is there any way to make a virtual network adapter in windows (that has its own mac address, and lets me bridge it to another connection? So in the end, it'll be like another physical connection that's connected to its own internet.)

I noticed VMware connects its virtual OS to the internet by creating a virtual adapter and bridging it to a physical adapter. It has its own mac address.

I found something called a Microsoft Loopback Adapter, but I dont think thats it, is it? I want to be able to bridge it, and have programs bind to that specific adapter, but have it still have its own virtual mac address.


//crossposted from social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itpronetworking/thread/6077c9d6-5562-43be-874f-0f4ebea3a45e (I'm not the original author)

  • I think even if you gave the loopback adapter a customer MAC address the routing table would actually egress the traffic out the only interface that can get to the destination. I'm curious why you need it to bind to a different MAC address, and not just a different IP address since it's going to ride the same physical adapter anyway? Is it traffic counting or something like that? Perhaps a server grade NIC like a broadcom would work for something like this, by using VLAN tagging, maybe :) – SpacemanSpiff Jun 11 '11 at 4:47
  • @SpacemanSpiff: Yes, they will use the same physical adapter (LAN Card). That way I could use multiple SSO account in my university's network and doubled the download traffic :) I could get it to work with VMWare, but how to do it without VMWare ? – reed1 Jun 11 '11 at 6:05
  • Why not just change your mac address? – Ori Jun 11 '11 at 18:47
  • @Ori: What I need is multiple different mac address connected to the network – reed1 Jun 12 '11 at 23:52
  • Not possible. This is one advantage offered by VMWare that cannot be replicated in the physical world. The only way to do this would be adding another NIC. – Lizz Jan 5 '13 at 6:27

You can get a virtual network interface for Windows similar to the one VMware has by installing the TAP interface used by OpenVPN.

Download it from here: http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/downloads.html (scroll down to the section "Tap-windows"). After installation you will see an additional interface similar to this:

enter image description here

(Image credit: http://www.openmaniak.com/openvpn_bridging.php)

This document http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/documentation/miscellaneous/76-ethernet-bridging.html explains what Ethernet bridging using a TAP interface is all about:

Ethernet bridging essentially involves combining an ethernet interface with one or more virtual TAP interfaces and bridging them together under the umbrella of a single bridge interface. Ethernet bridges represent the software analog to a physical ethernet switch. The ethernet bridge can be thought of as a kind of software switch which can be used to connect multiple ethernet interfaces (either physical or virtual) on a single machine while sharing a single IP subnet.

and describes how to set up bridging using such an interface.

  • Even if I add a TAP adapter, it is showing 'Network Cable Unplugged'. Is there any way to make the virtual TAP adapter use the same physical ethernet NIC? – Sourav Ghosh Jan 19 at 8:07

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