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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) Scripts

I've been trying to make my laptop an access point but with no success, Connectify and VirtualRouter either throw an error or act like they work but they don't.

So, I've decided to write a script, I've been taking pieces from here and there and here's what I've got.

At first I've tried to do everything with WMI, but it didn't work with VPN connections that are not for all users and come to think about it, WMI uses the system account, so it doesn't have access to my connections, so I'm executing route and ipconfig and parsing their output.

The biggest challenge was finding out which connection I should share, I wanted it to select the right interface automatically, so if I have an active VPN it will use that connection. The only assumption I had while coding these methods is that the last interface to go up was the one with the internet and its either a coincidence or by design, it was showing first in the route print command. so far its been working, but if it is a coincidence and not by design, I might need to replace it with a more consistent function, I couldn't find anything about how to find which connection was the active/internet/VPN one, but if you think about it, you just need to find the default route, and see which IP is on which interface and you're done.

Then, from getting the interface name, I could get the connection name via ipconfig /all or use the API from "HNetCfg.HNetShare.1" -> EnumEveryConnection -> NetConnectionProps -> Name/DeviceName, you can see an example from Microsoft in ShowConnections.vbs

And then all I needed to do was update the IP range (if it was changed), start the hostednetwork, set static ips on the virtual interface and start ICS.

netsh interface ip set address name="Connection 2" source=static addr= mask=
netsh interface ip set dns name="Connection 2" source=static addr=none register=PRIMARY
netsh interface ip set wins name="Connection 2" source=static addr=none

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=MyAccessPoint key=mypasskey
netsh wlan start hostednetwork

Starting ICS is a 2 step process, first you start the private network, then the public.

ics.vbs "Public Connection" "Private Connection" true

While working out some problems in the script, it has come to my attention that most of the things I was able to do with ipconfig is possible to do through the "HNetCfg.HNetShare.1" object, I guess if I'll have spare time, I'll change it, but its good enough for now. 

For stopping the virtual router, I needed to change back the virtual adapter's IP to DHCP, stop the hostednetwork and stop ICS.

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=disallow
netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

netsh interface ip set address name="Connection 2" source=dhcp
netsh interface ip set dns name="Connection 2" source=dhcp register=PRIMARY
netsh interface ip set wins name="Connection 2" source=dhcp

ics.vbs "Public Connection" "Private Connection" false

I've included a status, basically its executing

netsh wlan show hostednetwork

and the results are similar to


Hosted network settings
    Mode                   : Allowed
    SSID name              : "MyAccessPoint"
    Max number of clients  : 100
    Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
    Cipher                 : CCMP

Hosted network status
    Status                 : Started
    BSSID                  : xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
    Radio type             : 802.11x
    Channel                : x
    Number of clients      : 1
        xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx        Authenticated

You can find the scripts here:

The scripts have been tested on Windows 7 only!

I would like to thank the following for posting their work and making my life easier:
Jerry Lees - for his Registry read/write
Richard Mueller - for leading me in the right direction
Big_Daddy - Whoever you are, thank you for this.

Also, interesting links that I came across during the search:
WIFI API - http://managedwifi.codeplex.com/
Microsoft - About the Wireless Hosted Network - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd815243(v=vs.85).aspx
How to Change the IP Range for the Internet Connection Sharing DHCP service - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/230148



  1. My pleasure, glad it helped you in the past. (Even though I'm finding it 11 years afterward)