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12 Best Virtual Routers Shortlist

I've looked at technology closely and picked out the best 12 virtual routers. They're great for fixing problems with connections. Use this guide for easy networking solutions.

  1. ARPMiner - Best for robust security features
  2. Connectify HotSpot - Best for easy device connection
  3. WinHotSpot Virtual WiFi Router - Best for creating stable hotspots
  4. mHotspot - Best for multi-device sharing
  5. Virtual Router Manager - Best for managing wireless connections
  6. Wi-Host - Best for minimalistic design and use
  7. Verizon VNS - Best for business-level networking
  8. The Open Cloud Exchange - Best for cloud networking
  9. Global Edge Router - Best for global reach and connectivity
  10. Sky Advanced Threat Prevention - Best for advanced threat prevention
  11. VyOS - Best for network operating system features
  12. Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V - Best for cloud services integration

Navigating the realm of virtual routers can feel akin to threading an ethernet cable through a labyrinth of Wi-Fi networks. As an individual deeply immersed in technology, I've turned devices like Android, iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices into free Wi-Fi hotspots, juggled IP addresses in a data center, and fine-tuned LAN adapters for optimal performance.

The benefits? A wireless network at your fingertips, authentication features for secure connectivity, and the freedom to facilitate file sharing without an actual wireless router. With these free software solutions, broadband restrictions and the need for a physical modem are things of the past. One of the main pain points that this software address is the simplification of network connection setup, allowing for a smoother Wi-Fi connection. Now, are you ready to explore these options?

What is a Virtual Router?

A virtual router is a software-based system that does everything a physical router can. It is a default gateway for computers sharing a network, operating within the host device's hardware. It is widely used by businesses, individuals, and service providers to simplify network setup, enabling multiple devices to use the same internet connection. In its most straightforward definition, a virtual router morphs your device into a Wi-Fi access point, thereby creating a hosted network with its unique SSID.

Beyond sharing internet access, virtual routers offer additional functionalities like network traffic management, firewall rules enforcement, Bridged WiFi Access Points, and even virtual private network (VPN) setups. These tools also support Android, Mac iOS, iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. They also consist of a GUI and a service application called TekSpot, PPPoE, HTTP, DHCP server, and a proxy DNS server. This makes them indispensable for maintaining secure and efficient digital communication environments.

Overview of the 12 Best Virtual Routers

1. ARPMiner - Best for robust security features

ARPMiner create a free captive portal screenshot.
Here's ARPMiner's feature on creating a free captive portal.

ARPMiner serves as a high-functioning virtual router, specifically designed to uphold robust security measures. Offering more than just connectivity reinforces your network's defenses while providing the necessary routing capabilities.

Why I Picked ARPMiner:

I chose ARPMiner due to its uncompromising focus on security. Compared to other virtual routers, it stands out with its emphasis on providing secure connectivity. This tool is best for those prioritizing network safety, so it's hailed for robust security features.

Standout Features & Integrations:

ARPMiner impresses with its built-in firewall and NAT (Network Address Translation) functionalities. It provides an added layer of security, making it a top choice for those cautious of network vulnerabilities. It also integrates well with Windows-based systems, contributing to its user-friendly appeal.


From $10/user/month (billed annually)


  • Superior focus on security features
  • User-friendly, especially for Windows users
  • In-built firewall and NAT functionalities


  • Lacks some advanced features found in competitive routers
  • Annual billing might not suit all users
  • Limited integrations with non-Windows systems

2. Connectify HotSpot - Best for easy device connection

Connectify HotSpot is one of the top virtual router
Here's Connectify Hotspot with a robust Windows hotspot creator that quickly and easily transforms a Windows PC into a virtual router.

Connectify HotSpot is a virtual router that modifies your PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Known for its simplicity, it easily allows multiple devices to share your computer's internet connection, validating its position as the best choice for easy device connection.

Why I Picked Connectify HotSpot:

I selected Connectify HotSpot because of its unparalleled simplicity in device connectivity. Compared to other offerings, it excels in quickly establishing secure connections between devices. This feature makes it the best choice for those seeking an uncomplicated way to share internet access among multiple devices.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Connectify HotSpot offers an intuitive interface that simplifies sharing your internet connection. Its standout feature, however, is its "Wi-Fi Repeater Mode," which extends the range of your network. On the integration front, it works well with various devices, including laptops, smartphones, and gaming consoles, adding to its ease of use.


From $3/user/month


  • Intuitive interface for easy connection setup
  • Wi-Fi Repeater Mode extends network reach
  • Compatible with a broad range of devices


  • Some advanced features require higher-priced plans
  • Limited customizability options
  • Lacks extensive security features found in some competitors

3. WinHotSpot Virtual WiFi Router - Best for creating stable hotspots

WinHotSpot Virtual WiFi Router's configure dropdown screenshot.
Here's a sample of WinHotSpot Virtual WiFi Router's configure dropdown.

WinHotSpot Virtual WiFi Router is a software tool that converts your Windows system into a reliable Wi-Fi hotspot. This platform provides consistent and uninterrupted internet access to multiple devices, earning its reputation as the best choice for creating stable hotspots.

Why I Picked WinHotSpot Virtual WiFi Router:

I picked WinHotSpot Virtual WiFi Router because of its impressive stability when setting up Wi-Fi hotspots. Many routers might promise similar functionalities, but where WinHotSpot shines is its commitment to uninterrupted connectivity, making it the best choice for those needing reliable, stable hotspots.

Standout Features & Integrations:

WinHotSpot is not just a virtual Wi-Fi router but also a bandwidth monitor, helping you manage your data usage effectively. Its other prominent feature includes a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to track connected devices and their data consumption. Regarding integrations, it works with Windows operating systems and supports a broad range of Wi-Fi-enabled devices.


WinHotSpot Virtual WiFi Router is free to use.


  • Provides consistent and stable Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Built-in bandwidth monitor feature
  • User-friendly interface makes it easy to manage connections


  • Exclusively designed for Windows, limiting its versatility
  • No dedicated support or customer service
  • Lacks advanced security features compared to its competitors

4. mHotspot - Best for multi-device sharing

mHotspot feature screenshot
This is mHotspot's free software for creating secure virtual WiFi routers on Windows.

mHotspot is a versatile software tool that changes your PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Designed for multi-device sharing, it lets you connect up to ten devices to a single internet connection, making it a top pick for users needing extensive device compatibility.

Why I Picked mHotspot:

mHotspot caught my attention due to its impressive capacity for multi-device sharing. It stands out in a crowd of virtual routers for its ability to support up to ten devices on a single connection. This makes it an ideal tool for users needing to share internet access across multiple devices without any fuss.

Standout Features & Integrations:

mHotspot boasts an intuitive interface that simplifies the task of sharing your network. One of its key features is its support for various devices, from smartphones and tablets to gaming consoles. It integrates well with all devices with Wi-Fi capability, ensuring smooth and hassle-free internet access.


mHotspot is free to use.


  • Supports up to ten devices at once
  • Offers compatibility with a wide range of Wi-Fi enabled devices
  • Easy-to-use interface simplifies the process of setting up a hotspot


  • Primarily designed for Windows, thus limiting platform diversity
  • May not offer the most advanced security features
  • No dedicated customer support

5. Virtual Router Manager - Best for managing wireless connections

Virtual Router Manager settings screenshot
Here's Virtual Router Manager's feature on creating a wireless hotspot without a router.

Virtual Router Manager provides an efficient platform for converting your PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot. It shines in managing wireless connections, allowing you to easily share any internet connection with other nearby devices, thereby making it an ideal solution for those needing extensive control over their shared links.

Why I Picked Virtual Router Manager:

I picked Virtual Router Manager for its impressive capability in managing wireless connections. It’s simplicity and user-friendly interface set it apart from other similar tools, making it an appealing choice for users who need to share their network without diving into complex configurations. In my view, its strength in straightforward connection management justifies the 'best for managing wireless connections' tag.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Virtual Router Manager offers an array of practical features, such as an uncomplicated interface, real-time network monitoring, and adjustable network names and passwords. Its simplicity makes it a go-to choice for non-technical users. As for integrations, it works well with any device that supports Wi-Fi, from smartphones and laptops to gaming consoles, ensuring you can easily connect and share your network.


Virtual Router Manager is free to use.


  • User-friendly interface allows easy setup and management of network
  • Supports a wide range of Wi-Fi enabled devices
  • Provides real-time network monitoring


  • Limited to Windows, reducing platform diversity
  • Lacks some advanced security features
  • No dedicated customer support

6. Wi-Host - Best for minimalistic design and use

Wi-Host new network set-up feature screenshot.
Here's Wi-Host's new network set-up feature.

Wi-Host is a handy utility that changes your Windows PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot. It stands out for its minimalist design, making sharing your internet connection with other devices straightforward and hassle-free. As such, it's an excellent choice for those who value simplicity and ease of use in their software tools.

Why I Picked Wi-Host:

I selected Wi-Host for its simplicity and minimalist design. In comparing various tools, Wi-Host emerged as a standout because of its no-frills, easy-to-navigate user interface. I consider it the "Best for minimalistic design and use" as it simplifies setting up and managing a hotspot, which can often be complex and time-consuming with other tools.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Wi-Host's standout feature is undoubtedly its user-friendly, minimalist interface. With a few clicks, you can set up a secure hotspot and start sharing your internet connection. Regarding integrations, Wi-Host performs well with any device that can connect via Wi-Fi, providing a broad range of compatibility across multiple devices.


Wi-Host is a free-to-use tool.


  • Minimalist design for easy use
  • Broad compatibility with Wi-Fi enabled devices
  • No cost to use


  • Lacks some advanced features found in other tools
  • Only available for Windows
  • No dedicated customer support

7. Verizon VNS - Best for business-level networking

Verizon VNS homepage overview screenshot
Here's what the Verizon VNS website homepage looks like.

Verizon VNS, or Virtual Network Services, is a robust networking platform that provides businesses with the resources they need to build and manage their virtual networks. It's specifically designed to meet the high-capacity and high availability needs of companies, making it an excellent choice for enterprises seeking a reliable networking solution.

Why I Picked Verizon VNS:

In selecting tools, Verizon VNS quickly stood out for its comprehensive feature set tailored to business networking needs. With Verizon's longstanding reputation in the telecommunications space, I am confident in choosing this platform. I identified it as the "Best for business-level networking" based on its robust capabilities, offering a level of service that surpasses what is typically found in consumer-grade hotspot software.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Verizon VNS offers a number of standout features, including its secure, scalable, and fully-managed network services. These features provide businesses the flexibility to grow and adapt their network as their needs change. Regarding integrations, VNS works easily with most major cloud service providers, allowing businesses to extend their network across multiple platforms and geographies easily.


Pricing for Verizon VNS varies based on the specific requirements of your business. Interested parties should contact Verizon directly for a custom quote.


  • Offers secure, scalable, and fully-managed network services
  • Compatible with most major cloud service providers
  • Backed by Verizon's strong reputation in telecommunications


  • Pricing is not transparent and requires direct contact with Verizon
  • May be more complex than smaller businesses require
  • Customer service experiences may vary

8. The Open Cloud Exchange - Best for cloud networking

The Open Cloud Exchange website view
This is The Open Cloud Exchange's faster, more secure, and more cost-effective deployment of hybrid architectures.

The Open Cloud Exchange is a powerful platform that supports multi-cloud networking. It provides stable, direct, and secure digital communication across multiple cloud providers, which is why it's particularly effective for businesses with a robust cloud-based infrastructure.

Why I Picked The Open Cloud Exchange:

In my quest to select the best tools, The Open Cloud Exchange emerged as a unique contender due to its distinct cloud-focused networking capabilities. The ability to easily handle multi-cloud networking led me to conclude that it is the "Best for cloud networking.” It stands out from other platforms because it specifically caters to the complex networking needs of businesses relying heavily on cloud services.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Open Cloud Exchange features a high-speed, secure connection to multiple cloud service providers, offering a consistent and reliable networking experience. For integrations, it connects to a vast range of cloud service providers, including major players like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. This allows businesses to build and manage their multi-cloud environments with less effort.


Pricing for The Open Cloud Exchange varies based on your business’s specific needs and scale. As such, you should contact Equinix, the provider of The Open Cloud Exchange, directly for a personalized quote.


  • Facilitates multi-cloud networking effectively
  • High-speed, secure connection to a variety of cloud service providers
  • Reduces the complexity of managing multi-cloud environments


  • Pricing is not readily available and requires direct contact
  • Might be overly complex for businesses not utilizing multi-cloud infrastructures
  • Setup and management might require advanced networking knowledge

9. Global Edge Router - Best for global reach and connectivity

Global Edge Router's interface dashboard screenshot
Here's Global Edge Router's interface dashboard showing all ethernet, VLAN, and PPPoE data.

Global Edge Router is a networking tool from Oracle that offers expansive global space and connectivity. This powerful solution can help you build your network across a broad geographical scale, ensuring efficient data delivery wherever you operate.

Why I Picked Global Edge Router:

I chose Global Edge Router for this list after examining its powerful global networking capabilities. It stood out due to its robust infrastructure and vast network that spans the globe, earning the label "Best for global reach and connectivity". Its ability to ensure efficient data delivery, regardless of the geographical distribution of your operations, distinguishes it from the rest.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Global Edge Router boasts a range of features designed for organizations operating internationally. Its standout features include scalable global IP network infrastructure, rapid DNS resolution, and geographic routing to improve network paths. As part of Oracle's cloud infrastructure, it integrates smoothly with other Oracle products and services, including their Cloud Infrastructure computing and Database services.


Oracle uses a "Pay As You Go" model for its Cloud Infrastructure services, which includes the Global Edge Router. The starting price is based on consumption, and for a more precise quote, you'll need to contact Oracle or use their online pricing calculator.


  • Wide global network for comprehensive reach
  • Improved geographic routing for improved performance
  • Smooth integration with other Oracle services


  • Pricing can be complex due to the "Pay As You Go" model
  • The vast array of features may be overwhelming for some users
  • Might be less suitable for businesses not operating on a global scale

10. Sky Advanced Threat Prevention - Best for advanced threat prevention

Sky Advanced Threat Prevention file scanning dashboard
Here's a scanned file overview of Sky Advanced Threat Prevention.

Sky Advanced Threat Prevention is a robust cybersecurity solution designed by Juniper Networks to provide advanced threat prevention. Offering comprehensive security measures ensures the integrity of your network while mitigating potential security threats.

Why I Picked Sky Advanced Threat Prevention:

I selected Sky Advanced Threat Prevention because of its comprehensive, advanced threat protection features. It stands out due to its ability to deliver adaptive malware detection capabilities, making it deserving of the title "Best for advanced threat prevention." The tool's emphasis on proactive threat detection and mitigation give it an edge over other cybersecurity solutions.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Sky Advanced Threat Prevention's key features include adaptive malware detection, phishing and evasion technique countermeasures, and automated threat intelligence updates. These features ensure a comprehensive shield against various cyber threats. For integrations, it connects well with Juniper's network infrastructure products, offering a cohesive, well-secured network environment.


Their website does not mention pricing details for Sky Advanced Threat Prevention. The tool is usually part of broader Juniper Networks solutions, and specific pricing may vary. It's best to contact Juniper Networks for accurate pricing information.


  • Comprehensive advanced threat protection capabilities
  • Adaptive malware detection to handle evolving threats
  • Easy integration with Juniper's network infrastructure products


  • Lack of transparent pricing details can make budget planning difficult
  • Dependency on other Juniper Network products may limit its appeal to non-Juniper users
  • The advanced feature set may require a learning curve for some users

11. VyOS - Best for network operating system features

VyOS switch configuration screenshot
Here's VyOS switch configuration, a little in the procedure to configure our switch image with VLANs and trunking.

VyOS is an open-source network operating system that provides software-based network routing, firewall, and VPN functionality. This feature-rich platform ensures top-tier network management, making it an excellent choice for those seeking extensive network operating system capabilities.

Why I Picked VyOS:

I chose VyOS for this list due to its comprehensive network operating system features surpassing many other tools. What distinguishes VyOS is its open-source nature, which allows for customization and flexibility, a key consideration in determining its position as "Best for network operating system features." The platform's capacity for customization and broad features set it apart in this category.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Key features of VyOS include network routing, firewall functionality, and VPN capabilities. It supports static and dynamic routing protocols, offering a comprehensive suite of tools for network management. As for integrations, VyOS can be used with most cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, and can be integrated into an existing network infrastructure with relative ease.


The open-source version of VyOS is free to use, but they offer a subscription model for professional support and maintenance updates. Pricing for the supported version starts from $1200/year (billed annually), which translates to $100/user/month.


  • Extensive set of network operating system features
  • Open-source nature allows for customization
  • Can be integrated with most cloud platforms


  • No direct pricing per user/month, only annual subscriptions
  • A steep learning curve for those not familiar with network operating systems
  • Free version lacks professional support and maintenance updates

12. Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V - Best for cloud services integration

Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V web user interface configuration screenshot.
Here's Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V's configuration using the web user interface.

Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V is a virtual router that connects network services and corporate networks into the virtual environment. Extending networks into public or private clouds offers integration, making it a prime choice for those needing comprehensive cloud services integration.

Why I Picked Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V:

In compiling this list, I chose Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V for its superior capability to integrate cloud services. Its unique proposition lies in its capacity to provide robust network services in virtual form. I judge that this tool fits perfectly as "Best for cloud services integration" due to its ability to extend your network into public or private cloud environments.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V's key features include advanced routing, secure connectivity, and network services in a cloud-first platform. It offers a wide range of routing protocols and is compatible with most cloud platforms, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, enabling high integration with these services.


Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V pricing begins at $120/user/month. This price does not include a potential base fee or setup fee depending on the specific requirements of your organization.


  • Strong capability for cloud services integration
  • Wide range of routing protocols
  • Compatibility with major cloud platforms


  • High starting price compared to other similar tools
  • Additional fees may apply for setup and customization
  • May be more complex for those new to cloud networking

Other Noteworthy Virtual Router Tools

Below is a list of additional virtual routers that I shortlisted but did not make it to the top 12. Definitely worth checking them out.

  1. Maryfi - Good for creating Wi-Fi hotspots from Windows 7 and above PCs
  2. HostedNetworkStarter - Good for starting a Wi-Fi hotspot without complex configurations
  3. TNSR - Good for high-performance packet processing
  4. PCTuneUp - Good for maintaining PC health and optimizing performance
  5. 6WIND Virtual Service Router - Good for network routing and security features in virtualized environments
  6. Juniper vMX Series - Good for carrier-grade routing capabilities in a virtual format

Selection Criteria for Choosing a Virtual Router

In my journey to find the best network router tools, I've tested and explored dozens of options. While a variety of factors contribute to the overall value of a device, I specifically focused on three main criteria: core functionality, key features, and usability. Let's delve into what I looked for in each category.

Core Functionality

For a network router tool, the core functionality should include the ability to:

  • Route network traffic efficiently between different networks.
  • Support various network protocols such as IPv4 and IPv6.
  • Provide robust security features to protect network traffic.
  • Offer network monitoring capabilities for troubleshooting.

Key Features

When it comes to key features, I focused on:

  • Scalability: The router’s ability to handle growth in network traffic without impacting performance.
  • Versatility: Support a range of configurations to meet the needs of different network environments.
  • Virtualization Support: As more networks move towards virtual environments, the router's compatibility with such setups becomes essential.
  • Redundancy: The router should have features allowing network traffic to continue flowing even when one part of the system fails.


In terms of usability, the factors I considered included:

  • User Interface: The tool should understandably present complex networking concepts. Graphical representations of network traffic, for instance, make comprehending what's happening in your network easier.
  • Setup Process: Given the complexity of network routing, a straightforward setup process is valuable. A router tool that guides users through the initial setup makes it accessible to networking novices and experts.
  • Customer Support: Due to the critical nature of network routing, having reliable customer support ready to assist when issues arise is crucial.
  • Documentation: Comprehensive documentation that includes troubleshooting guides, how-to articles, and best practice tips helps users navigate the intricacies of network routing.

Most Common Questions Regarding Virtual Routers (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using a virtual router tool?

Virtual router tools offer numerous benefits, including:

  1. Flexibility: They allow you to easily set up and manage network configurations without physical hardware.
  2. Cost Savings: Virtual routers eliminate the need for costly hardware, saving you significant initial investment and maintenance costs.
  3. Scalability: As your network needs to grow, you can quickly and easily scale up your virtual router operations without needing to buy and install additional hardware.
  4. Portability: Since they're software-based, virtual routers can be deployed on any machine in any location.
  5. Improved Security: Many virtual router tools, such as firewall and VPN support, come with advanced security features to protect your network.

How much do virtual router tools typically cost?

The cost of virtual router tools can vary greatly based on the features, capabilities, and vendor. Pricing models are generally subscription-based, either monthly or annually.

What is the typical range of pricing for virtual router tools?

Pricing for virtual router tools can range from free options to those costing hundreds of dollars per month. Most vendors offer different pricing tiers, with more advanced features and capabilities available at higher levels.

What is the cheapest and most expensive virtual router software?

The cheapest software is typically the free version offered by vendors like Maryfi. On the other end of the spectrum, high-end software such as Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V can cost hundreds of dollars per month, depending on the specifics of the package and the size of your operation.

Are there any free virtual router tool options?

Yes, several vendors offer free versions of their virtual router tools. Examples include Maryfi and HostedNetworkStarter. While these options may have fewer features than their paid counterparts, they can be an excellent starting point for small networks or those just getting started with virtual routing.


In summary, selecting the right virtual router software revolves around understanding your specific needs and matching them with the unique offerings of each tool. Whether it's the flexibility and scalability of VyOS, the cloud services integration of Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V, or the user-friendly interfaces of Maryfi, each software comes with its unique strengths.

Key takeaways:

  1. Understand Your Needs: Before diving into the market, define your needs. Are you looking for advanced security features, cloud integration, or perhaps a user-friendly interface? Knowing your requirements will help narrow down your choices.
  2. Evaluate Key Features: Not all virtual router software is created equal. Some excel in certain areas, while others might need to catch up. Look for the essential features that matter most to your operations, such as security, integration capabilities, and network configuration options.
  3. Consider Pricing Options: Virtual router tools come with many pricing options. While cost should not be the sole deciding factor, understanding what you get for your investment is crucial. Remember that even free options offer good value, especially for smaller operations or startups.

What do you think?

In the dynamic world of virtual router software, the perfect solution for your unique situation is out there, and I hope this guide helps you get closer to finding it. But remember, the technology landscape is vast and ever-evolving.

Have you encountered a virtual router tool that should be on this list? If so, please share your suggestions. Your input could be invaluable in helping others find the perfect fit for their needs.

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.