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I have a Mac mini, running El Capitan, which I use as a media server. I access/control it and control it via screen-sharing. The Mac Mini has no display attached, so it must remain connected to my Wi-Fi or I can't access/control it.

There is however no need for it to be permanently connected to the internet. Beyond the security risk, it also uses up bandwidth for background tasks which I have no use for.

I would like to disable web access, while keeping Wifi connectivity. Possible? How?

  • If you are using a router that supports usage profiles, you could also simply deny internet access for the machine in question in the router. The access is usually defined per MAC address, so it should stay the same even if the IP address changes. – nwinkler Apr 6 '16 at 6:50
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There are a couple of things you can do, but by far the easiest is to just manually configure your IP address (don't use DHCP) and leave the router field blank. See below...

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Before you select "Manually" in the drop down, take note of the IP address that was assigned to it by DHCP. Then when you select "Manually" just re-enter that same IP address.

With the Router field empty, your Mac Mini will not know how to get out to the Internet.

Update: As pointed out by user3439894 in the comments, reusing the IP address from the DHCP pool could pose a problem. To avoid this, assign it an address outside the pool.

Most routers will have a starting address (Netgear's typically start their addressing at 192.168.1.100 and assign 50 or 100 address). So you either have addresses up to 192.168.1.49 or .199. To make sure you don't cause conflict, just assign it an address either higher than or lower than the pool (i.e. 192.168.1.30 or 192.168.1.210)

  • You should not reuse the DHCP Server Assigned IP Address for the Manually Assigned IP Address! There would then be the potential for conflict if that address gets served out of the Pool to another device, once its lease was up. When manually assigning an IP Address on Networks that also have a DHCP Server the Manually Assigned IP Address should always be outside the Scope of the DHCP Server's IP Address Pool. – user3439894 Mar 30 '16 at 13:39
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Remove the default gateway from its routing table, so that it can't route outside your local network. It will probably be set by DHCP, so you'll need to run a script regularly to delete it again.

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