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Use one wireless Mac as an internet access point Network
Reading Ben Hammersley's Weblog, I found the following tip for sharing Internet: In answer to the long held question, can a TiBook with one Wifi card act as a repeater and relay access to everyone else in the room without them having to pay, the answer it turns out is yes. How do we do this? Well, first turn off the built-in Apache installation on the OSX machine that is online. Edit httpd.conf to load mod_proxy (there are about 20 or so lines to uncomment). Turn Apache back on. Go to network prefs, and find out your assigned IP address. Write it on a piece of paper, and pass it around the room, telling them to set it as their web proxy. For those non-UNIX Geeks out there, here is a slightly more detailed guide:
  1. "Turn off the built-in Apache installation on the OS X machine" -- you can do so with the System Preferences -> Sharing [Services tab] -> Personal Web Sharing check box -- make sure it's unchecked.

  2. "Edit httpd.conf to load mod_proxy (there are about 20 or so lines to uncomment)" -- to do so, first make a backup of your old httpd.conf file by entering the following command (one line!) in your (in Application -> Utilities):
    sudo mv /private/etc/httpd/httpd.conf /private/etc/httpd/httpd.conf.bak
    Now edit the file with the following command:
    sudo pico /private/etc/httpd/httpd.conf
    Uncomment lines by removing the # sign; the 20 or so lines you want to uncomment are very close to the bottom of the file.

  3. "Turn Apache back on" -- Just like step 1, but check the box this time.
Now just follow the "write down your IP address" step from Ben's instructions, and you're done...
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Use one wireless Mac as an internet access point
Authored by: sapporo on Jan 05, '04 10:31:27AM

Unless I'm missing something, you should probably use cp instead of mv to make a backup of the apache config file.

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Alert! Danger
Authored by: jesboat on Jan 05, '04 04:33:56PM
Definetly. What you want to do is cp the config file, not mv it. The syntax is the same, just type cp in stead of mv.

Robg, you might want to update the article; this could cause some trouble for those not so UNIX-ey people out there might not know how to move/copy the file back.


With no walls or fences on the 'net, who needs Windows or Gates?

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Use one wireless Mac as an internet access point
Authored by: Graff on Jan 05, '04 10:53:20AM

This is actually not turning the Mac into a repeater, but is rather turning it into a proxy server. So the internet connections is not shared out per se, but rather this is a means of circumventing a paid service or corporate firewall. Proxy servers do have very legitimate uses but the original hint is not using it in any of those ways.

When you are part of a network which requires you to register for web access that network will divert your normal internet access to their own server. Some examples of this are a corporate firewall or at a Starbucks when you need to pay for access.

What this hint does is it takes a verified computer (say, one who's owner has paid for access) and sets it up so it makes the requests for you. This computer then downloads the web page and re-serves it to you. There are many valid uses for a proxy server such as this, but the original hint referenced was so that a group of people could get around needing to pay for access. By using this hint only 1 person would need to pay for access, the rest could get a free ride and not have to pay.

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Use one wireless Mac as an internet access point
Authored by: paulehoffman on Jan 05, '04 11:11:46AM

The title on this one is confusing. To use one wireless Mac as an internet access point, simply connect that Mac to the Internet, go to Sharing in the System Preferences, go to the Internet tab, and turn on "Internet Sharing". In my case, I use it to network an iBook with a broken modem over a dial-in ISP by having a different Mac in the room dial in, and then I link to it over WiFi. (Thanks to Cory via Doc for this tip, which I believe many other folks know.)

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Use one wireless Mac as an internet access point
Authored by: StarManta on Jan 05, '04 11:37:38AM

The topic isn't quite what the hint actually is; it's more of a repeater/proxy server than an access point.
Anyway, Please be considerate if you use this hint. My school's network once got flooded (disabling about half of its legit users) because someone set up a repeater like this.

Also, another (more legal) purpose for this hint would be to extend the range of a wireless access point.

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Use one wireless Mac as an internet access point
Authored by: joshuajestelle on Jan 05, '04 12:14:39PM

It seems to me that you just want to share your internet connection from your Mac, if that's the case, why not use:

System Preferences -> Sharing -> Internet

and turn on Internet sharing?


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missing the point....
Authored by: dancingram on Jan 05, '04 01:02:48PM

When doing what you've suggested and using the System Prefs to share your internet connection you can't share on the same connection that you're bringing information in on.

For example, if you were connected via Airport, and you wanted to share your Airport internet connection with others (for any particular reason) you couldn't use the System Preferences 'Share Internet Connection'.

That preference pane only allows you to take from one and provide the connection to another type. Such as take an Ethernet or Modem Internet connection and provide it to others in the area via Airport.

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missing the point....
Authored by: Treuf on Jan 06, '04 07:01:36AM

And what about sharing an airport connection via ethernet ?
I tried that a while ago but I didn't got it to work ...
The connexion I was trying to share was already nated ( private network) - , the ethernet interface was set to from what I remember.

Maybe I need to retry :p

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missing the point.... (CAN be done!!)
Authored by: webbix on Dec 01, '04 01:49:22PM

definitely can be done with TiBook/Powerbook with internal wifi and using wifi in card slot. I used a prefPane called SunSheild that basically allows you so set up your powerbook as a router with NAT (including ipfw rules)

I used an Orinoco/Agere Gold card in the slot with IOXpert driver.

I have a question though, I just got a Buffalo AirStation 802.11g card that works with native airport software. My problem is that I can not figure out how to either disable the Airport (not the Airport Extreme of the Aluminum) or allow both to coexist. It generates multiple instances of Airport card in the port configurations. I can get it to work but I can also break networking as it tries to use one or the other. I tried renaming Airport1 and Airport2 but still had some issues.

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Use one wireless Mac as an internet access point
Authored by: ars on Jan 05, '04 01:22:37PM

Hm. I submitted essentially this exact same hint about three weeks ago, but it did not get published. I did not follow up on it, because I discovered that it was covered in depth on macslash:
As pointed above, it is really more about setting up a proxyserver, than about sharing internet access. The proxy access can be set up for legitimate and illegimate (to avoid paying for multiple access) uses.

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Thank you!
Authored by: nyarlathotep on Jan 09, '04 11:15:58AM

Wow! Thank you! I had no idea that systems connected to an unregestered wireless access point could talk to one another even when the wireless access point is denying them acess to the outside.

Of course, there are two big problems with this hint, at least as presented:

1) Your not truely sharing your internet access this way, just your web access. You should really be using ssh and pppd or maybe SOCKS instead of creating a web proxy. That way you will get real internet access. You can also get real internet access by just using the old fashioned way of turnning on internet sharing and putting a cable betweeen your two computers. All the methods I describe have the advantage that they are "transiant" and do not require you to fix your appache server settins when done.

2) Under your system you can not provide a free ride to people who do not know you, i.e. they need to know about the web proxy settings. This is not really easily correctable, but I can make the following suggestion: If you have a specific person who you want to do internet sharing with, use Apple's way of doing it, i.e. just run a cable between your systems, but instead of just using internet sharing on your system (wireless->ethernet), also do internet sharing on their system (ehternet->wireless). That way other people who do not have free access will get free access without even knowing what they are doing.

As ffor this hint being somehow "wrong," please, what a load of %$#^%$#. Wireless access costs nothing to provide and when they charge for it they charge truely insane rates. If a Mac owning friend and I happen to be suffering long enough delays in the airport that we feel the need to have access at their insane rates, I'm damn sure going to share those unreasonable rates and if I have a cable I'm going open up their wireless network to everyone else who is delayed.. in fact I'll probably call the neww network "FREEFOOD" or something.

Don't even get me started on that T-mobile stupidity at Starbucks. Of coursee, I hated Starbucks any way (a few nasty practices regarding emploies), so the whole T-mobile thing is really wonderful, because if means tons of people will go to other coffee houses (since basically every other coffee house has free wireless).

Now if you want to find a "wrong" use for this hint, you should notice that you could also use this idea to hack into Starbucks customers computers without paying for access at Starbucks. :) It also might mean that MS-Blaster would spread from an infected windows computer to the other patrons without the infected user buying access (though I don't really know enough about MS-Blaster to say for sure).

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