Turn Your Mac Into a Wi-Fi Network

If your Mac has a wired connection to the Internet, and there is no Wi-Fi network available, you can use your Mac as a Wi-Fi network to connect other devices like iPhones, iPads, laptops and game devices. By using Internet Sharing in System Preferences, you can create a network and set a name and password to allow access. This comes in handy in situations where you need to connect Wi-Fi-only devices, but no Wi-Fi is available.

Video Transcript
So let's say you're in a situation where you have a Mac that's connected to the internet by an ethernet cable. But there's no Wi-Fi available. So you can't connect your iPhone, your iPad, maybe other laptops to the internet. You can use your Mac as a Wi-Fi router.

So in order to do this your situation has to be, you have to have a connection here, I'm in System Preferences under Network, and you can see I've got an Ethernet connection. I also have a Wi-Fi connection here. But let's say you don't have that. Let's say that this is not connected to anything. So you have your wire connection but no Wi-Fi connection.

Now in order to set up your Mac as a Wi-Fi router, what you want to do is in the main level System Preferences go to Sharing. The subcategory you want to look for is Internet Sharing. Here's where you set it up. You setup Share your connection from: so you get to choose from that same list all the different connections. There is only one choice here. It is the Ethernet connection. Then I get to share to using my Wi-Fi.

Notice I can also do other combinations. For instance, this Mac, MacPro, actually has two ethernet connections. So I can actually share out to another computer using that ethernet connection, the second one. But in this case it's the typical thing. Ethernet into my Mac and then Wi-Fi out to other devices.

Now you want to click the Wi-Fi Options button here. Choose a name. It makes you choose a channel so just choose whatever is the default there. Then you definitely want to set security, as always with any Wi-Fi network, and set a password that then other devices will need.

Then you simply turn it on and it will make sure that you want to do it. Also if your Wi-Fi connection has been turned off because you're not using it, it will say here that you should turn it on and give you the option to turn it on.

Now I've got it turned on. You see that green light there. You see I can't change these options while it's on because that would disrupt everything. I'm going to have to turn it off to change the options. Now I should have it going where I can find Gary's Mac Pro as a Wi-Fi network. Notice also my Wi-Fi connection here has now changed. So you look to see I'm not actually getting data in from Wi-Fi anymore. I'm using it as a network router.

So here I am on my iPad and I go into the Settings and I switch to Wi-Fi. You can see I'm connected to my regular Wi-Fi network here. But I can see my MacPro now show up and I can enter in the password and connect to the Wi-Fi here. There, I'm connected. I can go to the web browser. You can see I can surf around via that Wi-Fi connection.

Comments: 3 Responses to “Turn Your Mac Into a Wi-Fi Network”

    Lawrence
    9/5/17 @ 1:50 pm

    WiFi routers are cheap and easy to set up. Using your Mac as your router allows few options and configurations. There is no compelling reason to use a Mac as a WiFi router when the better solution is economical and easier.

    9/5/17 @ 1:58 pm

    Lawrence: Here are some examples. I once checked into a hotel that had ethernet to each room, but no Wi-Fi. Odd. I hooked my MacBook to the ethernet, set up a Wi-Fi network like this, and then my whole family could use their iPhones and iPads. I have a relative who has one Mac and DSL, and a wired connection, no Wi-Fi. He doesn’t need it. But when I needed it once, I was able to use his Mac as a Wi-Fi router so I could connect too. Another: Wi-Fi router breaks, you could use this to provide temporary connections to devices until a replacement arrives.

    Emmanuel SCERRI
    9/7/17 @ 3:20 pm

    Thanks a million Gary. Very useful indeed. Here is why … don’t have a landline but a fast 4g all inclusive plan with unlimited data that I use everywhere I go, here in Switzerland. It comes out much cheaper. However, every once in a while I need to update or download a large app on my iPhone and it will not let me do it (very strange) unless I’m connected to a wifi network (which I didn’t have until tonight). Backing up my iPhone was also impossible. THANKS!

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