Whilst on holiday recently we were provided with a Home Plug solution to internet access in the cottage we were staying in. This was great for my laptop, but no so good for my phone or my daughter’s iPod Touch. After a search I came across Connectify – Windows software that will turn your PC into a wireless hotspot.
Sadly, I couldn’t get it to work whilst on holiday, but right now it’s working without any kind of issue.
There are 2 versions, a Lite and Pro, the former being free. The Pro version allows you to fully modify the SSID name (otherwise it’s prefixed with “connectify”) and also use your computer as a repeater (by which I mean it uses the same details as your wifi router and will allow anybody to move seemlessly between the two).
Installing the Lite version, you need to give it a reboot at the end. When it restarts you choose an SSID and password and then which connection you wish to use. So, right now, I’m testing it (a bit pointlessly, I’ll admit) by connecting it to a nearby public wifi. After a few seconds connecting my phone recognises the new SSID and connects (after supplying the password). I can then access the internet. Of course, the real advantage would be connecting the laptop to a wired connection and then transmitting that.
Another difference between the Lite and Pro versions is that only Windows 7 works with the Lite. Vista and XP work with Pro, but only in ad-hoc mode. For this reason I’d only really recommend Connectify for Windows 7 users.
[review]If you’re a Windows 7 user I’d recommend everyone have at least the Lite version installed, just in case – it could prove invaluable [/review]