Set up a wireless network on your Mac

Ever wanted a wireless network without using a wireless router? You can do this easily with a Mac running OS X 10.2 or later.

Simply plug in your ethernet (LAN) cable to your cable modem obtained from your internet provider and plug it into the back of your iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, or MacBook Pro, or whatever computer happens to have an ethernet port built-in. You can also use Ethernet to USB adapters if need be.

Once plugged in, check to see if your Mac has been assigned an IP address and your internet is up and running. For example, just go to Safari and try to browse the web.


Once you have a connection working, go to System Preferences. Go to Sharing and select Internet Sharing.

As you can see on this settings pane there are a number of ways to share internet to and from different devices. But for the purposes of this article you want to select "Share your connection from" your "Ethernet", "To computers using" your "Airport".

Go to AirPort Options, from here you will be able to assign a network name and default channel. Also 40-bit and 128-bit encryption are both available and highly recommended if you will be using this feature for an extended period of time.


Now once you have this set up, you have created a wireless access point. Now you can search for local wireless connections using your iPhone or any other device. Choose your new network name and enter your password and everything should sync up. Be sure to set your devices to remember to password so you don't have to enter it again unless you choose a new Wi-Fi password.

The only downside to this way of having a Wi-Fi network in your home is that your internet connection will only be available when both your modem and machine are running at the same time. This type of scenario would be best for a desktop you have always running in the background.

The upside is that your desktop computer will have blazing fast internet from a direct wired connection, and your wireless devices will have simple and instant wireless access with decent to excellent bandwidth depending on your hardware.

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