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I'm currently using Internet Sharing from my Ethernet over Airport on my Macbook Pro, however I don't want my SSID broadcasted. There doesn't seem to be an option in Sharing/System Preferences to hide my ssid or prevent broadcasting. Any ideas?


My parent's restaurant has a wifi router, but it's on the roof level where the cable was installed. The signal it gets is weak, but works for the macbook. Their iPhones and 802.11G based computers can't get the wifi connection, maybe 802.11N on the macbook gets better penetration. I figure they could use the airport sharing from the laptop. For a restaurant type setting I don't think having WPA or WPA2 is super important. There's nothing sensitive or insecure on the network, so I figure hiding the SSID would be good enough for their purposes. It's not even active 100% of the time.

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As for your "For a restaurant type setting I don't think having WPA or WPA2 is super important. There's nothing sensitive or insecure on the network" -- don't forget people might use your connection to get onto the internet, even if they don't care about your information. Apart from spamming, this might also be an issue if your country enforces any data retention policy (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_data_retention). –  Arjan Nov 18 '09 at 11:20
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...and as an example: "Pub fined £8K after user infringes copyright with its WiFi" -- A British pub has been fined £8,000 because someone using the WiFi there allegedly committed a copyright infringement. Even though British law exempts people who provide Internet access from liability for their users' copyright infringements, the pub was still fined (the details of this are confused). More at boingboing.net/2009/11/28/pub-fined-8k-after-u.html –  Arjan Nov 29 '09 at 14:59
    
Jack, use the [osx] tag if you're referring to Apple's operating system. use the [mac] tag if you're referring to the computer hardware. i'd retag this [osx] since it appears you're asking about settings in the OS. –  quack quixote Apr 12 '10 at 23:03
    
Thanks quack. There must have been a bug earlier today. The osx tag was showing 0 results and a 0 counter in the tag, I thought maybe osx was just being retagged in favor of the mac tag, so I retagged my mac questions. –  Jack Chu Apr 13 '10 at 9:57

3 Answers 3

I do not believe you can do this. Here is some further discussion.

In a nutshell: No, you can't do it, and even if you could, it's pretty useless. Considering the limitations of Internet Sharing, which is meant for quick-and-dirty ad-hoc networking, it's definitely worth spending a few bucks to pick up a cheap router or signal booster instead.

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I can't find any information about how to disable SSID broadcasting. But, a better question is: why? If you're in a corporate or other environment where you want some amount of security this way, you're probably better off using a router/switch where you can get more configuration options.

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+1 for the "why?". (And if opening up some company network this way, then think twice -- as far as I know internet sharing only supports WEP?) –  Arjan Jul 27 '09 at 21:31
    
My parent's restaurant has a wifi router, but it's on the roof level where the cable was installed. The signal it gets is weak, but works for the macbook. Their iPhones and 802.11G based computers can't get the wifi connection, maybe 802.11N on the macbook gets better penetration. I figure they could use the airport sharing from the laptop. For a restaurant type setting I don't think having WPA or WPA2 is super important. There's nothing sensitive or insecure on the network, so I figure hiding the ssid would be good enough for their purposes. It's not even active 100% of the time. –  Jack Chu Aug 10 '09 at 19:52

The Internet Sharing feature in Mac OS X (GUI wise) is very limited - it does not have the ability to use WPA or disable the broadcast of it's SSID.

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