For a long time, we all used USB tethering or WiFi hotspots on our cell phones to share cellular data with other devices. However, contrary to what you might think, cell phones are not the only devices capable of doing this. Windows has had this capability – in the form of a cmd command – for quite some time now, and in a better way than cell phones. However, not everyone likes to use the command prompt for obvious reasons; not easy to use. Here's where Connectify Hotspot (free paid plans start at $ 34.98, you can get coupons for discounted prices from the site itself). Connectify a Windows app that allows users to quickly and easily create hotspots on their computers. Not only that, Connectify can do a lot of things to help you improve your experience on a wireless network. So if you are looking for a solution for creating hotspots on your Windows PC, here is our Connectify Hotspot review:
Interface: Definitely functional
Starting the Connectify app for the first time on Windows 10 (the app also supports Windows 7, 8 and 8.1) made me realize that the app doesn't look bad at all. Not the best design, honestly, but good, and it shouldn't cause anyone any problems because literally one solution with a click of our problem.
At the top you will see things like the number of clients connected, the password in plain text (though the option to hide it right next to it), along with the current status of your hotspot (sharing / non-sharing). The app chooses to keep it simple, functional and straight to the point.
Features: so many good things!
Connectify Hotspot makes it incredibly easy to create WiFi hotspots on your Windows PC. However, if you have difficulty understanding some of the options offered by the app, you will be happy to know that an in-app tutorial is available from the help menu.
This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating a WiFi hotspot with Connectify, as well as managing the client devices connected to it.
The feature-rich app contains a myriad of options to customize your hotspot the way you want. divided into two main tabs:
While I was using Connectify Hotspot, I mostly found myself in the "Settings" tab, which isn't really a bad thing. Most of the things Connectify allows you to do happens in the Settings tab, so I spent most of my time there. The app allows three different modes of operation, each extremely useful based on the situation in which you may find yourself.
Create WiFi Hotspot
Create a WiFi hotspot with Connectify Hotspot easy. There are only a couple of options and, for a regular use case, you won't have to change anything. Creating a WiFi hotspot with Connectify only includes one thing (for the most part): click on the "Start hotspot" button.
Of course, if you want, you can play with options, which include things like
- Internet to Share: this is the name the network interface you want to share via the WiFi hotspot. Usually this will be the name of the WiFi network to which your PC is connected.
- Network Access: There are two types of network access that you can configure, including "Routed" is "Bridged". Bridged networks do appear as if you are connected directly to source network (the router, usually), while "Routed" means that all devices connected to the hotspot will appear connected to the PC itself, and not to the router.
- Hotspot name: the name of the WiFi hotspot cos how it will appear on devices seeking WiFi networks. Oh, great thing, Connectify Hotspot allows you to use emojis in the hotspot name, as I did in the screenshot below. wonderful!
- Password: the security key for the WiFi hotspot, to prevent unauthorized users from connecting to the network.
Once everything is set up, you can simply click "Start Hotspot" to start sharing your PC's Internet connection via WiFi.
Wired Router is practically creating a kind of hotspot on your PC, except for the fact that the network will be shared on a wired interface (Ethernet), instead of WiFi. Again, you don't normally need to change these settings, but if necessary, the options are okay. All settings are the same as "Create WiFi Hotspot", except one:
- Share on: this the interface on which you want to share your network . By clicking on the drop-down menu next to this option it will be sufficient to list all the wired network interfaces that you have on your PC (usually only Ethernet).
A feature of Connectify Hotspot that I really loved (after WiFi Hotspot, of course), the possibility of operate the PC as a WiFi repeater, allowing you to increase the area of coverage of your network . Obviously this is not a valid lasting solution; but for temporary uses, using the computer as a repeater can actually be very useful.
A common feature to all the features offered by Connectify Hotspot is the firewall. can control various aspects of how Connectify shares your network on a hotspot, Ethernet or even as a repeater thanks to the Firewall options integrated directly in the app. You can choose whether to allow users who connect to your hotspot to access the Internet, to local network and if AdBlocker must be enabled or disabled.
The Client tab in Connectify Hotspot exactly what the name suggests. Here, you will be able to see every user connected to your WiFi hotspot, and you can perform many different actions on their devices, including throwing them off the net. You can also disable local access, or Internet access, set a static IP address and much more on the Client tab.
You can simply click on any user (active or past user) to view the amount of data they have used. You can also right click on any user and rename / remove the device, disable Internet access for them and much more.
The Client screen also shows the status of various things like Ad Blocker and you can simply click on the AdBlocker status on the clients screen to switch between "Online" is "Disabled". With Ad Blocker, client devices connected to your Hotspot can experience an ad-free connection, even when they use mobile apps that run ads. Now great.
Immediately below there is the monitor of the privacy . This responsible to let you know if your location and IP are exposed to the network. Unless you're using Speedify, probably read "Exposed" . By clicking on "Secure My Connection" you are asked to install Speedify. Not that I'm sorry, Speedify is also a great app.
Performance and reliability: simply incredible
When it comes to performance and reliability, Connectify does not disappoint at all . The app works perfectly and, combined with ease of use, perfect for any situation. I tried to create a hotspot on a PC at work, with Windows 10, and I could easily connect all my devices to the network shared from the PC, and they all just worked. Not that I expected anything less.
I didn't really use the Wired Router functionality, because I use a MacBook Air myself and I don't have any Ethernet port, but I checked the WiFi Repeater functionality and this also works very well. Honestly, I was a little skeptical about that, but it works quite well. There were no network outages, sudden disconnections and everything worked well.
Language support: multiple languages!
Connectify Hotspot obviously understands that not everyone in the world uses English as the primary language for the computer, and the app currently supports 10 languages (including English). Connectify Knowledge Base promises that more languages will be added over time, which is definitely a great thing. As of now, Connectify Hotspot supports the following languages:
- Chinese (simplified, PRC)
That's definitely a lot of languages to support anyway, and it's amazing that Connectify is planning to add support for even more.
Verdict: expensive but good
Overall, Connectify Hotspot (free paid plans start at $ 34.98, you can get coupons for discounted prices from the website) definitely one of the best software which you can use to create a WiFi hotspot on your Windows PC. Not only that, the app can also allow you to share the Internet via Ethernet or use your computer as a WiFi repeater to increase the range of your router.
Note : Connectify.me has a 70% deal in progress at the moment, with which the Connectify Hotspot license starts at $ 5.99 (Pro plan).
The app has a low price, with licenses starting from $ 34.98 (Pro plan, discount coupons available on the website), and if you also want WiFi Repeater functionality (available in the MAX plan), you will need $ 49.98 that asks a little too much. However, if you are only interested in sharing your WiFi network with other devices, you can easily use the free version of Connectify, which includes restrictions such as the inability to share 3G / 4G networks.
The conclusion that if you find yourself looking for quick, easy to use and reliable ways to share your WiFi network using a hotspot on your PC, Connectify Hotspot is definitely the way to go. easy, trouble-free and does the job quickly and reliably.