 30/3/10. This one is about 1.2 Megabyte large, so it should still be easy to download. I would love to hear your own hands on Experience.

  11. deoladoctor April 1, 2010 8:45 pm / Reply

    @EyeBeeKay
    Yeah, more like the paid version of JoikuSpot running on windows 7 pc.

  12. belushi April 2, 2010 3:11 am / Reply

    lovely application. i’ve just installed it now. you wont know how much this means to me. now, i can browse on my phone while my wife is hooking up her facebook on the lappy…. both of us using same starcomms internet connection on the lappy.. great!!!

    thanks for sharing

  13. Yom April 2, 2010 5:00 am / Reply

    For laptop owners still running XP, don’t despair. Here’s how to
    Turn Your Notebook into a WLAN Hotspot
    . There’s info for Vista too, but I can’t vouch that it works.

    Nice tip-off, Afewgoodmen. Really useful info.

  14. Yom April 2, 2010 5:20 am / Reply

    @Computer: Did you download your Bolt browser via PC? The interesting thing about Bolt is that it adopts the user-agent of the medium through which it is downloaded.

    For example, if you download it via Firefox on Windows 7, Bolt will present itself as Firefox on Windows 7 to any site you visit with it.

  15. computer April 2, 2010 6:24 am / Reply

    @yom,i downloaded it via opera 5 beta 2. I think we need to do some review about the bolt ver 2.00. Sorry for off topic.

  16. Yom April 2, 2010 8:46 am / Reply

    @computer: Thanks for the feedback. We’ll do that and probably start a thread for it in the forum. Cheers.

  17. Afewgoodmen April 2, 2010 11:58 am / Reply

    @EyeBeeKay and Deoladoctor; Yes, you can liken Joikuspot as a reverse analogy to Connectify. Instead of Symbian 60 OS, you have your WIndows 7 OS. Instead of sharing an internet hotspot from your computer to your mobile device, like your phone, you share the hotspot using joikuspot from your symbian Nokia phone to your laptop. The only difference you could say is that while Connectify can connect your windows 7 to multiple devices, the joikuspot app can only connect your symbian’s internet connection to one device, namely, your computer.

    @Yom; I read the article on how to turn your windows XP to a WLAN hotspot. The Article was written in April of 2009. Too bad I did not see that article then. I might just have downgraded my Windows Vista LAptop that I was using then to Windows XP. So, XP users can smile now with YOm’s tip. For the Cautious updater, Perhaps another reason to keep on using XP. For me, Windows 7 is it!

  18. Computer April 2, 2010 3:30 pm / Reply

    I would be expecting @yom

  19. kay123 April 2, 2010 6:00 pm / Reply

    I’ve installed connectify on my laptop, I was able to set up a hotspot which was effective in about 50 metre radius. I was able to connect my nokia e63 to the hotspot but trying to connect another laptop was unsucessful.
    Have you tried connecting pc to pc ?
    How do I share files between my pc and phone using connectify?
    Upgrading to windows 7 should be a topic on it’s own, My laptop have been occasionally unstable after the upgrade (all my previous vista drivers seems to be compatible with windows 7).

  20. Computer April 2, 2010 7:46 pm / Reply

    @yom,how can i start a topic here on mobility? Or better still would be waiting for you to create the bolt topic.

  21. Admin April 2, 2010 7:57 pm / Reply

    Hello Computer,

    You can create a topic in the forums if you are a registered user. Register, login, and you’ll see the menu option to start a topic.

  22. Afewgoodmen April 3, 2010 7:13 am / Reply

    @kay123. Transfering files using Connectify hotspot depends on an application on your mobile device. That is an application on your phone. On my ipod touch and iphone, I was able to transfer files to and fro using the following applications; 1. Flash drive. 2. Good Reader. Other applications like Wifi Remote Lite, iremote, Remote, will allow you control your laptop with your ipodtouch or iphone from a distance remotely using the COnnectify Hotspot. This is very good for Presentation. You could also use the multi-touch screen as a wireless remote mouse or trackpad.

    Maybe your symbian 60 Nokia phone or Windows 6.x phone may have a similar third party application too that can do the same stuff. I don’t know.

  23. kay123 April 4, 2010 12:53 am / Reply

    Having experimented COnnectify with my laptop upgraded to windows 7, Now I’ve restored my vista due to the instability of windows 7 on my laptop. I have set up a wifi connection on visita using the info i got from the link below and it’s working just like COnnectify.
    http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/1685.aspx (similar to a link in an earlier post).
    The only difference i noticed is that connectify comes with an interphase that is easy to setup.

  24. Tommie April 5, 2010 1:38 am / Reply

    Just curious, how much would it cost me to get Windows 7? Thank you.

  25. Jide April 6, 2010 1:41 pm / Reply

    The special Middle East and Africa Edition of Windows 7 Home Premium is going for about N15,000 in some shops in Lagos. At the Hub in the Palms and Computer section of Park and Shop.

  26. Igoma D N April 19, 2010 12:18 pm / Reply

    @davy84…..i download the software in the cybercafe the other days but it refuse to install on my vista window. I want to change from window vista to window xp the latest, i dont known if it will installed their . My system is Hp compack nc6220. With 0.98mb processor and 40GB hard disk. Ple advice me on because i am desperate to have this software on my laptop.

  27. kubiq October 12, 2010 7:21 am / Reply

    Hello,
    i can’t connect my N5800. With notebook, there is no problem, but when i tried connect with my mobile it said “no getaway reply” …where can be problem? …password was correct and signal was almost full and with NB it works perfectly.

    PLS help…thx

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