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How to make virtual machine use real Wi-fi network?

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition

Symptoms

  • I would like to have a real Wi-Fi connection in my virtual machine.
  • Wi-Fi adapter is working fine on Mac Os side
  • Windows virtual machine recognize all network connections as wired connections

Cause

Virtual machine that underlies Parallels Desktop does not have a wireless adapter.
Parallels Desktop does not natively offer Wireless support (like a virtualized Wireless device). Instead, it connects directly to the Wireless device the Host uses.

Every PCI or PCI-Express device attached to the virtual machine is getting virtualized by the Parallels Desktop. Due to technical limitations no virtualization software allows for direct access to hardware devices like Wi-Fi adapter.

Resolution

As a workaround one can use a various Wireless USB network adapters.

List of possible adapters

For the purposes of this article we are using simple USB Wi-Fi adapter from one of the well known brands.

  1. Plug your Wireless USB adapter into your Mac and then connect it to Windows virtual machine:

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  2. Make sure it got connected to your virtual machine:

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  3. Download drivers for your Wireless USB adapter model and proceed with installing drivers inside your virtual machine.

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  4. Once drivers are installed you should be able to see Wireless adapter available in Windows virtual machine network preferences.

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