Soft Wi-Fi, also known as Virtual Wi-Fi, is a software-based solution that enables a device to act as a Wi-Fi access point or hotspot. This technology allows devices, such as laptops or smartphones, to share their internet connection with other devices, such as tablets or other computers, by creating a Wi-Fi network.
Soft Wi-Fi works by utilising the network interface card (NIC) of a device to create a virtual wireless access point. The NIC broadcasts the wireless signal, and devices within range can connect to it. The software running on the device manages the configuration of the virtual access point, including security settings and network name (SSID).
Soft Wi-Fi is a useful technology that provides flexibility, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness. However, organisations must consider the limitations and challenges associated with Soft Wi-Fi before implementing it.
What is Soft WiFi
Soft Wi-Fi is a term commonly used in association with 3G Data Cards or USB Internet Dongles. It refers to the ability to use a software program to turn a laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot and share internet connectivity with other Wi-Fi devices. Although the 3G USB dongle itself does not have built-in Wi-Fi functionality, it can be used in conjunction with a laptop’s Wi-Fi card to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. It’s important to note that the dongle may or may not come with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot software and that Soft Wi-Fi is different from Hard Wi-Fi, which involves using a dongle with built-in Wi-Fi functionality to create a hotspot.
If your device has built-in Wi-Fi functionality, there is no need to connect it to a laptop in order to create a Wi-Fi hotspot for sharing internet. Instead, you can simply insert the dongle into a USB power source or adapter and connect your Wi-Fi devices directly to it. The number of devices that can be connected will depend on the dongle’s specifications or hardware limitations. This is known as Hard Wi-Fi and allows for direct Wi-Fi connectivity without the need for a laptop or other intermediary device.
The Benefits of Soft WiFi
Soft Wi-Fi offers several benefits, including:
- Convenience: Soft Wi-Fi allows you to share your internet connection with other devices using your laptop’s Wi-Fi card, without the need for additional hardware.
- Cost-effective: Since Soft Wi-Fi does not require a dongle with built-in Wi-Fi functionality, it can be a more affordable option than Hard Wi-Fi.
- Flexibility: Soft Wi-Fi can be used with any laptop that has a Wi-Fi card, regardless of the type of dongle or data card being used.
- Portability: With Soft Wi-Fi, you can create a Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you have your laptop, which is particularly useful when travelling or in areas where there is no Wi-Fi available.
- Control: Soft Wi-Fi allows you to have greater control over who can access your Wi-Fi hotspot, since you can set passwords and security protocols on your laptop.
The Limitations of Soft WiFi
While soft Wi-Fi has some advantages, such as ease of use and flexibility, it also has several limitations:
- Performance: Soft Wi-Fi solutions generally do not provide the same level of performance as dedicated hardware access points. This is because the software-based solution relies on the processing power and network capabilities of the computer or device it is running on, which may not be optimised for Wi-Fi performance.
- Scalability: Soft Wi-Fi solutions are generally not scalable beyond a few users or devices. This is because the device acting as an access point can become overloaded when too many users connect to it, leading to degraded performance and connectivity issues.
- Security: Soft Wi-Fi solutions may not provide the same level of security as dedicated hardware access points. This is because the security of the soft Wi-Fi network depends on the security of the device running the software. If the device is compromised, the soft Wi-Fi network may also be compromised.
- Range: Soft Wi-Fi solutions may have limited range compared to dedicated hardware access points. This is because the device acting as an access point may not have the same power and range capabilities as a dedicated access point.
- Reliability: Soft Wi-Fi solutions may be less reliable than dedicated hardware access points. This is because the software-based solution is dependent on the stability and reliability of the device running the software. If the device crashes or experiences connectivity issues, the soft Wi-Fi network may also be affected.
In summary, soft Wi-Fi solutions may be useful for occasional or temporary Wi-Fi needs, but they are generally not suitable for enterprise-level Wi-Fi networks or environments that require high performance, scalability, security, range, and reliability.