How To Use a Mac as a Hotspot

Running a hotspot means sharing the Internet connection of one device with one or more other devices. In practice, this involves running a Wi-Fi network on the device with Internet access and all other devices will then connect to it and thus reach the Internet as well. There are some limitations that must be taken into account, though. 

For example, if the Mac running the hotspot is using Wi-Fi already to connect to the Net, the other devices must use other means to access the hotspot. These may include Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, Thunderbolt, etc. Another important factor is that the hotspot Mac must be running macOS Lion or later. Having in mind that macOS Lion was released over a decade ago, this should be a problem nowadays. 

Creating A Hotspot on a Mac

  1. Go to the Apple menu.
  2. Select 'System Preferences.'
  3. Select the 'Sharing' pane.
  4. Locate and select 'Internet Sharing.'
  5. Use the dropdown menu of the 'Share your connection from' feature to select the appropriate option. If your Mac is connected to the router with an Ethernet cable select 'Ethernet Adapter.'
  6. Now, set up the 'to computers using' setting by checking the box corresponding to the connection types you wish to enable. As the Mac in this example is connected to the net via Ethernet, we can allow other devices to access it via Wi-Fi.
  7. Click on the 'Wi-Fi options' button and enter a name and password for the hotspot network.
  8.  Click 'Ok.'
  9. Check the box next to 'Internet Sharing.'
  10. All that is left is to press 'Start.'

The hotspot is now running. If you chose Wi-Fi as in the example, other devices can connect by selecting the network and entering the correct password. If instead, you allowed Bluetooth connections, then, naturally go to the Bluetooth settings. For tethered methods such as USB or Ethernet, you will need to use the appropriate cable and directly connect the device to the Mac.

Stopping The Hotspot

  1. Go to the Apple menu.
  2. Select 'System Preferences.'
  3. Select the 'Sharing' pane.
  4. Locate 'Internet Sharing' and uncheck its box.