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Share a DSL internet connection over FireWire Network
I have two machines, one connected to the net via DSL, the second connected to first via FireWire. The question is how to get Internet access on the second machine? Apple claims it's possible, but does not provide any setup instructions. So here's a solution that worked for me.

Machine A:

Tiger. Connected to Verizon DSL modem. Ethernet is first item in Network prefs, FireWire is second.

Ethernet port: DHCP with manual address. IP set to something in router range, that is, given router IP of, set the IP address to 192.168.1.x, where x is anything between 2 and 255.

FireWire port: DHCP with manual address, and IP address to a different network. For example (the last digit must be 1). Now enable Personal File Sharing and Internet Sharing. In Safari, connect to your router i.e. You will see your DSL modem setup screen. Note your primary and secondary DNS IP numbers. That should be somewhere on the Status page or something similar.

Machine B:

Not connected to modem. FireWire is the only network port in Network prefs. Set it to DHCP. Apply. Note IP router number that machine B will select automatically. If different than IP FireWire port address on machine A, go to machine A and set its FireWire IP to router IP on machine B.

Enter primary and secondary DNS IPs that you obtained from your modem above in "DNS Servers" field, one per line. Enable Personal File sharing.

Both machines will have access to internet and be able to mount each other for file sharing. It is possible to have a FireWire camera or disk connected at the same time to the other FireWire port, and everything works fine -- but slowly.
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Unnecessarily complicated?
Authored by: friedmaj on Jan 27, '06 06:38:15AM

I believe this is hint is more complicated than it needs to be. The machine which is connected to the router doesn't have to have a fixed IP address, unless there is some other reason not mentioned. It should be able to use a DHCP assigned address from the router, saving the user the trouble of keeping track of router IP's, etc.

All that is necessary is to turn on Internet Sharing (via Firewire) on machine A, connect it to machine B via Firewire, and to configure machine B to connect to the network via Firewire using DHCP.

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Unnecessarily complicated?
Authored by: reiggin on Jan 27, '06 10:23:42AM

Yeah, what he said. The original hint is WAY too complicated. I've been doing this with our iBook for a couple of years now. Nothing more than Internet Sharing is needed.

The same thing works with Airport, FireWire, and Ethernet.

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Unnecessarily complicated?
Authored by: burro on Feb 02, '06 12:14:48AM

Maybe, although I doubt it, the procedure described by friedmaj NEVER worked for me. His scheme makes both machines visible to each other as servers but no access to internet from B is possible. Apple documentation is totally unhelpful, posting in Apple fora where this subject appears with some regularity is useless, I know I tried a number of times. And don't even try to talk to Apple's help people about it. May I suggest to those who post - "this or that" oughta work that they should first test their ideas on real machines before posting.

(in the interest of full disclosure -- the only shortcoming of this setup is that you have to use your manually assigned IP numbers when connecting them as servers, there are no machine names in this scheme.)

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Unnecessarily complicated?
Authored by: friedmaj on Feb 02, '06 02:33:16AM

I've done it many times, as have others who have commented.

Perhaps you have an firewall configuration which is interfering.

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Share a DSL internet connection over FireWire
Authored by: eboss on Jan 27, '06 06:41:58AM

If you have your firewall activated on the ADSL connected Mac, you have to add some rules to allow e-mail transfer, it's not set by default. Search this site's archives and you will find all the details.

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Share a DSL internet connection over FireWire
Authored by: greed on Jan 27, '06 08:22:05AM

One note about the fixed IP address: The address needs to be between 2 and 254. "All ones" in the host portion of an IPv4 address is the local broadcast address, and you don't want to give your machine that address.

(The host portion of the address is the part where there are binary zeros in the netmask. So, given a default netmask of, the host portion is the last 8 bits. "All zeroes" is also special, and refers to the network.)

Though I agree with another responder, just set Ethernet to Automatic and use Internet Sharing.

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Share a DSL internet connection over FireWire
Authored by: mcamou on Jan 31, '06 06:23:49AM

Actually between 1 and 254, the reserved addresses are 0 and 255

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Share a DSL internet connection over FireWire
Authored by: mflender on Jan 29, '06 08:51:53PM

Rob must be busy or asleep at the wheel. I agree with the first two comments. Too much manual config for something so simple. 1st machine. Set Ethernet to DHCP. In the sharing pref pane, enable internet connection sharing and share from ethernet to firewire. 2nd machine. Set firewire to dhcp. Done.

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Share a DSL internet connection over FireWire
Authored by: Malathion on Jan 31, '06 03:47:52PM

Does this use the same MAC address as the host machine or does it still use the connected machines MAC address? I guess I'm wondering if the connected machines address is broadcast through the host. Some networks or ISP's detect additional MAC addresses and I need away around this once in a while.

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enable internet sharing on both machines
Authored by: psignosis on Mar 25, '07 11:53:11AM
I couldn't get this to work in any of the ways described until I enabled internet sharing on both machines for some reason. Once I did that, it worked immediately over firewire with A using DHCP (manual address but that's because I need it on this box) and B using DHCP (auto).

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