ICS and HostedNetwork on Windows 7

Access Point for Windows 7
For everyone who really wants to share any connection using the integrated WLAN Adapter as Hotspot, there are also some Tools to host a Wireless Network:

Compatible Hardware
Referring to Timbobs Blog, there’s a comment from “DellXPS1710” telling that only certain Hardware is able to be used as Hotspot, this Hardware is:

  • Ralink RT2870 (in many 802.11n USB dongles)
  • Broadcom 4310-series (in many Dell laptops)
  • Realtek RTL8187SE (with the drivers that came with Windows 7)
  • Inkompatibel sind noch:
  • Intel 3945/4965/5100
  • Realtek RTL8187 (like in older 802.11bg USB dongles)
  • Zydas ZD1211 (also in 802.11bg USB dongles)

A more detailed list can be found on Codeplex.com, they host the second Tool that I listed at the top of this Post.

For myself, I’m using an Intel 5300 Wireless Network Adapter. Unfortunately, wheter any software nor the Windows integrated things did work. I think I really tried all variants of configuring this damn HostedNetwork, but I didn’t found any solution to get it work. I can setup a Hosted Network, means a WLAN ESSID where I connect my iPad on it. But I’m not able to surf the Internet then. But I didn’t used the easy way, I’m trying to share my Mobile Broadband UMTS connection over WLAN. Seems to be the same as sharing any LAN connection over WLAN. I don’t know why, if I’m using the mentioned Tools above the Broadband connection is never listed as a network connection, I only can choose between LAN and WLAN as source.

ICS Basics
Internet Connection Sharing is a Microsoft built-in feature to share an existing network connection over another, for example sharing DSL network to the home network. There’s a Basic Description at Microsoft.com.

General Troubleshooting
Microsoft is hosting a Knowledgebase entry about the general Troubleshooting steps.

change DHCP Settings
Before you change any Registry settings, you should stop the ICS service.

  1. Stop ICS services
  2. Edit Registry [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\SharedAccess\Parameters
  3. /1 Replace IP address in “ScopeAddress”,”ScopeAddressBackup” to what you want.
    /2 Change the IP Adress in the TCP IP Setting Tab in the second Nic to the First IP Address of That subnet and the First NIC connect to internet.
  4. Start The ICS services
  5. See what DHCP has change to new IP that assigned to cliens
  6. Reboot you PC if need.

Here’s an example of that Registry entries:


using ICS together with SharedNetwork
I have read an interesting article on the Microsoft Developer Network where they explained that ICS can work in two different modes:

Standalone mode
Only the DHCPv4 server function is operating when the ICS service is invoked. This is a special operation mode for ICS and is only made available through the wireless Hosted Network. A user or application is not able to directly start and stop standalone ICS through public ICS APIs or netsh commands. Starting the wireless Hosted Network typically involves starting ICS in standalone mode to use the DHCPv4 server function to provide private IPv4 addresses for connected devices. Network communication for the connected devices is limited to sending and receiving network packets between a connected device and the local computer hosting the wireless Hosted Network and among the connected devices themselves. This effectively enables the wireless personal area network scenario for the wireless Hosted Network.

Full mode
All the features of ICS are operating when the service is invoked, such as network address translation and DHCP server functions for both IPv4 and IPv6. This is the normal mode of operation for ICS. A user or application may start and stop full ICS mode through public APIs or netshell commands. For example, this service can be stopped using net stop sharedaccess from an elevated command prompt. Combining wireless Hosted Network with full ICS, Network communication for the connected devices is not limited to the wireless PAN. Any connected device has access to network (such as the Internet) through the shared network connection from the computer running the wireless Hosted Network. This effectively enables the Network sharing scenario for the wireless Hosted Network.

And there is also a difference what mode is used when:

Starting a wireless Hosted Network with full ICS employs the following logic:

If full ICS is not already running, starting a wireless Hosted Network also starts the ICS Service with standalone DHCPv4 server.
If full ICS is already running and the private interface is the wireless Hosted Network interface, just start the wireless Hosted Network.
If full ICS is already running but the private interface is not the wireless Hosted Network interface, the wireless Hosted Network will be started without the DHCPv4 server function on the wireless Hosted Network interface.

The impact of the logic above highlights the following facts:

ICS does not transition from full mode to standalone mode.
Standalone mode can only be invoked by the wireless Hosted Network when ICS is not running in full mode.
If ICS is running in standalone mode, it will be preempted into full mode if a user or application starts ICS in full mode.
Transitioning from standalone mode to full mode in ICS will be disruptive to connected devices in the wireless PAN if the private interface of full ICS is not the same as the one for SoftAP.

Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd815252%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

One thought on “ICS and HostedNetwork on Windows 7

  1. Much easier:
    (1) Connect to existing WLAN / UMTS
    (2) Start an elevated cmd and type
    (3) “netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=”MySSID” key=”Mykey” keyUsage=persistent
    (4) control netconnections -> open properties of your WLAN, enable sharing in sharing tab
    (5) enter “netsh wlan start hostednetwork”

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