Can MacMini be used as a WiFi router...?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by d.f, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. d.f macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2003
    Am thinking of buying a MacMini so a can retire my slowly dying G3 iMac 400. I want the Mini to tide me over until the next MAJOR revolution in Pbooks (i can wait, don't worry).

    what attracted me to the mini was that (maybe?) it could be used as an Airport Base Station to enable to use the laptop wirelessly in the home...?

    is this possible..? or just mad...?
  2. Gee macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2004
    London, UK
    You can certainly share your internet connection coming through the mac's ethernet connection to computers connecting via its airport (check out system preferences/sharing/internet), so in theory the answer is yes. Haven't tried it though, and I'm not sure how it works wrt to distributing ip addresses etc...
  3. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'm pretty sure it can... Mac's internet sharing capabilities are amazing. All I had to do was go to System Prefs. -> Sharing -> Internet and set it so it shared from the internal modem to the ethernet connection. (To our wireless router. I'm sure if you shared from the internal modem to the airport card, it'd work flawlessly as well.) And if it'll work sharing an AOL dial-up connection, I bet it can share anything! ;)
  4. d.f thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2003

    thanks a lot guys. it looks like it's a goer...
  5. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2002
    Would anyone know if the "Mac base station" has to be hardwired to the ethernet cable or would it work in WiFi mode as a relay or booster for your Airport Base Station across the house? One of the Apple Store reps said it would essentially work as a signal booster to other computers.

    And if you've set up a Mac to share its internet connection does that mean that it can't surf the internet at the same time other users are using it as a base station?

    Everything I've read mentions connecting the Mac via Ethernet cable and sending the signal wirelessly to other computers. It doesn't make sense to me why it would have to be physically connected to the Ethernet cable.

    I would certainly never condone such behavior, but say it DID work wirelessly, "in theory" would a WiFi service provider immediately be able to know if you were sharing your connection and be able to ID the paid user's account or IP address?
  6. billystlyes macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2004

    I agree you'll be able to share anything. You may have to play around a little but it should work.

    What kind of things do you want to share?
  7. d.f thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2003
    i just want to ba able to surf the net.... nothing to drastic.
  8. quidire macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2004
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    I doubt the Mac mini can extend a pre-existing wireless network, for two reasons:
    a) It does not have two 802.11g transceivers
    b) without having two acting entirely independently, it would need to support WDS or somesuch; I've not heard that it does.

    What it CAN do, and fairly effortlessly, is take an ethernet network and extend it into wireless, or vice versa (or either with a modem, etc)

    Most people are asking about this in relation to taking a residential cable modem or DSL connection and spreading it wirelessly throughout the house (without having to buy an airport express)

    With regards to WiFi ISPs, such as T-mobile HotSpot (in the US), well you could share via Bluetooth or ethernet, or buy an extra wireless adapter... I don't think it's too unethical as you are capped at their per-user bandwidth maximum and they must use "Quality of Service" filters to keep the overall WiFi channels from getting flooded and having too many collisions.

    However why would anyone be using a WiFi ISP with a desktop?? they are primarily there for laptop users on the go, no?
    (or did I misunderstand you?)


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