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How to Create a Wi Fi Hotspot in macOS

The important thing to remember is that the incoming connection and the outgoing connection must be different. You can visualize your Mac as a Wi-Fi router. The router needs to get Wi-Fi from Ethernet so it can broadcast it on Wi-Fi. It can’t “absorb” a Wi-Fi connection and then re-broadcast it. If your Mac is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, you can’t share that Internet over the same Wi-Fi connector. The connection method can only do input or output, but not both.

Also, don’t forget that you’re basically inviting any connected device into your host computer. If you have file sharing turned on, those files will definitely be exposed to the connected devices. The other sharing settings will do the same. This is fine when it’s just your devices, but you don’t want some random poking around in your things. So be sure to set a strong password and enable WPA2 security.

1. Open System Preferences and click on the “Sharing” pane.

create-wi-fi-hotspot-macos-sharing-pane

2. Click on “Internet Sharing” in the pane on the left. Don’t click the checkbox yet.

create-wi-fi-hotspot-macos-internet-sharing

3. Click the dropdown to select the incoming connection method. This is the connection that your Mac will convert to your outgoing connection in the next step.

create-wi-fi-hotspot-macos-share-connection-menu

4. Select the way you want to share your internet. The most common connection method will certainly be Wi-Fi, found at the bottom.

create-wi-fi-hotspot-macos-share-with-wi-fi

5. Click “Wi-Fi Options” below and set the name, channel and security for your network. Do yourself a favor: be sure to override the default “no security” setting.

create-wi-fi-hotspot-macos-wi-fi-options

create-wi-fi-hotspot-macos-wi-fi-options-settings-pane

6. Finally, click the checkbox next to “Internet Sharing” to turn it on.

create-wi-fi-hotspot-macos-turn-on-internet-sharing

This will pop up a confirmation dialog warning you that this will make the outgoing connection mode unusable for your Mac. In this case, that means our Wi-Fi connection will become unusable by our host Mac. It will be busy broadcasting the internet connection from our Ethernet jack.

create-wi-fi-hotspot-macos-confirmation-dialog

Click “Start” when you’re ready to share your connection.

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