I want to use my Wi-Fi Printer with my MacBook and it works great when the Printer connects to the Wi-Fi Network created when I set up Internet sharing. What I want to know is, is there a way to set up the MacBook as a Wi-Fi Hotspot but without requiring an internet connection?


Yes, you just set up Internet Sharing the same as if you had an Internet connection on one of your non-Wi-Fi interfaces. You don't actually have to have a working Internet connection on the interface you use as the "From" (that's "From" as in, "Share your connection from:") interface. You just need to pick a non-Wi-Fi interface as the "From" interface so you can use your Wi-Fi interface as the "To" (that's "To" as in "To computers using:") interface.

Just like when you've used Internet sharing before, this will put your Wi-Fi interface into "Access Point" mode and start publishing whatever network name you tell it to publish. It'll also start up a DHCP server process to assign private IP addresses to any devices that join the Wi-Fi network it's creating.

The devices that join the Wi-Fi network won't be able to get to the Internet unless you bring up an Internet connection on whatever interface you used as your "From" interface.

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    This is not true in Mountain Lion. I am quite certain that previously I could share the network connection as you explained - picking ethernet and sharing it via WiFi. That worked even without any cable connected to the Ethernet port. It seems that Mountain Lion actually checks for network connectivity (active link on ethernet port) and disables the hotspot as soon as the connectivity drops. I checked this on two different macbooks and I would be more than happy to hear for trick to get around this limitation. Create network does not achieve the same goal as it doesn't come with DHCP. – stricjux Aug 12 '13 at 13:32

What I figured out was that I could use Internet sharing to setup a Wi-Fi network if I connected the ethernet cable from my Macbook pro to a router (Apple AirPort Express in my case). This worked even if the router didn't have Internet access.

The reason why I did this is that the router had only 802.11 a/n Wi-Fi support, while the Internet sharing on my Macbook pro, mid 2015, is 802.11 ac. My tests showed a speed difference of ~250 Mbps vs. ~50 Mbps between a Macbook pro and an iPhone 6.


You create a network for computer-to-computer communication.


  • I know how to do that between computers but I don't think this will work with the printer, it expects to connect to a router (which is what the Mac becomes with internet sharing) and doesn't have any settings for computer-to-computer networks that I can find. – Ramon Apr 13 '12 at 22:29
  • The iPad sees the network made by the Mac, so why the printer shouldn't do the same? – user127350 Apr 13 '12 at 22:43
  • Create network does not start a DHCP server which is required so that the devices get an IP. You could always reconfigure everything by hand, but I doubt that the OP has the skills for that. – stricjux Aug 12 '13 at 13:37

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