How to Connect Your iDevice to Your Mac’s Internet Connection Without a Wifi Router

When I were in college just a few short years ago, we had two options for getting online: the building-wide wifi, and our in-room ethernet. The building-wide wifi was slow and laggy, since the majority of residents defaulted to using this network. Adding to that, we weren’t allowed to have routers in our rooms. While this was inconvenient, there is, of course, a way around everything. And in finding this solution, we found a pretty cool way to do some other things too. That said, here’s how you, too, can share your Mac’s Internet connection with your handheld devices quickly, easily, and most importantly, wirelessly.

Creating the network

Apple makes it surprisingly easy to create a quick wireless network. The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you’ve got Wifi enabled. Even if you’re used to connecting to the internet over ethernet, or hard-wired, you’ll need Wifi enabled in order to create the network. To enable Wifi, or check if it is enabled, just click the Wifi icon in the top right corner of your screen (pictured below, left,) and make sure it says “Airport: On“. If it’s already on, perfect! If not, click it to turn it on. Then, click that same icon, and near the bottom of the menu, choose “Create Network…”  like pictured below, right.

osx-Wifi-icon-and-menu

You’ll be greeted with the following window:

osx-create-network

Leaving the channel as automatic will generally work fine, but depending on how long you plan on leaving the network active, you may want to set a password. If you do click “Require Password“, the dialog box will expand, and all you need to to is enter the password of your choice for the network, along with the type of security. Both are WEP, and so for the most part the default is fine.  (If only setting up most Wifi networks were this easy!) Security enabled or not, this is pretty standard, and when you’re finished, just clicking “OK” will set up everything up for you.

Connecting to the network

To be sure your network is now active, you can visually check where your Wifi icon used to be in the Menu bar, as it should now be replaced with the Ad-Hoc network icon, which looks like this:

osx-adhocnetwork-icon

Seeing this icon means you’ve successfully created your network. You can click on it, and you should see under Devices, the name you assigned to the network when you created it.

Now this may be the best part of this whole process. To connect your wireless device, be it an iDevice, Android smartphone, blackberry, or netbook, you don’t need to do anything different than you would with a normal Wifi network, be it heading over to your iPhone/iPad/iPod’s settings screen, hitting Wifi, and selecting your network, or just going to your Windows taskbar and selecting your Wifi network through the contextual menu. All you need to do is sign on to the network, and you’ll be on the internet, by way of your computer!

Additional Uses

Now that you’re on a network with your computer, you can use it in ways aside from browsing the internet as well. On iDevices, you can use your device as an iTunes remote with the Remote app. You can also sync apps with the cloud that you normally couldn’t.

Have another creative use for this, or want to know if it can be used for something specific? Hit up the comments!