Can a USB WiFi adaptor act as wireless router on windows computer?

Drsunil V January 24, 2014
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Can a USB WiFi adaptor act as wireless router on windows computer?

  1. Zoran N
    February 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Well... I use TP-link TL-WN772N: http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?model=tl-wn722n

    But I guess that almost all USB WiFi dongles can be used for this :)

  2. Zoran N
    January 31, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Yes, it can. You need this:
    - PC should have Win7 or 8
    - you have to install some program which convert USB WiFi card to a "router" - I like mHotSpot, http://www.mhotspot.com/

    • Drsunil V
      February 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Thanks. Please recommend a usb wifi adaptor on ebay.in ( Not .com ) which meets basic demands of both receiving and tethering internet , the latter through mhotspot

  3. Peter
    January 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Actually it can be set up as access point.

    • Drsunil V
      February 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Thanks. Please tell , can it both send and receive internet wirelessly?

  4. Oron J
    January 25, 2014 at 10:42 am

    A USB WiFi is simply a network card, it cannot "do" anything on its own. However, if you connect it to a PC, you can use the PC into a bridge or router.

    • Drsunil V
      January 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks. How to enable send "internet" ( tether net ) ability through USB wifi adaptor? is it by apps like connectify , virtual software? Please elaborate

    • Drsunil V
      February 1, 2014 at 8:25 am

      hi. Please also clarify "do" anything on it's own

    • Oron J
      February 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

      A wireless card is a small transmitter and receiver, that's all. The USB version communicates with the computer via USB, whereas internal WiFi cards use PCI-E or other communication channels, but otherwise the perform the same role - transmit and receive network packets under processor control.

      A wireless router is a device that has access to at least two networks (one is the LAN - in your case WiFi, and the other, called "WAN" will typically be the internet). The router will have software to inspect every network packet received and to forward it to the correct network (e.g. a packet received from the LAN which is addressed to an external address would be forwarded to the WAN, but one addressed locally would be left alone). Additionally the router probably has a DHCP server and NAT software, and possibly some other components, but we don't need to get into that here.

      Therefore, to have a router you need the wireless card, an ethernet card and/or modem to connect to the internet, a processor and software. The wireless card is only one small component.

      If you want to turn a laptop into a router you can use Virtual Router or indeed mHotSpot, as suggested by Zoran. There's a list of other options at
      Four Ways to Transform That Old PC Into a Powerful Router and you could consider them too. However, you need to be clear in your mind:
      1. Why you want to do this
      2. Whether there's any advantage in doing this over getting an ordinary broadband router (in Britain at least they're a dime a dozen and I have a number of old working routers I can't get rid of!).

      As for your other question, the make & model of the WiFi card don't matter too much as long as you have the correct drivers for it. Obviously, it would be best to support a recent WiFi standard (802.11n) and you should decide on the size/performance combination that best suits you (a larger aerial usually means better range), but the router software itself does not care about the specific hardware, only about being able to communicate to it via the driver.

    • Drsunil V
      February 2, 2014 at 6:21 am

      Thanks for detailed reply. Nice response! Please note that I asked question though I was aware of option to set a wireless router instead of using usb wifi adaptor to use incoming and outgoing wireless internet on pc. The cost is not as important as a factor in asking for usb wifi adaptor , as the technical hindrances to set wifi router configuration , because the phone dsl isp company provides router not soon and discourages non company wifi router on it's isp.

      Please recommend usb wifi adaptor to both receive internet and tether internet ( mhotspot , connectify etc ) on ebay.in basically with no additional advanced features is ok

    • Oron J
      February 2, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      I like to use Nano adaptors such as:
      http://www.ebay.in/itm/LEOXSYS-802-11N-Mini-Wireless-N-11n-Wi-Fi-Nano-USB-Wi-Fi-Adapter-Dongle-WiFi-/330977910795?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item4d0fd2200b
      In my experience, they work well and as they hardly protrude from the laptop, they are less susceptible to accidents. If reception is not great, I use a USB extension to improve their position! For a WiFi router however, you may want to use something with a higher-gain aerial, such as http://www.ebay.in/itm/TP-Link-150Mbps-High-Gain-Wireless-USB-Adapter-TL-WN722N-TPLink-WiFi-/321065471693?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item4ac0fe4ecd .
      By the way, if the main reason for this is that you need to use your ISP's router, just get a Wireless Access Point! I believe you have asked about this before and several models have been suggested.

  5. dragonmouth
    January 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    In a word, NO. A USB adapter only has receive capability.

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