How To: Turn Your Mac Into an Airport

Is your Airport not working? Hell, do you even have an Airport? If you are in one of those catagories, then worry not, cause you can still share your internet connection with other computers in your household wirelessly, just turn one of your Mac’s into an Airport! Let’s do this together shall we?

You will need: a Mac with an ethernet port and an Airport card, running Mac OS X.

Step 1: Plug in the ethernet cable of your broadband/modem/whatever to the Mac you wish to use as an Airport. Once that is done, you’re connected to the internet automatically, no configuration needed (thank you Mac OS X :P).

Step 2: Now we need to set that Mac up so that it shares the internet connection with the rest of the computers. To do so, open System Prefences, and click on Sharing pane under the Internet & Network catagory.

Step 3: On the Sharing pane, click on the Internet tab. Go to Share your internet connection from: and select Airport. Now click, Start for internet sharing!

Step 4: Now you’re good to go! Your Airport status menu item should have an arrow on it, symbolizing the signal your Mac is sending out. Now go on your other Mac and connect to the internet via your Aiport Mac 😀

This should work fine, just make sure you keep your Airport Mac on at all times, or you won’t recieve a signal from it. Screenshots from macapper.com I was too lazy to take my own, besides, they were good ones 🙂

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30 comments

  1. Dr. Tim Martin · September 11, 2007

    If I do this, how can I prevent my neighbors from accessing my connection? Can I set up a drop down password window?

  2. Paul · September 12, 2007

    Yes you can! And I apologize about my late respone, I started school two days ago, and IB is already owning me 😀

    At System Preferences, in the same preference pane you’re using to set up the Airport Mac, the Sharing pane, click on the internet tab and you will see a button saying ‘Airport Options’ (seen at the screenshot) this allows you to set up various security options, including password protection.

    No neighbors will be stealing from you!

  3. The OS2Guy · September 13, 2007

    Thank you soooo much! The additional security access information is most excellent!

    Dr. Tim Martin

  4. The OS2Guy · September 13, 2007

    Ok. Tried it. The general instructions are correct although I had to select a “port” (Built-in Ethernet 1) before the Start button would function. I found the “Airport Options” button greyed out and no matter what I selected, it remained greyed out.

    This is a Mac Pro wiith a Comcast broadband cable connection and I’m trying to give WiFi sharing to my MacBook across the room. When I hit the Airport icon on the MacBook I see nothing listed that would allow me to connect to my machine.

    What am I looking for? Are you sure this works?

  5. Paul · September 13, 2007

    The airport was grayed out? Well, if I’m correct, not all Mac Pro’s are equipped with an airport card, it’s an option you must pay for. Are you sure you have it equipped?

  6. Vidd · September 13, 2007

    I wondered about this a while ago.
    Great feature. 🙂

  7. The OS2Guy · September 14, 2007

    Hey, this puppy better have one 3.0Ghz, 1Terybyte HD, 8Gig RAM… lessee here, a look at my system stats reports:

    AirPort Card Information:

    Wireless Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x87)
    Wireless Card Locale: USA
    Wireless Card Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (4.80.79.1)
    Current Wireless Network: AirPort is currently turned off

    Take a look at yours and see if we match. I should be up-to-date. Maybe we can figure this out. 🙂

    Thanks for helping.

  8. Paul · September 14, 2007

    1) Might I say that I am extremely jealous of your computer. Do not let me see you in real life, as I will be forced to kill you and take your computer 😀

    2) I still can’t get over it….8 Gig RAM….jesus

    3) I am most confuzzeled with your situation…So I took my dad’s MacBook and expiremented with it along with my iMac. I didn’t hook the laptop to the internet, I just wanted to see if I could get a signal with built-in ethernet, and it worked!

    So try sharing your connection from built-in ethernet to computers using Airport. The start button should no longer be grayed out. Let me know how this works, and if something goes wrong, try creating the network with your MacBook, just to be sure that it’s not your Mac Pro which isn’t working.

  9. The OS2Guy · September 18, 2007

    Alright Paul! It works and with password! Most excellent instructions and that you so much for hanging in there and helping to solve the problems.

    I have it set and running now and very impressed!

  10. The OS2Guy · September 18, 2007

    Sorry, I should have read that closer before posting. I mean a big THANK YOU! 🙂

  11. Paul · September 18, 2007

    Awesome! Glad to hear it’s working, if you have any problems concerning your Mac, don’t hesitate to let me know, and I’ll see what I can do 🙂

    Cheers

    • Chato · December 11, 2009

      Hey Paul. I have a Mac OS X 10.4.11 running a PowerPC G5 and I’m also trying to create a wireless network with my Mac. When I go to “Sharing” in System Preferences and click on the Internet tab, there is no “Airport” option and the “Airport Options…” button is greyed out. I don’t know if it is because my computer is too old or I need some extra hardware. I just want to connect my iPod to the internet but I don’t have a wireless router. Any help would be great!

  12. The OS2Guy · September 20, 2007

    Hey Paul, I’m back again. Even tho’ my MacBook acknowledges the WiFi signal from my Mac Pro, I’m still unable to access the ‘Net. I don’t understand it because the drop down menu lists my network, I select it and it asks for my password. I put it in and the Airport icon lights up indicating I’m connected. I check the Internet Connect screen and it shows the signal is strong – yet I can’t get on the ‘Net, no web pages, no cam, nada.

    Any idea what may be happening or not happening?

  13. The OS2Guy · September 20, 2007

    Dude – I am so sorry. My error. I took a look at your instructions and went to the “Sharing” icon. There I found I had Ethernet1 was checked when I had set it up for Ethernet2. Duh…

    I switched it over and like the gem it is, the BlackBook gave me a web page el pronto! Web cam works great so now I can monitor when I’m away.

    Kudos to you for taking the time to help the nurds of this world!! 🙂

  14. Paul · September 20, 2007

    😀

  15. julie · September 22, 2007

    Just got the Iphone:-) When I am at home it gives me a choice of Wi-Fi Networks to connect to. My airport comes up, but it requests my password. I don’t remember what it is. Can I find this on my computer somewhere?? thanks

  16. Paul · September 22, 2007

    1) Congrats to you, I am amazingly jealous of you right now.

    2) I’m not sure if you find the password, but I’ll see if I can find a way for you to set some master password which works on anything. I’ll email you the solution. If you don’t feel like waiting, then what I would do is simply create a new network. Give it the same settings and give it a password you’ll remember 😉

  17. JC · December 4, 2007

    Paul,
    I kind of accidentally set my AirPort Extreme (inside iMac) to Sharing and now I cannot turn it off! I just want to use the AirPort to access my existing wireless network I have on my PC. Help!

  18. Paul · December 5, 2007

    Why can’t you turn it off? What is it showing you when you try to turn it off?

  19. Darwin Jr. · December 27, 2007

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!!! All of the other sites I’ve seen with directions have not worked.

  20. Paul · December 28, 2007

    Glad this is working for you 🙂

  21. AH64 Driver · February 11, 2008

    I have configured my iMac as a router, but in the network prefs Status is ON, but it says that the Airport has a self-assigned IP address and may not be able to connect to the internet. Is there a way to fix this. My Apple TV says I am connected, it shows a strong signal, but the two do not talk to eachother?

  22. EoinF2 · February 27, 2008

    Is is possible to hide the airport signal from aUtomatic detection? So that you have to know the name of the connection and passwod.

  23. Weja · March 14, 2008

    I am trying to connect to a wireless router and i dont understand what I need to do to allow the router to recognize my laptop (Mac Powerbook G4, version OSX 10.3.9) .. any hints?!
    A friend asked me to check if I have an Airport card, and I guess I do have an AirPort card installed , because before I had no problem in connecting wirelessly at the office and in my friend’s house?!! Lately I noticed that I don’t see the AirPort icon in the toolbar and when I went back to the Network Port Configurations, the airport checkbox wasnt selected and the weird thing is that I cant even select it? I have no idea why?! I can select and unselect the rest of my network ports (internal modem, bluetooth, etc ) but not the Airport icon!!!! I’m so confused, it was working fine before !? Why I cant select the checkbox?! HELP ME

  24. c0n0r · August 29, 2008

    sorry but it didnt work after my annoying dad stuffed it up can you help ???? PLZ!!

  25. Dave · September 11, 2008

    What version of OSX are you using? This is the second tutorial I’ve seen explaining how to transmit a wireless signal from a mac with an airport card, but I’m using OS X 10.4.11, and when I go to ‘System preferences -> Sharing -> Internet’ and select ‘Share your connection from Airport’, the option for transmitting to Airport disappears from the list under ‘to computers using:’. Some posts have implied that Apple cracked down on this in later versions of OSX, so is that what’s going on with me, or am I missing something else? Thanks!

  26. amplifiedcreations · September 26, 2008

    Every time I turn my computer off and then turn it back on the connection still says Ethernet is shared but it is not, so I turn sharing off and then back on again and it works again, anyway to fix this? Thanks for yout time.

  27. Marine Paint · November 22, 2010

    wireless routers are very necessary nowadays because we do not want so many wires running around the home *,-

  28. Jake · February 6, 2012

    Would you be able to pick up the wifi signal on your iPhone? Or is it just for sharing internet between computers?

  29. Juliane · May 21, 2013

    hey paul!
    uve been helping lots of ppl, so i was wondering if u could help me!
    i have a imac os x 10.4.11, and im trying to connect it to the airport, but it’s not giving me the option.
    wat do i do???

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