Setting up a Mac as a NAT server

* Dr. Internet columnists Steve Blass offers some thoughts on using a Mac as a NAT gateway

You recently  recommended using Windows Internet Connection Sharing to connect a home network with wireless Windows XP and Macintosh systems to the Internet. Can you use the Mac as the network address translation gateway in such a network?

To set up a Macintosh as a NAT server and Internet gateway in a wireless net, you can use Apple's AirPort software to build the wireless gateway and connect to the Internet through the Mac's wired Ethernet connection.

With Mac OS 9, configure the AirPort Base Station using the same program used to set up the wireless card by choosing "Software Base Station" under "AirPort" in the Apple menu.

On Mac OS 10.2 and higher, open the System Preferences menu, choose "Internet & Network Sharing," then "Internet," and click the start button to turn on Internet sharing through the wireless connection. On dual-boot OS 9/X systems, you can set up the base station in OS 9 and then use it in OS X.

Either way, the gateway Mac can't connect to other wireless networks because it is now an access point. You need a wired Internet connection or a second wireless card to serve as the shared Internet connection.

Learn more about this topic

A home wireless network without a router

Network World, 02/21/05

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