What is a Virtual Access Point?

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  • Written By: K. Wascher
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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Virtual Access Point, also known as Virtual AP, is computer software that essentially uses a laptop or Local Area Network-connected (LAN-connected) PC to create an access point for other computers or electronic devices. This allows them to connect to the Internet using a Wi-Fi signal. Virtual Access Point sends out a wireless signal so that any person close enough to it can browse the Internet.

In addition to personal computers, laptops, and netbooks, Virtual Access Point also functions with other devices, such as smartphones, personal digital assistants, MP3 players, and hand-held computers that have Internet capability. Virtual AP also provides a way to save money and may be useful in hotels, meetings, and at home. It can provide an economic way for small offices or home offices to save money and efficiently use their existing resources.

The Virtual Access Point program allows users to share Internet access from one computer with another by turning it into a Wi-Fi access point. This access point can also be used to connect Internet access capable electronic devices, such as MP3 players, video game consoles, and hand-held computers to the Internet. Virtual Access Point opens the LAN to any wireless user by default; however, the program can be configured to filter out unknown users by requiring a network password.


Virtual AP software can be a valuable asset in a number of situations and is easy to install and use. It may be particularly useful for professionals at sites that lack multiple hardwired Ethernet connections or Wi-Fi access for Internet. Virtual Access Point may also be useful for people living in a communal setting, such as college students in a shared dorm or apartment, because it allows them to cut down on additional costs of Internet services.

In addition to an Ethernet-enabled Internet connection, the connecting laptops may also use a wireless network adapter card. Many laptop computers have a Wi-Fi network adapter card built in; however, many desktop PCs do not have them as standard hardware. Wi-Fi network adapters can be purchased as USB adapters or PC cards. Each Virtual AP is given a service set identifier (SSID), and the LAN is split so that several people may use the signal.


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