Eric D. Schabell: Turning your macbook into a router

Monday, March 24, 2008

Turning your macbook into a router

Maybe there are more of you out there that have had some reason to need a home network that would work through your macbook, so here is my solution for creating your own home network through your macbook.

I recently moved, had problems with ISP's not delivering on their promises so that I was left with out an Internet connection. I was able to sort out a wireless connection through one of my new neighbors, so that was solved, but what about the rest of my network here at home? Since the macbook comes with a wireless connection and an ethernet port I see no reason not to use it as a temporary router until some ISP can hook up my house.

Once you have a connection over the wireless card on your macbook, you will need to adjust the System Preferences to allow your wired home network to connect over your macbook's ethernet connection as follows:

System Preferences -> Sharing -> Internet (tab) | Firewall (tab) | Services (tab)

Internet: within this tab you need to select the route you wish to share in your home network, in my case it is the wired Ethernet card so I chose Built-in Ethernet.

Firewall: within this tab you can select the ports or services you wish to allow through your macbook's firewall; I selected only Network Time and Remote Login - SSH.

within this tab you set the services you wish to activate on your macbook, up to you what you want to open up here.

I stopped and started the Internet and Firewall services with the provided buttons and as long as the macbook is on, connected through both the wireless and wired Ethernet connections you should have a working home network.

Should you have any problems, try turning off the firewall as a test to whether the home network works at all. Most problems come from a firewall settings being too strict (no, I am not advocating dropping the use of a firewall, just simplifying your testing for you...).