iPhone We Now Cover iphone Tips and Tricks Find out More

How to share Internet connection on a mac

Mac OS X has a built-in Internet Sharing function that can be a real life saver while travelling. If you’re in a hotel room with one Ethernet jack, you can make wireless hotspot to share the connection with other computers. On the other hand, if you have only wireless access, it’s possible to share that connection with a wired PC. Read on to find out how.

 

This guide has two parts:

Sharing Wireless connection over Ethernet

My MacBook Pro is connected to the Internet over Wi-Fi, and I need to get my Windows desktop PC online. It only has wired Ethernet adapter. What can I do?

  1. Connect an Ethernet cable into the wi-fi connected mac, and the other end into the PC, simple as that. No crossover cable or other networking hardware needed.
  2. Open System Preferences. It’s typically found on your dock, if not, it’s in your Applications folder.
  3. In System Preferences, under Internet & Wireless, go into the Sharing menu.
  4. In the Sharing manu, choose Internet Sharing from the list on the left. You will see Internet Sharing options.
  5. Select to share your connection from Wi-Fi, to computers on Ethernet.
  6. Lastly, click on the Internet Sharing checkbox to enable the service.
  7. Your wired PC should now discover the Internet connection, and you will have Internet access. If it doesn’t, try rebooting.

That’s it. Have fun.

Sharing Wired Ethernet connection wirelessly (making a hotspot)

I’m at a hotel that doesn’t have wi-fi, but there is a Ethernet jack in the wall. I’ve got multiple wireless devices (iPad, iPhone, other computers, etc…) that need net access. What can I do?

Lets say you can actually get a hold of an ethernet cable, you can make your mac computer into a wireless hotspot. If you have one of those fancy slim MacBook Airs or Retina MacBook Pros, unfortunately you will also need a USB or Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter.

  1. Connect the mac to the network with Ethernet. Make sure you have a working Internet connection. Test it in your web browser.
  2. Go into the mac’s System Preferences, under Internet & Wireless look for Sharing menu.
  3. From the list on the left, click on Internet Sharing, and you will see Internet Sharing options.
  4. Select to share your connection from Ethernet to Wi-Fi.
  5. Click on Wi-Fi Options button to configure the name and password of your wireless network. The name is up to you, keep the channel as it is. And it’s always a good idea to use a password for any wireless network you create.
  6. Lastly, don’t forget to check that Internet Sharing checkbox to enable sharing.
  7. Now your mac is acting like a wireless router, providing wi-fi for all your gear.
  8. Connect your wireless devices to your new hotspot.

This guide was written on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, but will also work on earlier versions. Steps may vary slightly.

  • Stuarthw

    very helpful ..Thank you.

  • Stuarthw

    very helpful ..Thank you.

  • AppleSUCKS

    it doesn’t work uner 10.8.2

  • AppleSUCKS

    it doesn’t work uner 10.8.2

  • test

    That is great, however when it has connected on other device the webpage is not accessible. Is there any specific settings that’s needs to be done to access the webpage?

    Thanks in advance.

  • test

    That is great, however when it has connected on other device the webpage is not accessible. Is there any specific settings that’s needs to be done to access the webpage?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Magnus Ludvigsen

    I´m trying to share my mobile internet connection (USB) through the ethernet port, but it doesn´t show. It´s just the the “to computers using – wifi”.

  • Magnus Ludvigsen

    I´m trying to share my mobile internet connection (USB) through the ethernet port, but it doesn´t show. It´s just the the “to computers using – wifi”.

  • Highlander

    Hi everyone
    I have a small problem. I have macbook pro and have been using a wireless USB lan card to access the wifi due to network range problem. The thing is that this lan card doesn’t use the airport of my macbook so I haven’t been able to make a wifi hotspot from my macbook. I want to share the internet with a dell (win 7) laptop and iphone as well. On the other hand is it possible to use an ethernet to share wifi with my other computer?

    Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

    Regards

    • Ehtesham Kabir

      I cant find “wpa2 personal” in wifi option. there are only two options, one is “40 bit wep” & “128 bit wep”

      • CC

        Me too!!! wish someone would answer this!!!!! it wants an ASCII password.

        • macs4life

          the 40 bit needs a 5 character password and the 128 bit needs a 10 character password 😀

  • Highlander

    Hi everyone
    I have a small problem. I have macbook pro and have been using a wireless USB lan card to access the wifi due to network range problem. The thing is that this lan card doesn’t use the airport of my macbook so I haven’t been able to make a wifi hotspot from my macbook. I want to share the internet with a dell (win 7) laptop and iphone as well. On the other hand is it possible to use an ethernet to share wifi with my other computer?

    Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

    Regards

    • Ehtesham Kabir

      I cant find “wpa2 personal” in wifi option. there are only two options, one is “40 bit wep” & “128 bit wep”

      • CC

        Me too!!! wish someone would answer this!!!!! it wants an ASCII password.

        • macs4life

          the 40 bit needs a 5 character password and the 128 bit needs a 10 character password 😀

  • Grateful

    Thank you very much, I’m new to Mac and this helped me in a pinch. THANK YOU! 🙂

  • Grateful

    Thank you very much, I’m new to Mac and this helped me in a pinch. THANK YOU! 🙂

  • Superguest

    in this case, which is the SSID?

  • Superguest

    in this case, which is the SSID?

  • daniel

    ok im sharing from my laptop to xbox using ethernet somtimes i ethernet a wireless router so i can use it wifi so two xboxes are running live. sometimes im getting alot of lag is there anyway to up the speed to the ethernet out, anything. i dunno where i live there is not cable or highspeed connection only thing avalible is hugesnet ugg, anyway i use a verygood outdoor longrange wifi antanna good one picking up a truckstops wifi its the best single and they have a dedicated t1 connect to it and a very expenive wifi antenna on top of there building so i pay them everymonth HOW COULD I CHECK if im getting the best connection from them and how stable it is and stuff like that THANKS!.

  • daniel

    ok im sharing from my laptop to xbox using ethernet somtimes i ethernet a wireless router so i can use it wifi so two xboxes are running live. sometimes im getting alot of lag is there anyway to up the speed to the ethernet out, anything. i dunno where i live there is not cable or highspeed connection only thing avalible is hugesnet ugg, anyway i use a verygood outdoor longrange wifi antanna good one picking up a truckstops wifi its the best single and they have a dedicated t1 connect to it and a very expenive wifi antenna on top of there building so i pay them everymonth HOW COULD I CHECK if im getting the best connection from them and how stable it is and stuff like that THANKS!.

  • http://www.nkjskj.com/computers/how-to-uninstall-apps-software-from-windows-8-easiest-way/ Rashmi

    It is very helpful program for sharing internet connection which is on my home computer. Basically the connection is ethernet Broadband cable one, So it was hard to share on any device without this way.

  • http://www.nkjskj.com/computers/how-to-uninstall-apps-software-from-windows-8-easiest-way/ Rashmi

    It is very helpful program for sharing internet connection which is on my home computer. Basically the connection is ethernet Broadband cable one, So it was hard to share on any device without this way.

  • Ksignk

    Thanks So much

  • Ksignk

    Thanks So much

  • Jaxxyt

    thank you!! absolutely brilliant!

  • Jaxxyt

    thank you!! absolutely brilliant!

  • Jiowaf

    i successfully connected with the iphone.. but i can’t access to the internet…any idea?

  • Jiowaf

    i successfully connected with the iphone.. but i can’t access to the internet…any idea?

  • Prosa

    So I’ve made a wireless hotspot using the macbook(mountain lion) connected to an ethernet. But neither of my android phones can connect to the wifi hotspot. Its not able to ‘authenticate’ or ‘obtain the ip address’. Why is that? It is really inconvenient not to have htc one x and samsung galaxy note in the room without the internet.. please help..

    • Joseph

      change the channel in “wifi options” to 1.

      • sam

        changing the channel to 1 as Joseph suggested solved this problem for me as well. I don’t know if this is a strict requirement, but if it is, then it’s pretty obnoxious that it isn’t in the article. It took me an hour bashing my head around to sink low enough to go reading user comments…. Typically useless apple documentation. Assume the user is an idiot and explain the really obvious stuff and make not mention or suggestion of common problems and workarounds.

        • Tupring

          Another workaround is not setting a WiFi password.

      • Neeraj Bhauryal

        save my life 🙂

  • Prosa

    So I’ve made a wireless hotspot using the macbook(mountain lion) connected to an ethernet. But neither of my android phones can connect to the wifi hotspot. Its not able to ‘authenticate’ or ‘obtain the ip address’. Why is that? It is really inconvenient not to have htc one x and samsung galaxy note in the room without the internet.. please help..

    • Joseph

      change the channel in “wifi options” to 1.

      • sam

        changing the channel to 1 as Joseph suggested solved this problem for me as well. I don’t know if this is a strict requirement, but if it is, then it’s pretty obnoxious that it isn’t in the article. It took me an hour bashing my head around to sink low enough to go reading user comments…. Typically useless apple documentation. Assume the user is an idiot and explain the really obvious stuff and make not mention or suggestion of common problems and workarounds.

  • Mr WIFI

    ‘i can haz wifi’ too lolz thanks for the help. 🙂

  • Mr WIFI

    ‘i can haz wifi’ too lolz thanks for the help. 🙂

  • :(

    Doesnt work on OSX 10.8.3

    • Tupring

      Working for me, most likely user error. 😉

  • :(

    Doesnt work on OSX 10.8.3

  • dcbernman

    THANKS SO MUCH THIS IS AWESOME AND SOLVES SO MANY OF MY PROBLEMS! *Bows humbly*

  • dcbernman

    THANKS SO MUCH THIS IS AWESOME AND SOLVES SO MANY OF MY PROBLEMS! *Bows humbly*

  • Fer

    you can also share your wi fi connection with an iPhone, if he is USP wired on the mac 🙂

  • Fer

    USB*

  • Fer

    you can also share your wi fi connection with an iPhone, if he is USP wired on the mac 🙂

  • Fer

    USB*

  • a.

    This is the most bs article ever. Obviously going to sharing and enabling internet sharing was the first thing I did when I connected the two computers. Now, the question is — why does that not work and what else could there be to do?

    • tubesurfer

      rude idiot

  • a.

    This is the most bs article ever. Obviously going to sharing and enabling internet sharing was the first thing I did when I connected the two computers. Now, the question is — why does that not work and what else could there be to do?

    • tubesurfer

      rude idiot

  • Manab Kumar Mal

    Connected the connection. But No Internet, when sharing the Worked and active Ethernet Internet connection to Wifi. Please help… Please give me solution to connect to the internet…

  • Manab Kumar Mal

    Connected the connection. But No Internet, when sharing the Worked and active Ethernet Internet connection to Wifi. Please help… Please give me solution to connect to the internet…

  • Rymnd

    Im using a USB stick broadband on macbook, internet is ok. Tried sharing, but my iPhone nor any wifi phones cannot find the macbook hotspot. I even tried entering the name and password on my phone, but still cannot be found. Pls help. Thanks

  • Rymnd

    Im using a USB stick broadband on macbook, internet is ok. Tried sharing, but my iPhone nor any wifi phones cannot find the macbook hotspot. I even tried entering the name and password on my phone, but still cannot be found. Pls help. Thanks

  • Zoltán Ujhelyi

    For those having problems with this connecting, here is some possible solution. After some experimenting with the same issue, I found that enabling OSX Firewall and Internet sharing conflicts with each other: if I turn off firewall, Internet Sharing works as described in the post.

  • Zoltán Ujhelyi

    For those having problems with this connecting, here is some possible solution. After some experimenting with the same issue, I found that enabling OSX Firewall and Internet sharing conflicts with each other: if I turn off firewall, Internet Sharing works as described in the post.

  • peets

    well connected but cant accerss to the internet it says the dns server isnt respondingany solutions

  • peets

    well connected but cant accerss to the internet it says the dns server isnt respondingany solutions

  • guest

    I can’t get internet sharing to work at all – I’ve been at it for days. I’m trying to share the WiFi internet connection with a linux box connected to the thunderbolt/ethernet. The linux box can only see the mac’s IP address and nothing else. Are there diagnostic steps that I could use to figure out what’s wrong?

  • guest

    I can’t get internet sharing to work at all – I’ve been at it for days. I’m trying to share the WiFi internet connection with a linux box connected to the thunderbolt/ethernet. The linux box can only see the mac’s IP address and nothing else. Are there diagnostic steps that I could use to figure out what’s wrong?

  • mitch

    will my Apple USB Ethernet Adapter work beacuse i do not have a ethernet port on my mac

  • mitch

    will my Apple USB Ethernet Adapter work beacuse i do not have a ethernet port on my mac

  • Tim

    All i really want to share my internet for the my ipod, but it doesnt show up help please?

  • Tim

    All i really want to share my internet for the my ipod, but it doesnt show up help please?

  • pravin

    How to monitor devices connected to internet sharing? Is there any way by which we can allow only selected device.I cannot allow users by changing the password , but i cannot change the password due to some constraints.

  • pravin

    How to monitor devices connected to internet sharing? Is there any way by which we can allow only selected device.I cannot allow users by changing the password , but i cannot change the password due to some constraints.

  • doctorindeed

    how can i wirelessly share internet off my macbook pro what is already connected to a wifi network in a college??

  • doctorindeed

    how can i wirelessly share internet off my macbook pro what is already connected to a wifi network in a college??

  • Dyster

    How can I have the Ethernet box access my IPhone’s 3G? I have connected the two using a USB but it isn’t accessing the 3G

  • Dyster

    How can I have the Ethernet box access my IPhone’s 3G? I have connected the two using a USB but it isn’t accessing the 3G

  • Mz

    Many thanks it was really helpful.

  • Mz

    Many thanks it was really helpful.

  • Tenpel

    Thank you. Very helpful!

  • Tenpel

    Thank you. Very helpful!

  • Viktoria

    Hi! I am sort of desperate, and need help with my wifi sharing problem. I hope there is still someone who can answer me on this. When I try to share my internet from my mac, via an ethernet cable (making my mac a hotspot), I get this message up:

    Your Internet connection cannot be shared because it is protected by 802.1X.
    Choose a different network to share or disable Internet Sharing.

    I feel like I have tried everything (firewall is down, etc.). What can I do!?!?

  • Gabriel Golden

    does not work

  • Hitesh Kumar

    Is there any way to share internet permanently? Currently it shares the internet till I am connected to the network. But once I disconnect and re-connect to network. I have to go to sharing again and re-share to make it working. Is there any way to permanently share the internet?

  • sammy

    I’ve made a wireless hotspot using my macbook but the problem is it won’t connect to my samsung galaxy s3 I’ve put it on channel 1 like ppl said but it still won’t work can i have some help pls?