VirtNet

VirtNet is a dummy virtual network interface which can be used for numerous purposes but it can be especially interesting when used in combination with Windows Packet Filter. An example, dummy network interface for any network application which requires the network card to work, VPN adapter, virtual loopback adapter, virtual interface bridged to the real network, virtual interface for routing some specific connections which is to be captured by packet filtering framework and etc..

System Requirements

Windows 95/98/MillenniumWindows VistaWidows Server 2012
Windows NT 4.0Windows Server 2008Windows 8.1
Windows 2000Windows 7Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows XPWindows Server 2008 R2Windows 10
Windows Server 2003Windows 8Windows Server 2016

You can use Windows Packet Filter based Ethernet Bridge application to connect VirtNet network interface to the real physical network. The source code for Ethernet Bridge is available at GitHub, binary can be downloaded from Windows Packet Filter page.

How it works

VirtNet is available in two versions:

  • NDIS 3.0 miniport driver (supports Windows 95 and up to Windows 10 1803)
  • NDIS 6.0 miniport driver (supports Windows Vista and later)

VirtNet has a configurable MAC address. However, please note that NDIS 6.0 version of the driver have some restrictions for MAC address:

  1. It should not be multicast address (addr[0] & 0x01 == 0)
  2. It should not be broadcast address (FF-FF-FF-FF-FF-FF)
  3. It should be marked as assigned by the local administrator (addr[0] & 0x2 == 1)

Example of valid address is 06-01-02-03-04-05

The VirtNet NDIS 3.0 package consists of:

  • netVirtNet.inf – driver INF file
  • netVirtNet86.cat – driver CAT file for Windows Vista/2008/7/2008R2/8/2012/8.1/2012R2/10 x86
  • netVirtNet64.cat – driver CAT file for Windows Vista/2008/7/2008R2/8/2012/8.1/2012R2/10 x64
  • oemsetup.inf – driver INF file for Windows NT 4.0
  • VirtNet.sys – Virtual Network Interface driver (32 bit and x64 binaries)

The VirtNet NDIS 6.0 package consists of virtnet.inf, virtnet.cat and virtnet.sys for for the x86 and x64 platforms.

Download

VirtNet (NDIS 3.0)1.002.05.201136KBDownload
VirtNet (NDIS 6.0)1.228.05.202069KBDownload

How to install

This driver can be installed manually or from command line using DevCon tool from Windows DDK: devcon -r install netVirtNet.inf *NM_VIRTNET. The manual installation “in screenshots” for Windows 2000 is below. It’s similar for all operating systems except NT 4.0, where you should install it like ordinary network interface.

  • Start Add/Remove Hardware Wizard from Control Panel
virtnet_sc1
  • Choose Add/Troubleshoot a device
virtnet_sc2
  • Choose Add a new device
virtnet_sc3
  • Choose to select the hardware from a list
virtnet_sc4
  • Select Network Adapter and click Next
virtnet_sc5
  • Click Have Disk and browse to the folder where you unzipped VirtNet.zip to
virtnet_sc6
  • Select VirtNet Network Adapter
virtnet_sc7
  • Click Next
virtnet_sc8
  • Click yes when asked if you want to install digitally unsigned driver
virtnet_sc9

How to use

The VirtNet network adapter is visible in the system as an ordinary network interface. You can configure its protocol binding and address information using operating system tools.

Price & licensing

Freeware for private (non commercial), or educational (including non-profit organization) use.

Disclaimer

VirtNet virtual network interface driver is supplied AS-IS, without warranties of any kind.