How to Share the Internet via Your MacBook

Sharing a single Internet connection among all your computers can be a boon simply because of the reduced chances of random acts of violence. (Internet deprivation can be an ugly thing, you know.) Internet sharing can indeed save you from headaches and arguments when more than one person wants to use the Internet at a time.

Cable modems and Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) modems are both high-speed Internet connections, both are relatively inexpensive, which are typically offered by your local cable company and your local phone company, respectively. The phone company offers different kinds of digital subscriber line (DSL) connections, the most common of which is ADSL.

To share your Internet connection, you need a few things, so here’s a brief checklist:

  • An Internet connection: Typically, this is a cable or DSL modem connection, but older versions of the AirPort Base Station can use a dial-up Internet connection that’s accessed via a standard v.90/v.92 analog telephone modem. (Note that recent models of the AirPort Extreme Base Station do not have the capability to use analog dial-up connections.)

  • A LAN: You need a standard LAN (which is connected with cables) or a wireless LAN, which Apple calls a Wi-Fi network. (Heck, you can even have a hybrid that has both wired and wireless access.)

  • An Internet-sharing device: The method that you use to share your Internet connection could be through software that you run on one of your computers or hardware that is stand-alone, depending on how you connect to the Internet and what best fits your needs.

When you have these three things ready to go, you can share your Internet connection. However, you need to know some background information to help you choose the right components and get everything up and running.

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