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With AirDrop it seems that my MacBook Pro can have multiple Wifi Connections, so can I connect my iPhone to my Macbook at the same time as the macbook is connected to a Time Capsule's Wifi network.

I have both 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wifi in my house, and the 2.4GHz only just reaches my room, whereas the 5GHz signal is much better. Sometimes my iPhone cant connect to the 2.4GHz network without moving closer to the base station.

Is it possible to use my MacBook as an extender, so that my phone can connect to the Macbook and then use it's 5GHz connection, and it won't drop out and become unconnectable?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

According to Dori's answer in this Apple.SE thread, what you're looking for is not possible:

In order for a Mac to create a local Wi-Fi network, it needs to have a wired Internet source.

More information can be found in this Apple Support KB:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Sharing.
  2. Select Internet Sharing and click the checkbox if it isn’t checked.
  3. Choose the Internet connection you want to share from the “Share your connection from” pop-up menu. For example, if you’re connected to the Internet over Ethernet, choose Ethernet.
  4. Select how you want to share your Internet connection in the “To computers using” list. For example, if you want to share your Internet connection over AirPort, select AirPort. If you share your Internet connection using AirPort, click AirPort Options and give your network a name and password.

You'd need to hook your MacBook up to a wired connection before you can share Wi-Fi via Internet Sharing.

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Creating a local WiFi network is not the same as creating an Ad-Hoc network. I can create a network from "Create Network..." in the WiFi menu on my retina MacBook Pro (which has no Ethernet). Furthermore, I can also enable internet sharing from Bluetooth, which is not wired the last time I checked. –  asmeurer Nov 16 '12 at 7:20

I know this has already been answered and a correct answer chosen, however...

For fun, if you had two laptops, you could indeed couple them together and use one as an extender:

Basics:

  • Laptop A (connection source)
  • Laptop B (extender)

Steps to "wirelessly" extend:

  1. Connect laptop A to your wifi connection.
  2. Share laptop A's wifi connection over its ethernet port.
  3. Connect laptop A and laptop B via ethernet cable.
  4. Share laptop B's ethernet connection over the wifi connection.
  5. Connect misc devices to laptop B's wifi hotspot.

I know it kind of defeats the purpose, but if you've got two laptops laying around...

Also, I believe (and please anyone correct me if I am wrong) that the reason you can't share internet via the single wireless adapter is because you cannot share (or bridge) a wifi internet connection with an adhoc connection on the same chip. The bridge can only be made across discrete devices, so if you had another wifi adapter, as another answerer mentioned, you could share the connection from one to the other.

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To realize this little project you need to understand that to "share" a connection you need another connection.

In other words you'd need a wifi to connect to your router's lan and a wifi that has to be turned in an access point.

If you get the chance to use a wifi usb card you can try this :)

(or, as the other user suggest, a mixed solution without buying anything would be to use your mac's ethernet and wifi for the same purpouse)

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I know, why can't the same Wifi chip connect to an access point and create a hotspot? In the same way it can connect to an access point and another mac not on the network using AirDrop. –  Jonathan. Nov 15 '12 at 19:12

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