MicroSoft Access Point Sharing

Some things can just be bizarre at times…

I was looking at a different thing, wrangling with MicroSoft over why my LAN connection is marked as an untrusted public network and how can I make it “home”… ( I think that’s why turning on samba on the Dongle Pi didn’t get the files seen… while using wireless did). Well, one thing leads to another, and I “disable” the interface (in the hope that when re-enabling it, I can say “that one is home too!”… which it doesn’t let me do after all…)

But along the way ANOTHER interface shows up. It’s named “oddly” and being perpetually worried about potential exposures, think maybe it’s someone inserting an interface. Some exploration follows…

Turns out it’s a Microsoft 1/2 a feature… Something not “done” yet, but still working… I can turn my laptop into an Access Point and then “share” my internet connection (even if a wireless one…) out that access point. Yes, the ONE wireless interface acting as both my internet connection AND an access point for others…

This would, for example, let me extend the range of an Access Point by connecting with my laptop and then sharing it on to the range of my laptop. Or in the hotel I could “sign up” with the laptop, then share with other devices in the room or even with friends next door. (When in the Motel 6 at Disneyland and they wanted some nuisance fee to use the internet, like $3 for the day, and I just wanted to do a 4 minute mail check, I could instead “share it out” to the rest of the family including the kids in the next room over and thus justify the cost, since they use it more than I do.)

It also means that folks with the necessary equipment and software release can become an improvised sharing point for private group communications fairly easily. Since “file sharing” is allowed by default, you can easily have file passing. (Rather like we saw here: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/small-group-communications-wo-internet/ )

So to test it, I decided to just use the Dongle Pi and connect back to the laptop wireless and then on out to the internet. And it worked… Though not without some problems along the way (mostly in Microsoft Land…)

First off, realize that this software “has issues” as it is a 1/2 done project that got cancelled, so you don’t turn it on with a nice GUI interface. It’s from the command line with Administrator Privs turned on. It also is not very robust to “change” and it required some changes to the DonglePi config to adapt to that.

First off, how to do it:

You need particular levels of M.S. Windows and a WiFi connection that works.

http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/tutorials/article.php/3849841 lists the details.

By Eric Geier

November 24, 2009

The wireless Hosted Network feature in Windows 7 lets anyone with a supported Wi-Fi adapter and driver become a wireless AP for other Wi-Fi users, while also having the ability to connect to another wireless network.

So this has been kicking around for at least 3+ years.

Back in 2002, the research department at Microsoft started experimenting with the virtualization of 802.11 wireless adapters under the project code name VirtualWiFi. They discovered a way to make a single physical Wi-Fi adapter look like multiple adapters in Windows.

VirtualWiFi lets users simultaneously connect to multiple wireless networks with only one wireless card. They hoped this technology could be used in a variety of applications, including wireless diagnosis and troubleshooting, Wi-Fi mesh networking, virtual access points, and wireless repeating.

What is a wireless Hosted Network?

Though the VirtualWiFi project disbanded before the feature was fully implemented, Microsoft has included some of the underlying functionality in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft coined the name, wireless Hosted Network, for this new feature.

The wireless Hosted Network feature uses the VirtualWiFi technology along with a software-based access point (AP) feature. Thus, it lets anyone with a supported Wi-Fi adapter and driver to become a wireless AP for other Wi-Fi users, while also having the ability to connect to another wireless network. It also includes a DHCP server, so users automatically receive an IP address.

OK, skipping some stuff, the “How To”:

There’s some caveats in that article, like it WILL be an encrypted link WPA2-PSK, and anyone with the pass phrase gets to see any stuff you are sharing…

It is set up via a “Administrator command shell”. Seems that being in the Admin group isn’t enough. You must do a special kabuki dance to get admin privs when doing a command line. OK, some more searching turned up how. http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-open-elevated-command-prompt-with-administrator-privileges-in-windows-vista/ There are a couple of ways, but the quickest is “Yet Another Right Click Hidden Trick”… You right click on the Command Prompt menu item rather than the regular click.. Ok…

Now you get to start doing Admin Command Lines…

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=YourVirtualNetworkName key=YourNetworkPassword

So, for example, you could give it the name “LaptopShared” and the password needs to be more than 8 and less than 64 characters, so PasswordForMyFriends would work….

Now you need to turn on ICS (as we saw in the Dongle Pi article). This presented a problem as I had already turned it on, and I’d hard assigned that number block to the laptop / Dongle Pi ethernet. (when you share your network interface with internet to the other interface, you can only share it to ONE of them, and it WILL be forced to the IP M.S. likes.) As I’d already set that subnet to be used on the hard wire, it balked. OK, I got to redo the IP range used by the Dongle Pi ( I just turned 192.168.137.x into 192.168.37.x …) and restart it all. Now, turning on ICS let me assign the sharing to the Virtual WiFi interface.

So get ICS running shared to that interface. It shows up as “Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport”.

Once sharing is on, and the wlan is configured, you get to “start” it. Since it doesn’t auto start or survive “sleep”, or shutdowns, you get to do this every time you want to use it…

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

There is also a “stop” command: netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
and one to see what’s happening: netsh wlan show hostednetwork

And one for changing the password / passphrase:

netsh wlan refresh hostednetwork YourNewNetworkPassword

The article repeatedly stresses that “Sharing isn’t blocked” so you will want to keep this limited to folks you trust, or only run on a laptop with nothing of interest… (though it’s a little unclear just what sharing isn’t blocked…)

The Dongle Pi

Meanwhile, back at the Dongle Pi, I was having some issues. While some of them were related to the various number shiftings, part was from the ICS not being up so Domain Resolution was failing. I added some more DNS servers to the DHCP ‘prepend” list, then figured out that ICS had evaporated when I’d done the interface musical chairs… which lead back to that IP conflict that needed resolving up above. Got all that sorted out…

Then found that the WLAN Config program was not happy; having picked up state with one IP number, it was unhappy with the changes to the WLAN IP (as it swapped from the original to the ICS mandated one). Moral of story: It’s best to do all the changes first, THEN test it…

A reboot of the Dongle Pi reset everything (though likely just a service stop / start would have been enough). Then the WiFi Config found “LaptopSharepoint” (what I named it) just fine, put in the pass phrase, and proceeded to launch a web browser… that worked…

Now just tracing where the packets go in this mess is a bit interesting…

So I’m typing on my laptop keyboard and watching the laptop screen. They are connected via VNC to the Dongle Pi over the built in hard wire ethernet. The Dongle Pi running Linux puts that into a browser, that it sends to “the internet” via that Wireless WiFi Dongle, that connects back to the Laptop WiFi being shared out on one set of IP numbers.

The Laptop, acting as an Access Point Router, repackages those bits, puts them into a new IP network, and sends them back out the WiFi connection to the Access point of the house, that sends them on to the Telco.

So it will appear with exactly which MAC address where? I have no idea… I suspect it shows up as the MAC address of the WiFi dongle on the Dongle Pi (as that’s what is originating network packets), yet it passes through the laptop as a WiFi HotSpot.. and eventually comes out my home router ot the internet (so a trace route ought to find my boundary router to the telco, but it’s doing NAT, so the stuff behind it is hidden)

Frankly, I think one would need to put packet sniffers on things to figure out what is actually in the packet headers as they leave the laptop for the internet…

In Conclusion

I don’t see much reason to actually use the Dongle Pi on the Virtual Wlan of the laptop that is hosting it via wired ethernet. Yet it is a strange thing, and strange has the opportunity to confuse attackers. (Frankly, I’d not want to be on the stand trying to explain that tortured path to a jury and get a conviction based on my testimony that I knew it was “that machine”… when they would not even be able to keep strait what all machines were in use…)

I’m much more likely to keep the idea of a Laptop-Access-Point somewhere handy. Yes, it needs better characterization as to “what is shared”, but frankly, someday this box will be “uninteresting” and due for replacement. At that point having it be an ‘ersatz hotspot and file server’ is a great ‘reuse’. Even now, simply by leaving my personal data inside the encrypted containers, it’s safe. (Not much chance of pulling down a 100 GB file and not being noticed. Fractional parts are useless. It can’t be cracked anyway…) So I’d be more than happy to use it as a “Family share point” on trips, just leaving my stuff in the crypto vault.

Well, having now sunk several hours into this peculiar backwater of tech, I’m still stuck with a LAN interface that shows up as “unidentified network, public access” with the park bench icon… and still don’t see how to turn it into a ‘home network’ so I can see if “Samba To The Dongle” works with network discovery. I may have to turn on wide open access on “public networks” to test it, then back it out later. I’d like to have Samba to the Dongle Pi, just so I can get “stuff” from the Dongle Pi to the Laptop at ‘end of sessions’. Making checkpoint / restart easy. But not at the expense of leaving the laptop open and visible…

For some unknown reason, it is insisting on keeping the LAN interface “public”. Oh Well… that will have to wait for tomorrow. For now, it’s time to wrap up for the day. But at least I got a “Share the hotspot” AP feature out of it all…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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29 Responses to MicroSoft Access Point Sharing

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Zeke: Telepathy cannot be sold :-)

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    The best way to encrypt information is to get rid of paranoiac gadgets.

  3. Zeke says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    13 May 2013 at 4:58 pm “The best way to encrypt information is to get rid of paranoiac gadgets.”

    Tell me, is the best way to get free energy likewise to destroy our coal plants and gasoline supply? I think there are some exceedingly silly, frothy, fashionable movements that may have a lot of web traffic on Youtube, but are nothing. Less than nothing.

    May I suggest to you that those who claim to understand “telepathy” know nothing about it. An analogy would be the fact that rock stars make their living from “love songs.” They sing the songs but their lives are wrecks and have no love of anything but pleasure and reputation. In fact, this emphasis on “telepathy” will hardly return science to real physics. It is more likely to teach little children to hear voices in their heads – a decided step back for mankind into darkness and superstition, omens and magick, old women reading palms and threatening bad weather if we don’t give up our possessions and liberty.

  4. adolfogiurfa says:

    Did I touch your most sensitive gadget?

  5. Zeke says:

    Thank you Adolfo, I needed that (:

  6. R. de Haan says:

    Zeke, don’t worry, the Force is with you…

  7. punmaster says:

    @E.M. Smith:
    Frankly, I’d not want to be on the stand trying to explain that tortured path to a jury and get a conviction based on my testimony . . .

    No problem. Most of them, at least 7-5, won’t understand any of the hard bits technical evidence,
    and 10-2 will have no clue what the programming means. Your testimony is, ” I don’t know how this happened. Someone must have sent data ( strike that: must have sent files ) over a wireless network and my computer downloaded them. ” Most jurors heads will nod and you will be acquitted. By the time the Man has started having show trials we will be in camps anyway.

    @Zeke:
    You might try Jethro Tull, songs like Locomotive Breath. I fairly certain it isn’t a love song. The blues lament Born Under a Bad Sign isn’t a love song, either, nor is All Along The Watchtower.
    Considering Bob Dylan wrote Watchtower, no one is quite sure what it is about. A philosophy class could spend a semester on just that one song. There are some good versions of it, though.

  8. R. de Haan says:

    “I’m still stuck with a LAN interface that shows up as “unidentified network, public access” with the park bench icon… ”

    “Shoot the park bench, shoot the park bench”. Hilarious.

  9. R. de Haan says:

    punmaster says:
    14 May 2013 at 10:56 am@E.M. Smith:
    Frankly, I’d not want to be on the stand trying to explain that tortured path to a jury and get a conviction based on my testimony . . .

    No problem. Most of them, at least 7-5, won’t understand any of the hard bits technical evidence,
    and 10-2 will have no clue what the programming means. Your testimony is, ” I don’t know how this happened. Someone must have sent data ( strike that: must have sent files ) over a wireless network and my computer downloaded them. ” Most jurors heads will nod and you will be acquitted. By the time the Man has started having show trials we will be in camps anyway.”

    You’re a real optimist punmaster, judging your look at our future. Show trials and camps!!!! Fat chance and why should they. Smart Cities will be the camps.
    All the surplus will be processed in a sustainable manner.

    Best defense for any hack lawsuit: “I don’t know who turned me into a Park Bench!, honestly”

    No seriously. What we need is computers, smart phones, pads and make them invisible on the grid with ample user restrictions. What I mean is that you don’t want any user restrictions in terms of content and speed at on side but still have 100% privacy including user location on the other.
    That’s the real challenge.
    Speed restrictions reduce and content access restrict your ability to get and maintain informed.
    I just had a look at http://docs.shodanhq.com and have come to the conclusion there is no way to protect an open access system against hackers or big brother, let alone real criminals. The only workable solution is to get completely invisible, no name, address, phone number, no IP or mac addresses, no tracks, just call the concept “Nothing by Default”. I am sure the experiments performed by E. M and others with the .PI bring us into the right direction. But at the same time it will become Big Brother’s biggest nightmare as they find out they can’t control “jack shit” after all. Those unintended consequences….pain in the ass.

  10. R. de Haan says:

    At the same time we see the Obama Administration blowing it’s self up: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/scandal-politics-sweep-capitol-hill-91297.html

    Their biggest problem: they are not making up lies fast enough

  11. Gail Combs says:

    R. de Haan, thanks for the link. This was simply delicious Journalists fume over DOJ snoop on AP

    Seems our lefty journalists pencil pushers just had a wake-up call on what losing your rights actually means. (snicker)

  12. punmaster says:

    @R. de Haan
    . . . Smart Cities will be the camps. . . .
    I thought everyone here understood that.

    I am sure the experiments performed by E. M and others with the .PI bring us into the right direction. But at the same time it will become Big Brother’s biggest nightmare as they find out they can’t control “jack shit” after all. Those unintended consequences….pain in the ass.

    Exactly.

    Their biggest problem: they are not making up lies fast enough

    Our biggest problem: Much of the citizenry does not care, and no one we expect to stand up and
    say,” This wrong, and criminal, ” will do it.

    @E. M. Smith:
    Some of your blog followers can’t stay on topic worth a flip, can they?

  13. R. de Haan says:

    Hé punmaster, thanks for your comments but nothing is off topic here, just trying to look at the big picture which of course is a great motivator to get E. M.’s security stuff operational.

    “Our biggest problem: Much of the citizenry does not care, and no one we expect to stand up and
    say,” This wrong, and criminal, ” will do it.”

    The criminals already us state of the art technologies. How else do you think they pulled off the trick robbing 45 million USD from ATM’s in a few hours time. Much of the citizenry however is brainwashed and dumbed down. Most of them will wake up the moment the bus hits, don’t worry about that. One group however, relative big in numbers, I call the feel good waco’s, can’t be saved. These are the people who believe in “vibes” telepathy, hovering tables during group sessions, bad coal, bad oil, bad nuclear, good Toyota Prius, good wind mills and solar panels. You all know these types, they express themselves walking with sandals without socks, they have a Buddha statue in the hall way and a WWF membership card in their back pocket. Yes those types. They studied those vague social subjects and scored bad notes for physics and mathematics which means they can’t work with numbers. They’re all being screwed and they don’t even know it.

  14. adolfogiurfa says:

    @R.de Haan: As an example of what you say: “THEY” don´t want us to smoke cigarettes:
    Stimulation
    Nicotine is a stimulant, meaning it increases heart rate, breathing and other bodily functions. As other stimulants, nicotine quickens thinking and sharpens the ability to focus.
    Cognition
    According to sciencedaily.com, nicotine improves focus and memory by affecting parts of the brain associated with arousal and visual attention. It works by enhancing activity in the subcortical and posterior cortical regions of the brain, resulting in improved concentration and task performance.

  15. R. de Haan says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    14 May 2013 at 6:35 pm
    @R.de Haan: As an example of what you say: “THEY” don´t want us to smoke cigarettes:
    Stimulation
    Nicotine is a stimulant, meaning it increases heart rate, breathing and other bodily functions. As other stimulants, nicotine quickens thinking and sharpens the ability to focus.
    Cognition
    According to sciencedaily.com, nicotine improves focus and memory by affecting parts of the brain associated with arousal and visual attention. It works by enhancing activity in the subcortical and posterior cortical regions of the brain, resulting in improved concentration and task performance.

    I never quit smoking although I don’t smoke cigarettes. When governments started to meddle with the personal habits of their constituents and ordered a smoking ban I immediately knew we were in for some tough times. Remarkably opposition today is limited to some private bar owners. This is IMO incredible and shows how vulnerable the big masses are to Government regulation.
    It’ scary.

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @Punmaster:

    I’m not too hung up on staying on topic. As long as it is tangentially related (and privacy is part of this thread, as is coping with Stupid Government…) I’m OK with it. Now in a posting on, say, how to make Roast Turkey, I’d be likely to suggest putting “tips” in Txx up top, or suggest that the political stuff go to a political thread.

    Mostly, though, if things are “current”, they usually match the current thread…

    @R. de Haan:

    Hey, I’m working on it as fast as I can! ;-)

    Really, though, it’s pretty clear that it works, and fairly easily. So almost ready to make a more formal “project” out of it. Looks like a similar “community” is working in Android land (and even some iPhone apps with secure telephony. https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/dear-a-p-encrypt-your-telephones/#comment-52020 )

    So still shaping the space as to where my “value add” would be. Most likely just the more “locked down” phone, yet there were commercial phones on that list that are already hardened…

    Per Tobacco:

    It killed my Dad and likely also my Mom (who got lung cancer as well, though not a smoker – she worked in smokey restaurants and Dad smoked a lot at home); yet I defend the rights of smokers to do what they want with themselves. (Just keep it out of my nose… )

    You ought to also note, Adolfo, that those “benefits” are for about 20 minutes, then it wears off and you drop to LOWER than before levels of performance. Over a couple of weeks the brain adjusts (particular receptors are lost) and then you must have nicotine just to be normal. That’s the addiction point… ( I did an interesting couple of experiments with nicotine absorption, not smoke, where I got to experience both those states…) So long term, it’s not a net gain.

    Does a good job of killing bugs, though, and when we went fishing; Dad was always mosquito free and I was a pin cushion. IFF I lived in a malaria area and had to be outside screened areas a lot at night; I’d likely find a way to “smudge” with tobacco and cope with the allergic reaction on my part… probably do the same in any area with other endemic mosquito borne horrid diseases… Using tobacco extract as a mosquito repellant leads to an excited personal state as it is absorbed through the skin… The acetate especially, so don’t mix your water extract with vinegar ;-)

  17. punmaster says:

    @R. de Haan:
    It is scary. You are absolutely right about the wackos.
    I had trouble relating Toyota Prius and WWF until I realized you meant World Wildlife Federation, not World Wrestling Federation. :-)
    I had another thought, but I once I get going on being blind and stupid, and my shaking my head when observing this, I have trouble stopping, so I will put the keyboard down and go back to my book on the Punic wars. My one year old grandson finds the hand waving, head shaking, and loud voice entertaining, but he isn’t here right now.

  18. punmaster says:

    @E. M. Smith:
    Using tobacco extract as a mosquito repellant leads to an excited personal state as it is absorbed through the skin…
    And their little hearts can’t take it so they die, right?

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, I was referring to MY personal state… but yes, it kills the mosquitoes while you get “excited”…

  20. Zeke says:

    R DeHaan says, “Much of the citizenry however is brainwashed and dumbed down. Most of them will wake up the moment the bus hits, don’t worry about that. One group however, relative big in numbers, I call the feel good waco’s, can’t be saved. These are the people who believe in “vibes” telepathy, hovering tables during group sessions, bad coal, bad oil, bad nuclear, good Toyota Prius, good wind mills and solar panels.”

    Oh I think you should still try. Even communication to Deep Thinking Progressives is not always in vain. (: In the meantime, however, we’d better samba the dongle pi in case the “question authority” crowd gets any more power over our diets, speech, health, electricity, transportation, or water.

  21. Zeke says:

    “so I will put the keyboard down and go back to my book on the Punic wars.”

    I think I will go cool off and read “Carthage Must Be Destroyed” on that fine suggestion. Some days I wake up and would shoot an apple off of a friend’s head, just because it’s red. And don’t believe anything the Romans say. They are shameless propagandists, everybody knows that.

  22. adolfogiurfa says:

    About reading…..a controversial book: John Lamb Lash´s “Not in HIS image”

  23. adolfogiurfa says:

    You are like Hypatia…

  24. Zeke says:

    Adolfo says: “Not in His Image describes the rich spiritual world of pre-Christian classical Europe—the Pagan Mysteries, the Great Goddess, Gnosis, the myths of Sophia and Gaia—and its future as a force for reconnecting to the earth. John Lamb Lash’s rivetingaccount describes the decisive arc of history from the dawn of the Christian Erato the present moment of global terror, a trajectory driven by faith-based violenceand fundamentalist politics. Countering the patriarchy of monotheistic religionswith the Gnostic story of the wisdom goddess, Sophia, Not in His Image gives usback our heritage and guides us beyond destructive social chaos toward a sacredecological path for the future.John Lamb Lash is an exponent of the practice of mythology.”

    Judging by the dust jacket, this book looks like yet another fashionable, slanderous hit piece on Christians – victims of Rome and of the Roman Catholics – and a glorification of Roman corruptions and perverted distortions of great myths. Western scholars are in large part totally unaccountable for their deceitful handling of the past, and no young people think to question these clever men who are adept at using myth to confirm their own ideology. Also, regarding Hypatia, I would be ashamed to teach anything Plato or Aristotle said.

  25. Zeke says:

    Do not forget, Rome was founded by the most incomprehensible fratricide of all when Romulus killed his own identical twin for the control of the newly founded city. Next in Roman records, the women from an unsuspecting neighboring town were invited by the Romans and seized and raped and kept for wives, according to tradition. It is no wonder that their Jupiter was a rapist himself. But this may actually signify that this was a dastardly perversion of the beautiful and intelligent myths the Romans borrowed, corrupted, and popularized.

    Do not tell me that there is any respect for women in that worthless, aggressive, perverted empire. It is well known that Greek and Roman women were kept at home while courtesans went to feasts. And why don’t you study the Cult of Dionysus, a debauching, disgusting cult that was used by the Greeks and Romans to degrade other cultures around them, before they invaded and destroyed these other nations and wiped out all memory of their own myths and their histories.

    It would be the most devastating step back for women conceivable, to return to the Roman pagan understanding.

  26. Zeke says:

    I have preserved The Satires of Aules Persius Flaccus in the comments on my blog here.
    http://zekeunlimited.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/for-now-we-see-through-a-glass-darkly-an-attempt-at-identifying-greekroman-distortions-of-our-past-present-and-future/

    Persius was an Etruscan who lived 34-62 AD, and addressed his theme to the Romans. Well worth a read if any one desires to show a little sense and caution before traipsing thoughtlessly and ignorantly down the roads leading back to Rome.

  27. Zeke says:

    And what is this? Romans say they worship a goddess, and make the girls prostitutes in the service of a female idol? And make any attractive girls in the entire realm into courtesans for the pleasure of a powerful aristocracy? Do you honestly think that is respect for women, because their was a statue of Aphrodite or Athena? Gentlemen, doesn’t this really work in the opposite direction of respect and honor of women? Don’t you think it is possible that the pagan religions and philosophies actually only justify the actions of the aristocracy and the military men? Think about this.

  28. Zeke says:

    And what a coincidence. The new Romans want to force our daughters into public schools, lower the age of consent, teach sexual practices beginning in kindergarten, provide contraceptives and morning after pills for girls – even paid for from the public purse! – and keep a national database on every child. And they claim to be liberating women! This is the worst twist of irony and deception of all, that Roman pagans are now cast as the liberators of women and “countering the patriarchy.” That is just breathtaking.

    Where is the accountability in all of this? What is being done to underage girls under the cover of liberation and paganism? Will Americans really let Romans make their daughters into whores?

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