The newest version of VirtualBox has the native ability to use host interface networking and attach to your host’s wireless NIC. This gives users the ability to use a local ip of their network for network access and maintain an internet connection. In other words your virtual machines can now become an integral part of your LAN.
If you’ve ever tried to use wireless with a virtualized machine you know that it is a royal PITA. With this new version of VirtualBox this is no longer the case.
The 2.1.0 version was released in December of 2008. If you tried this version you probably found that you had numerous problems in many areas. Personally it crashed my Centos 5.2 installation. Trying an upgrade failed to clean up files and in general wreaked havoc during the boot phase of the host machine.
This latest version appears to have most of this cleaned up. However, to be safe, if you are using a 2.0 version or lower I would uninstall it rather than upgrade. You should also do a manual search and destroy of any leftover files. You can make quick work of this by issuing the following commands after uninstall:
locate -i vbox | xargs rm -Rf
locate -i vbox
You should not get any return after the last command.
All of that said this newest version of VirtualBox looks very promising with it’s ability to natively connect to the host’s wireless NIC and LAN. You can download it here. It is available for Linux, Solaris, Windows and Mac.