Sharing the Internet Connection with Windows 10 VM


These days, I generally use an Azure VM for dev work but sometimes it's helpful to run a local VM on my laptop. Previously, making use of the wifi connection from the VM had always seemed a bit hit-and-miss and overly complicated.

Thankfully, new functionality in Windows 10 now makes configuration simpler and the connection completely reliable.

You can read the background and details of what I describe here: MSDN blog

Cleanup Existing Networks

My laptop had various virtual switches configured - as was required using the old method of internet sharing. My first job was to purge these, which I did as follows:

From Hyper-V Manager:

• Shutdown running VM
• Selected "Virtual Switch Manager"
• Removed all virtual switches
• Selected my VM
• Selected "Settings"
• Selected each "Virtual switch" (drop-down box) and Removed

Create the new NAT Switch

I ran the following PowerShell commands on my host (Win10 laptop):

• New-VMSwitch -SwitchName "NatSwitch" -SwitchType Internal
• Get-NetAdapter
• New-NetIPAddress -IPAddress -PrefixLength 24 -InterfaceIndex 63
• Get-NetNat
• New-NetNat -Name RobsNATNetwork -InternalIPInterfaceAddressPrefix

I then had the following connections on the host:

Host Connections

My host LAN was configured on the 192.168.1.* range but when I created the New-NetIPAddress with PowerShell, I assigned in the range This means, when I configure my VM's LAN I must use the .0.1 range. This is shown in the following screen grab:


As, can be seen in the screen grab - the VM is using the address of the physical router from my Host's LAN for DNS.

It Works!

With the connection from my VM to the "NatSwitch" of the host configured - I was able to browse the web web from my VM. When I unplugged the ethernet cable from my laptop, the VM automatically switched to using the WiFi - result!

What if Sharing a Connection from a Mobile Phone

Today I tried running my VM when my host's only internet connection was WiFi from a personal hotspot of my iPhone. The only change I had to make was to find the DNS server being used by the host, by running "ipconfig /all", then entering the same DNS ip address into the network settings on the guest VM. I suspect there may be a smart way of achieving this, perhaps it's possible to enter a "Preferred DNS server" address for the guest as the IP address of the host - and the host passes through the DNS details? If anyone knows how - please comment!