Help, Buying MacBook; Need SECURE Wireless Access

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rohopish, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. rohopish macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Alright, I'm going to try to be as clear and concise as possible:

    I am purchasing a MacBook for school at the beginning of September. Seeing as it is a notebook computer, I wish to use wireless internet access. There is a cable modem hooked up to my Mac Mini. I believe I can use the Mini as a wireless access point for my new MacBook. These are my questions:

    How exactly do I set up Airport to share my Mini's internet connection wirelessly, and most importantly, with some-kind of password to access it (I don't want to be responsible for the irresponsibility of others that could tap into my wireless internet connection)?

    And if possible, how exactly (step-by-step if possible, I'm not experienced with Networking, etc.) to set up my printer so that it can receive prints from my MacBook wirelessly? It is connected through USB to my Mac Mini.

    Thanks so much to everyone who can give me whatever help possible. I know this is a quite repetitive question here, but even though info is available for setting up "Internet Sharing," I cannot find a thread on how exactly (step-by-step) to password protect it; sharing my printer is also a priority.

  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Let me start ... I might not finish what you want answered, though. ;)

    1) Since you spelled security in all caps, I assume security is important to you. At least in Tiger, if you are not willing to buy a wireless router, you WILL NOT get true security. The reason for this is that internet sharing only supports WEP, which is not very secure. But if all you want is security from casual moochers, WEP is probably fine. I also don't think Internet Sharing supports MAC filtering or allows the network to be hidden. MAC filtering + WPA2 (or WPA) + hidden network is really the definition of secure right now.

    2) Here is one way of doing internet sharing (they are all equivalent... just different menus to reach the same options):

    - Open System Preferences -> Sharing pane -> Internet tab
    - In Share Your Connection From, choose built-in ethernet (assuming that's how the Mini is hooked up)
    - Under To Computers Using, select Airport
    - Then click Airport Options on the right
    - Type in a network name of your choosing, and you can leave the channel as automatic. Click on Enable encryption (WEP) and select 128-bit from the WEP Key Length box. Type the same password of your choosing into both password boxes.
    - Click OK
    - Back in Sys Prefs, click the Start button in the middle of the window.

    Now you just turn on airport on the other computer, select the network name you chose on the Mini, and enter in the password when prompted. The network will only work while the Mini is awake and connected, however.

    My advice personally would be to spend the minimal amount of money involved in getting a wireless router that supports WPA....
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    As for the printer portion, I think pretty much:

    On the Mac Mini, if you have only one printer:
    - System Prefs -> Sharing -> Services
    - Check the Printer Sharing box

    or if you have multiple printers:
    - System Prefs -> Print & Fax -> Sharing
    - Check the "Share these..." box and then check the box for the printer you want to share

    On the other Mac:
    - System Preferences -> Print & Fax -> Print
    - Click the (+) below the left box
    - Click on Default Browser at the top of the window that pops up, if it is not already on it
    - You should see the printer listed there. Click it and select the Add button.

    That should be it.
  4. rohopish thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2006

    Thank you so much! Finally, someone that can deliver excellent instructions (you're like the Mac instruction booklet I never had). Haha, really though, thanks so much. You're awesome. I really hope that it all works out well. If I knew who you were, I'd be able to give you something in return. :eek:

    Merci beaucoup! :D


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