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This is a more precise reframing of questions No secure ad-hoc network with Yosemite? (my use case) and How to create a password protected ad-hoc network on Yosemite (not applicable here).

Background info: With Yosemite (Mac OS 10.10) Apple removed the option to setup a password protected ad-hoc network. However, Internet Sharing allows to setup a secure network to share an internet connection from another network interface.

Now, the problem is that the Internet Sharing network does not work for my use case, since it fails to start up when there is no internet connection to share. Peeking in the console reveals this message:

  configd[50]: no interface for external service id

This means, there seems to be no longer a possibility to quickly but securely connect two devices without bringing an external router, unless someone knows a trick or pointers how to configure the Software Base Station, or dive deep down into network config, maybe using ifconfig, natd, ipfw like here: https://blog.netnerds.net/2012/07/os-x-how-to-setup-nat-on-lion-and-mountain-lion/

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  • What's the purpose of the ad-hoc network? Does an ssh-tunnel meet your requirements?
    – klanomath
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 15:49
  • The network is to connect an iPad to a Mac to control music software for live performances. It should be password protected to prevent the audience from trying to connect (and eat the bandwidth), but no sensitive data is transmitted over it.
    – diemo
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 21:35
  • What kind of Mac do you have exactly?
    – klanomath
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 21:41
  • MacBookPro retina 13" early 2015 MacOS 10.10.5, trying to connect an iPad 1 early 2010 iOS 5.1
    – diemo
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 6:34
  • One hunch I'm having is that it might be possible to start up some software on the Mac that fakes the internet, i.e. that simulates some responses such as DHCP, then connect to this via software using loopback (localhost), and then share this fake internet connection to Wifi, thus allowing an infrastructure network with password to be created. Utopical?
    – diemo
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 15:15

1 Answer 1

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I'd been looking a long time for this answer as well to be able to play games on a local network.

Since awhile (for some annoying reason) Apple only allows an active network to be shared over wifi with a password.

To create your own "active" network, in terminal run the 2 following commands.

# Idk if this is necessary. if you lost your 127.0.0.1, creating this should fix it:
# sudo networksetup -createnetworkservice Loopback lo0
# sudo networksetup -setmanual Loopback 127.0.0.1 255.255.255.255
##
sudo networksetup -createnetworkservice FakeNet lo0
sudo networksetup -setmanual FakeNet 192.168.1.56 255.255.255.255

This creates a new network conection that (although the preferences show it as inactive) can be shared from the internet sharing preference pane to Wifi with a password.

To share the connection,

  1. go system preferences
  2. Then sharing preferences
  3. select FakeNet as the connection to share from
  4. share to wifi
  5. advanced settings allow a password to be set

Source: https://www.laszlopusztai.net/2016/02/14/creating-a-wi-fi-access-point-on-os-x/

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  • Be careful following these instructions. Although they did work, (1) the shared connection froze up when the computer went to sleep and later woke, and (2) I suspect that following them led me to hit this issue. Fortunately I figured out a fix.
    – Ken Arnold
    Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 17:52
  • Thanks for the answer, but I'm still struggling with this. I can create the ad hoc network through sharing and connect to it from an iPad, but can't seem to send UDP data to the host. Two basic questions: 1. will the IP address given with -setmanual FakeNet be the host address to send data to? 2. why does the network mask end with 255, not 0, as for manual DHCP? Doesn't this prevent other machines to be on the same network?
    – diemo
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 16:37
  • Ran this and found my network settings were screwed up after (for example Pycharm wouldn't start with java.net.BindException: Can't assign requested address, even after reboot. What saved me was running sudo networksetup -setdhcp FakeNet and rebooting. Thanks GPT: sharegpt.com/c/jcETWl0.
    – Peter
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 23:20
  • Instead of the initial comments in the answer (creating a new network service for loopback), we can just run sudo ifconfig lo0 alias 127.0.0.1 up to get back the original loopback working. However, I couldn't get this answer to work in macOS Sonoma (macOS released in Late 2023). Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 21:28

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