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How do I turn my MacBook into a Wi-Fi hotspot?

Turn MacBook into a Wi-Fi hotspot
Spread the Wi-Fi wealth

I recently wrote about how to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot and get online with a laptop, but you can also do it the other way round. If you have an Ethernet cable, you can share your Apple laptop’s internet connection with nearby devices. Here’s how to turn your MacBook into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

To turn your MacBook into a sort of Wi-Fi “router”, you’ll need a bit of kit. The first is a normal Ethernet cable, which are easy to come by (most internet service providers, such as BT, chuck one in the box for free).

However, as MacBooks don’t have an Ethernet port, you’ll need either a Thunderbolt or USB-C to Ethernet converter. The official Apple option is £29, but, as ever, you can pick up decent third-party adapters for a lot less on Amazon.

For instance, this £12 adapter is Amazon’s choice for MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

USB-C Ethernet adapter for MacBooks
You’ll need an Ethernet adapter, as shown above, and an Ethernet cable

Once your MacBook has a wired internet connection, it’s time to begin sharing…

How to turn your MacBook into a Wi-Fi hotspot

Open your MacBook and head to System Preferences by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner. Select the second option from the list. When the window appears, click on Sharing in the third row.

MacBook System Preferences

Select Internet Sharing from the left-hand list and the following page will appear…

Internet sharing on Apple MacBook

Click on the box next to “Share your connection from” (it says iPhone USB in the screenshot above).

Select Ethernet from the dropdown list, then toggle the tickbox next to Wi-Fi (see below). Now, click on the “Wi-Fi Options…” button.

MacBook Wi-Fi hotspot

This is where you configure the security of your hotspot. Click the box next to Security and select “WPA Personal”. This will generate two password fields.

Your colleagues/friends/family will use the password to connect to your hotspot, but make sure it’s complex. You can never be too careful. Once you’ve tapped it in twice, click OK.

This will bring you back to the Sharing page, where you should toggle the tickbox next to Internet Sharing in the left-hand menu to switch on the hotspot. Read the warning below and press Start.

Confirmation box on MacBook Internet Sharing

The little dot next to “Internet Sharing” will turn green, confirming that the process is finished.

Internet Sharing on

Now other people can select your hotspot from the list of available Wi-Fi networks on their devices, enter the password you set earlier and get started. Sit back and bathe in your own generosity.

READ NEXT: How can I use public Wi-Fi safely?

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Max Figgett

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