If you own a MacBook or any Mac with a pre-installed or USB/PCI wireless adapter, and you are able to use it to connect to a WiFi network, chances are you can also use it to share your internet connection with others (if you are connected to the Internet via USB modem or Ethernet cable, for example). This mode is sometimes called ad-hoc mode or creating a WiFi hotspot, and even though this feature was added to the iPhone only recently, but Mac OS X has supported this for a very long time.
Here are the steps to create a WiFi hotspot on Mac OS X:
- Check that you are connected to Internet via Ethernet, USB modem or Bluetooth tethering. It is impossible to be connected to the Internet via Airport (WiFi) and also share via Airport.
- Using Spotlight (or you favorite application launcher), navigate to the Sharing preferences pane in System Preferences.
- Click the tick mark next to the ‘Internet Sharing’.
- Select the appropriate source in the ‘Share your connection from’ drop down list. In my case, this was the Ethernet.
- Mac OS X allows you to share via multiple methods simultaneously. You can select as many options to share your connection. If you want to just create a WiFi hotspot, tick the ‘Airport’ option.
- You can choose to leave your hotspot open, or you may use standard encryption methods such as WEP, WPA to set a security passkey system.
Once the hotspot is created, you will see an upwards arrow sign on the Airport icon in the menu bar. This confirms that your WiFi hotspot has been created.
To connect to this hotspot, use your other device and locate the name of the WiFi network you just created, and connect to it like you normally would to any WiFi network. This setup should automatically provide a DHCP server, so you don’t have to bother with IP address settings.