OS X Mountain Lion: Create a computer-to-computer network

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Create a computer-to-computer network

You can create a wireless network between two or more Wi-Fi-enabled computers without using an AirPort Base Station. Using what is known as a “computer-to-computer” network, you can share files or play your favorite multiplayer network game over the airwaves.

Computer-to-computer networks are sometimes referred to as ad-hoc networks.

  1. Choose Create Network from the Wi-Fi status icon in the menu bar.

    If the icon isn’t in the menu bar, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Network. Click Wi-Fi and select the “Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar” checkbox.

  2. Give the network a name, and select a channel from the pop-up menu. The default channel is 11, but you can choose a different channel.
  3. Select the Require Password checkbox to protect your network with a password. Type the password users will need to enter in order to join your network. Do the following:
    • Type a password of exactly 5 ASCII characters or 10 hexadecimal digits if you chose “40-bit WEP (more compatible)” from the Security pop-up menu.

    • Type a password of exactly 13 ASCII characters or 26 hexadecimal digits if you chose “128-bit WEP” from the Security pop-up menu.

Other Wi-Fi-enabled computers within range can join the network you created by choosing it from their Wi-Fi status icon or by choosing it from the Network Name pop-up menu in the Wi-Fi pane of Network preferences.

Computer-to-computer networks are not compatible with WPA or WPA2 protected networks.

Published Date: Oct 20, 2015