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  1. #1
    Share wifi (not wired) using Macbook (connected to Wifi and want to share wifi)

    I looked on the forum and couldnt see an answer to this yet.

    Firstly I understand already that in the internet sharing I can share a ethernet internet connection.

    BUT I have a wifi only connection in my apartment which allows just 1 user so can only connect 1 macbook/iphone/laptop at a time.


    I wanted to know how I could share my Wifi using my macbook, ie make my macbook a wifi hotspot -noting the it is recieving internet from wifi already.Windows 7 can do this using connectify, so I am sure us Macbook'ers should have a way.

    any ideas or help will be great!



  2. #2
    Share wifi (not wired) using Macbook (connected to Wifi and want to share wifi)
    schweb's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 27, 2002
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Your Mac's Specs
    MacBook Pro | LED Cinema Display | iPhone 4 | iPad 2
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    No you can't. You can only either join a WiFi network or broadcast a WiFi network but you can't do both at the same time.

    You can share the WiFi connection via a LAN cable with another machine.

    Unless there's a 3rd-party hack out there, I'm not so sure you can do what you're looking to do.
    schweb | community leader
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  3. #3

    yes i want to connect with my mac to wifi

    then share this wifi with another laptop or phone

    i have heard if i can get another wireless usb wireless then i could have my inbuilt airport connected to the wifi

    and the external usb can be the one that send the wifi as a hotspot

    do u think that would work

  4. #4
    basically connetify on windows 7 can allow a laptop to connect to a wifi and send this wifi to other computers as a hotspot
    thus 1 wifi login with a laptop connected- that same laptop sends the wifi out as a hotspot

  5. #5
    Share wifi (not wired) using Macbook (connected to Wifi and want to share wifi)
    robduckyworth's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2011
    Reading, UK
    Your Mac's Specs
    15" MBP, 2.5GHz i7, 750GB, 6770M 1GB, iPad 3, iPhone 4, custom PC
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    you can share wifi if you are receiving from ethernet or bluetooth DUN, but not wifi to wifi, as schweb says.
    If you find a post helpful, don't forget to use the reputation system (top right of post.)
    Join us in the IRC! How? Add me on Steam, Origin or PSN (Vita): robduckyworth

  6. #6
    eternity addu

    I am aware i can share a ethernet connection but i dont have an ethernet connection as described above

    cool so i get you cannot share wifi while connected using wifi- ie using 1 adapter as you can do on windows 7 with connectify.

    my following question is thus
    so what if i got another wifi adapter- ie a usb external wifi adapter.

    • so my inbuilt wifi connects to the normal wifi
    • the external usb is used to share the connection

    therefore 2 adapters
    • 1st connected to the wifi
    • 2nd acting as the hotspot sharing the connection

    hence i am connected to wifi and also sharing it as a hotspot to the other devices that need it.

  7. #7
    Lightbulb Share WiFi
    Hi Krishan,

    You cannot share WiFi over WiFi with one computer, but you can with two. All you have to do is connect one computer to your WiFi and share it over bluetooth. Then, connect the second computer to the first one with bluetooth, and use it to share Internet via WiFi from bluetooth. <b>Remember, this only works if you have two computers.</b>


  8. #8
    Question WiFi to Wifi....
    "...You cannot share WiFi over WiFi with one computer...". That seems to be a rather severe limitation of the Mac OS , I'm not sure why Apple did this, or, well, why they haven't changed it yet... because Windows CAN do this.

    Just an FYI... I'm a Mac Newbie... I've only had my MacBook Pro for a couple months now, I'm still getting used to the differences between Windows and Mac OS... so my apologies in advance for anything I may say that sounds, ummm, 'stupid' to a seasoned Mac user... I'm just not there yet.

    Ok... so that said... WiFi to WiFi, ( using one and only one WiFi Card ), is completely possible to do on a Windows box.... heck, I can even do it on my MacBook Pro while boot-camped into Windows... so I know dang well it's not a hardware limitation, as the WiFi card in the Mac completely supports this.

    Sooooo... does anyone know how to get Mac OS X to do this? And if it's not possible, does anyone have any idea why Apple's OS is incapable of this? That seems like a really poor design on Apple's part.

    But then again... ( and really a different topic )... perhaps this sort of oversight may be par for the course for Apple? I mean come on, Mac OS makes creating a simple TXT file a whole lot harder than it should be, ( Windows = right click, new, text file ), why do you have to hunt down the TXT app in Mac? Then there's Remote Desktop Connections. Mac makes that way way too difficult as well... that's something that you just get for free on Windows boxes.... who the heck wants to pay extra for a program to do that on a Mac, or worse, have to use some hokey service "via the cloud" to do a direct RDC to another machine. It kinda baffles me why the Mac die-hards, ( i.e. the Mac Power Users ), put up with that and don't complain to Apple to build it into the OS.

    My apologies for the side rant there... would appreciate any info on the WiFi to WiFi though. Please do feel free to beat me up a little bit if you like... I'm still learning.... just please don't kick me too hard.
    FYI: I'm not an Apple basher, nor a Windows fan-boy either... I like the Mac OS, I like Windows too... they each have there strong suits, and, it really comes down to individual taste as I'm not trying to bad mouth Apple... so far I like the OS... just seems to be some things that should be easier\more intuitive by now.

  9. #9
    Share wifi (not wired) using Macbook (connected to Wifi and want to share wifi)
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Catalina
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    First, Welcome to the Mac Forums!

    No one here is going to beat you up as we don't allow that. You won't need your flame retardant suit. This is not UseNet.

    Many of us are Windows owners and users in addition to owning and using a Mac and many of us have come over from the "dark side". We even have members of our forums who are professional Windows administrators or work in IT.

    OK, now to answer your question: I'm going to provide some links you can browse instead of going thru a long explanation.




    That should give you enough to chew on for awhile. If you need more info on the subject, break out your Google Hat and search.

    Have fun with your new MacBook Pro and if we can answer any more of your questions, feel free to post and ask.

  10. #10
    Thanks, chscag, for the reply and the welcome. :-)

    I've actually seen those links... and also done a fair amount of digging\searching on the subject as well, to which no [good] answer has ever been given. There are A LOT of people\posts all over the web looking to do this very thing... share a WiFi to WiFi connection from the Mac to their Mobiles..... but, nobody ever answers how to do it, or, why this is not possible to do using Mac OS when it's totally able to be done on a machine running Windows.

    Instead, almost everyone heads straight for the default\copout answer of "...a WiFi connection cannot be both in use and shared at the same time...". This statement couldn't be further from the truth, as can be seen using almost any recent version of Windows. From those kinds of statements I can only conclude one of two things... either:
    a.) The folks answering that way have no clue what they're talking about and have obviously never seen it actually working on a machine running Windows, or...
    b.) The Mac OS was never designed to do this, and as such... the Mac OS is just not capable of hosting a WiFi Network while simultaneously using the same WiFi card for its own internet\WiFi usage.

    The only thing any of the links ever show you how to do is configure a WiFi Access Point using a NON-WiFi, ( Ethernet, BlueTooth, etc. ), connection. The very instant anyone points out that wasn't an answer to the original question asked, and could someone please respond with how to create a hosted Wireless network while the machine is actually using the WiFi Card for it's own network... the responses almost immediately come back with "... it's not possible to do that...", which again... is complete rubbish.

    Anyway....all that said... does anyone know how to actually get the Mac OS to host a WiFi Network while simultaneously using the same WiFi Card for it's own network connection? If Windows can do it, especially when boot-camped into Windows on a Macbook, ( meaning the hardware is not the issue ), then why the heck can't the Mac OS do this?

    Thanks again.

  11. #11
    How many more times do you need to be told this doesn't work?

    Here's another one: NO. You can share an LTE/3G connection and create a Wi-Fi hotspot, no problem.
    You can share an Ethernet connection and create a Wi-Fi hotspot. No problem.
    You can't share the Wi-Fi you are using to make a Wi-Fi hotspot because logic. Why would your other devices need to share a Wi-Fi hotspot when they can, themselves, connect to the same Wi-Fi you're using?

  12. #12
    Thanks for the replies everyone, always interesting to see\hear others thoughts... I guess I'll just let this die out though, as the answer is apparently... "because the Mac OS is incapable of doing it."

    It's not that it can't be done... Windows is absolutely able to do this, there's no question what so ever about that, and no way to argue that it can't, because Windows can do this. I believe I've seen threads where Linux users have stated that they've been able to do this as well... which means it boils down to being a limitation of the Mac OS... so I'll just end it at that and stop beleaguering the point, as well as stop bothering everyone with the question.

    Regarding the question of:
    "Why would your other devices need to share a Wi-Fi hotspot when they can, themselves, connect to the same Wi-Fi you're using?"
    I suppose there could be many reasons; some legitimate, and some....questionable.

    One reason is to use the machine's WiFi connection, ( since the Macbook doesn't have an RJ45 port built in ... and why go out and buy a dongle when you have WiFi already built in? ), to create a simple Firewall\Access Point that you can 'hide' your other devices behind when joined to a public network... basically turning it into a simple NAT.

    There are also post on forums where folks are looking to share a hotel's network connection, ( apparently some still charge per device connected... wow, seriously? ), hence, they wish to join one machine via WiFi, and then redistribute the pc hosted network to their family members during their stay. Another reason I've seen a lot people wanting this sort of thing for is to work around their mobile phone carrier's imposed tethering fees. There are a lot of people out there who feel they should either be charged for a tethering plan with X amount of data, which would be the person's choice to do... or, buy a more expensive plan with unlimited data... but, they feel if they do the latter, they should not also be required to pay an additional tethering fee... so those people are doing it for that reason.
    Whether or not those last two reasons are legitimate, ( I can understand both sides point of view ), they are topics of much debate on many forums... but that's for those people to sort out, although the debates \ arguments can be quite interesting to read.

    Anyway... that said, I'll shut up now and stop with the question.
    Thanks again all for the responses, pointers, and tips.... as well as for putting up with me too.

  13. #13
    Hey guys...

    Another relative noob here - I've been (mostly enjoying) using a Mac since 2007 but am by no means technical. I just thought I would bring this post back to life to see if there is, as yet, a solution to BarryT's perfectly reasonable request. Can we simultaneously connect to and share WiFi from one card or is the OS still limited in this way?

    In response to chas_m's reply, is the fact that this post exists (alongside many others like it on the Internet) not demonstration of precisely why the WiFi to WiFi question needs answering.

    In my case it is simply to act as a booster - my partner wants to work outside and enjoy the weather but the WiFi doesn't reach there from the router (probably because of a rogue wall. I wanted to facilitate her working in her place of choice by, in effect, repeating the signal for her from a place where I have strong signal and clear line-of-sight to her laptop.

    It seems a shame that I'd have to install Windows on my Macbook (or, perhaps, spend my Easter holiday knocking down and moving the offending wall ) in order to use this seemingly basic functionality, of which the hardware is demonstrably capable.

    Seems a quick win to me... maybe this is classic Apple holding back features to justify yet another upgrade? Either way, I look forward to Apple sorting this one.

  14. #14
    Real world example of why this is needed
    I was in Europe in July of 2015 at a Marriott Renaissance. I paid for the wifi service. During a business meeting, several attendees who were not staying at the Renaissance needed wifi access, so I gave them my room number and name. They all connected just fine.

    When I got back to my room, I tried to connect my iPad. I got an error message saying that I already had 6 connected devices and that no more connections were permitted. I hit the 6 device limit because of the logins by the meeting attendees.

    My wife had yet to check in and I knew she would need wifi for her notebook. No problem, I thought, I'll just turn on Internet Sharing on my MacBook Pro and she can share my connection. My room did not have an Ethernet connection, so I was out of luck unless I wanted to use a Bluetooth PAN or a Thunderbolt Bridge. (Good luck to anyone who wants to struggle with the Bluetooth PAN. My iPad connected via Bluetooth PAN, my iPhone 6 would not)

    To reset my connections from 6 to zero, the front desk clerk had to call iBahn (the wifi provider), iBahn had to call me in my room (which required that I wait in the room) to get the MAC address from my Pro, etc, etc. I was just fortunate that this all worked and everyone in the loop was savy enough to get the job done.

    It would have been much, much easier if I could have simply shared my wifi connection to the hotel as a wifi connection from my Pro. I.e. the exact setup OS X allows if I had an Ethernet connection to the hotel.

    The lingering question I have is whether I can simply setup a USB wifi adapter as the simple solution to this. I.e. use the USB wifi adapter to connect to the hotel's internet then use the Pro's built in wifi adapter to share the internet connection with other devices. Some responses on the net say "No." Others say "Yes." This is further compounded by some adapter manufacturers stating that their adapters will not support an "Ad Hoc" network on a Mac. I don't know if the Ad Hoc issue is even relevant to my desire to share a wifi connection just like I can use my Pro's wifi adapter to share the internet if I use an Ethernet connection to the hotel internet.

    Hopefully people are still on this and can weigh in.

  15. #15
    The correct answer is no. You can't share Wi-Fi to another Wi-Fi network using the Mac as the repeater.

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