Why Hosted and Ad-Hoc Networks Are Not Working on Windows® 10





What am I seeing?

Recent Intel® Wireless Adapters don't support the following wireless hosted network and the ad-hoc features on Windows® 10:

  • Wireless Hosted Network
    • Also known as Soft AP
    • Introduced in Windows 7*
    • Implements a software-based, wireless access point or hotspot-like function with supported wireless adapters
    • Command line interface only
  • Ad-hoc networks
    • Also known as Independent Basic Service Set (IBSS)
    • Allow two or more Wi-Fi clients to connect to each other directly, without a wireless access point

Why am I seeing it?

Newer adapters no longer support these features due to Windows® 10 requirements.

Microsoft has introduced a new driver model for Windows® 10. This model no longer supports Soft AP and IBSS.

All new Wi-Fi devices are required to use this new driver model on machines running Windows® 10.

The following Intel® Wireless Adapters (including future products) must implement this new driver model, and as such can no longer support soft AP and ad-hoc features. They do support the new Windows 10 mobile hotspot feature instead via Wi-Fi Direct:

  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210
  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201
  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX200
  • Intel® Wireless-AC 9560
  • Intel® Wireless-AC 9462
  • Intel® Wireless-AC 9461
  • Intel® Wireless-AC 9260
  • Intel® Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18265
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
  • Intel® Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18260
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
  • Intel® Tri-Band Wireless-AC 17265
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7265
  • Intel® Wireless-N 7265
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
Note Older generation Intel® Wireless Adapters that don't implement the new Windows 10 driver model can continue to use the hosted network feature or the new Windows 10 mobile hotspot. For example, the Intel® Wireless 7260 Family and earlier.

How to fix it

Customers who wish to use the deprecated hosted network (Soft AP) feature to share Internet connection may consider using:

Related topics
What is Wi-Fi Direct?
About the Wireless Ad-Hoc API
About the Wi-Fi Direct Feature
Using the Wi-Fi Direct Functions