Friday, April 04, 2008

Internet Sharing: Mac to Windows

Sharing an Internet connection from your Mac is trivially easy:

  • Open System Preferences
  • Choose Sharing
  • Tick the Internet Sharing checkbox

Typically I share out my wired Ethernet connection over wireless (Airport in Mac parlance).


You'll need to configure the Network Name (the SSID) and the encryption settings. Unfortunately WPA is not yet supported so your best bet is 128 bit WEP. You'll also need to choose a 13-character password if you want Windows computers to share your network (if you're network only has Mac's then feel free to choose any length password).


Connecting any Mac to this network is trivial. Simply turn on AirPort, browse to the network and enter the password.

Unfortunately, from a Windows PC it isn't quite so obvious - you can't just auto-detect the network and enter the password. You'll need to perform the following steps:

  • Open Control Panel, Network Connections and click on Wireless Connections
  • Add a new wifi network
  • Enter the Network Name that you created on the Mac - it must match exactly
  • Set the Network Authentication to Shared
  • Set the Data Encryption to WEP
  • Uncheck "The Key is Provided Automatically" and enter the 13-character password that you chose earlier

You should now find that the Windows PC can connect to the network.

If you're using a wifi manager other than the standard Windows functionality then you may need to experiment on the various settings. One manager I had to configure wouldn't work until I chose Enterprise as a network type.

I'll try and get some Windows screenshots soon (my VM doesn't have a wireless connection).

Hope that helps someone!


Daddy said...

my WinXP recognized that there is this Network, i did exactly the same steps. But i cannot connect to the internet?
What have i done wrong?

Anonymous said...

Cheers for the tips mate! Worked a treat :)

alfie said...

hi,,, does wep 40 isnt compatible with windows? ive tried using it with windows and i was able to detect and connect thru it, but the problem is, the connection was limited, so even if am connected, i still cant browse the net with windows,,,

Anonymous said...

You my friend, are a legend. May I add that I had to switch to classic mode in XP to find what I needed.

Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Tnx u so much! I was strugling so badly to fix this, but now I have wireless on my mini laptop (Win 7) and ethernet on mine beloved iMac !!!

grtz from holland