Loopback adapter in Win7

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Doing a lot of development based on socket connections I've found it always hard to do offline development the moment it came to testing. No WiFi, no eth connection, nothing available - giving me no network interface up and running. Same problem when having a virtual machine installed and the wish to exchange IP packets beween host and guest operating system.

Luckily, there's something called "loopback" adapter, which can be perfectly used for exact that reason - always available, always up and running.

The only thing - there is no way to install it, since everything seems to be based on previously detected real hardware. So I found out, it's quite a simple thing invoking the hardware wizard by calling "hdwwiz" from the start menu manually.

install loopback adpater - step 1 install loopback adpater - step 2 install loopback adpater - step 3
install loopback adpater - step 4 install loopback adpater - step 5

Choose manual hardware selection, then coose network adapters, the one you're searching for can be found in Microsoft, it's name is Microsoft loopback adapter. Clicking some more continue/finish/ok is bringing you thru the installation.

When done, using the network adapter settings this adapter can be given a meaningful name and an IP address, preferably from a private IP address range, like 172.x.x.x or 10.y.y.y.

Ah, one thing, just to have mentioned that, too - do not fill in a gateway address for that NIC, there shall always be only one gateway stated in a network configuration, even if running multiple network interfaces!