How to turn your Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices

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How to turn a Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspot
A handy feature you may not have known about.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

When only wired internet access is available, turn your Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows wireless devices — like iPhone, iPad, and more — to share its network connection. It’s quick to set up and works brilliantly.

Here’s how to get started.

It’s not uncommon to find yourself in an office, coffee shop, or hotel that offers poor Wi-FI coverage — or none at all. Some hotels also charge you a fee for every single device that you want to connect to the internet.

But you don’t have to suffer these restrictions if you have a Mac. You can plug your machine into Ethernet instead, which gives you faster and more reliable speeds, then share that connection wirelessly with other devices.

Configure an internet-sharing network in macOS

To get started, you’ll need to turn your Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences and click Sharing.
  2. Click the Internet Sharing option.
  3. Check Wi-Fi in the list of sharing options.
  4. Click the Wi-Fi Options… button.
  5. Give your network a name and password, then click OK.
  6. Check the Internet Sharing option.
  7. Click Start when prompted.

You should now be able to connect to your new Wi-Fi network from other devices. And because your Mac acts like any other Wi-Fi network, it doesn’t just work for iPhone and iPad, but anything that uses Wi-Fi.

Before you turn your Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspot, note that some hotels and other businesses strictly prohibit this behavior in their internet terms of service. So, check that you’re not going to get into trouble before doing it.