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Question: Hosting a WiFi

Hello.


My mid 2012 MBP has a boot camp partition where I have Windows 10 pro, and where I create a hosted wifi network in order to get a few computers connected together for file sharing. Internet is not required and in fact isn't available.


i want to create such a private wifi on the OSX partition of my MBP because I have found an app that I can use on OSX to remote into the other PCs, all that I need is to get my MBP to broadcast its own wifi and then have the other devices attach to it.


I have found some information online but they are a bit confusing. Can anyone direct me to a good source on how to do this? Thanks a lot.


Farzad

MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra (10.12.6), Mid 2012 Model A1286

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You'll probably want to acquire a Wi-Fi router. That's the easiest way to deal with this, and you can configure and wire that for security and for a link to the internet. But if you want to set up an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network on macOS, here's one discussion: How to Create and Use an Ad Hoc Network on Your Mac. macOS and Windows make comparatively clunky and expensive and awkward network routers, if you're thinking of sharing the network links.

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Mar 17, 2018 1:57 PM in response to Farzad_K In response to Farzad_K

You'll probably want to acquire a Wi-Fi router. That's the easiest way to deal with this, and you can configure and wire that for security and for a link to the internet. But if you want to set up an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network on macOS, here's one discussion: How to Create and Use an Ad Hoc Network on Your Mac. macOS and Windows make comparatively clunky and expensive and awkward network routers, if you're thinking of sharing the network links.

Mar 17, 2018 1:57 PM

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Mar 19, 2018 10:57 PM in response to MrHoffman In response to MrHoffman

I like that idea and in fact I have bought a battery powered router, but the problem has not been solved. There is still intermittent remote desktop connectivity issues. It is really frustrating that none of my computers and routers, including the router I have from my ISP actually work with remote desktop and Microsoft blames routers and possibly other software that might be crippling the connectivity.


Farzad

Mar 19, 2018 10:57 PM

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Mar 20, 2018 7:25 AM in response to Farzad_K In response to Farzad_K

Remote desktop apps have worked without incident for many years. You have a configuration issue with your ad-hoc network. Make sure you disable your infrastructure network while trying to get your ad-hoc network configured.

Mar 20, 2018 7:25 AM

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Mar 20, 2018 8:59 AM in response to Farzad_K In response to Farzad_K

If you don't know the difference between infrastructure and ad-hoc network I think you need to understand these and their differences before trying to mix and use them.

Ad hoc mode:

An Ad-hoc network allows each device to communicate directly with each other. There is no central Access Point controlling device communication. Ad-hoc networks are only able to communicate with other Ad-hoc devices, they are not able to communicate with any Infrastructure devices or any other devices connected to a wired network. In addition, Ad-hoc mode security is less sophisticated compared to an Infrastructure mode network.

Infrastructure mode:

An Infrastructure mode network requires the use of an Access Point. The Access Point controls Wireless communication and offers several important advantages over an Ad-hoc network. For example, a Infrastructure based network supports increased levels of security, potentially faster data transmission speeds and integration with a wired network.


You might want to do some research into how to install and use remote desktop apps.


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Mar 20, 2018 8:59 AM

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Mar 20, 2018 12:07 PM in response to BobTheFisherman In response to BobTheFisherman

Thanks, Bob, this could indeed be the problem.


I started with using my MB Pro Bootcamp with Windows 10 to host a network and have other computers attach to it so that I can remote desktop into them. I am assuming this means it was an Infrastructure Mode. Then I winded up getting an external router to see if the problem can go away and also have a way to use my other computers that don't have the ability to be a router; and this is also Infrastructure Mode. I will do some research on it, however, since all computers are connected to the same access point, and they are all configured for remote desktop, I am still wondering why connectivity should be intermittent. It is not that I have mixed and matched the two modes.



Farzad

Mar 20, 2018 12:07 PM

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Mar 20, 2018 12:12 PM in response to Farzad_K In response to Farzad_K

What remote app are you using? Did you ask them for help on getting their app working? Remote desktop apps work and has done so for years. Are you running some sort of third party app that claims to protect, manage, etc.? If so, uninstall this app.

Mar 20, 2018 12:12 PM

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Mar 20, 2018 12:24 PM in response to BobTheFisherman In response to BobTheFisherman

I am using Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop. I am running Windows 10 Pro on all my non-OSX devices. Yes, I have talked with Microsoft and they blame other software. I have talked with computer manufacturer and they want me to reset their BIOS, which I have yet to do and am not very optimistic for it to solve the problem. Some people say the router's BIOS needs to be updated, but the manufacturer is unaware of any problems there.

Mar 20, 2018 12:24 PM

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Mar 21, 2018 8:00 AM in response to Farzad_K In response to Farzad_K

Wi-Fi can be run as an access point or a router, if you’re running a router then you’ll need to account for any NAT and other routers in the configuration. Routers are most commonly configured with separate IP subnets, and trying to use a router within the same subnet isn’t something I’d usually recommend.


Fire Sharing over the open Internet isn’t something I’d recommend in general, for reasons of security. It’s also possible that some ISPs will block thst traffic. The firewall and all intervening devices must be enabled and configured to support that access; port forwarding or firewall rules will be required, and that’s device- and network-specific. (I’d usually recommend using a VPN into the local network such as into a VON server in the gateway-router-firewall box. This to protect the traffic, and to reduce the numbers of IP ports that the remote gremlins can poke at and can fill the logs of, and maybe also find any weak passwords of.)


Guests in a virtual machine add another layer of complexity to the configuration, as you)re inherently working with virtualized hardware, or you’re subsetting your hardware configuration and mapping physical hardware through into the guest. There’s not a lot of networking hardware in a MacBook Pro, so you’re left to map wired and Wi-Fi, or add additional connections cia Thunderbolt or USB. Many folks use virtual hardware, and share access. Some VM packages add additional IP addresses to the host hardware network controller and make a path to that address available to the guest, others set up a virtual private NAT’d network within the VM package and the user is left to get that NAT’d network out of the VM and through the host and out to the local network, and double-NAT adds its own complexity here. All of which means you really need to understand IP networking and subnets and IP routing to get anything in or out of the guest, through the host operating system, and out to the local network, and maybe then port-forwarded and accessible further from there. Some VM packages are better at this virtual networking than others.


ISP routers are intended to be easy for the ISP to support and cheap to buy in large quantities, and cheap to automate, and simple to reset back to ISP defaults. Convenience and flexibility for the end-user tends to be further down the list of the usual ISP selection criteria. If you’re intending to do more complex configurations, switching the ISP box into bridged mode or replacing it with a gateway-firewall-router that better meets your needs may be a good choice.


The point I’m trying to make here is that networking configurations can be complex, and VM guest networking can be some of the more complex to configure. Further, a whole lot more detail around the networking hardware present, and the virtual machine (if running Windows as a guest) and the ISP router box (for external links and in-bound remote access), in use in this case. Using Boot Camp and eliminating the virtual machine is less complex, as you’re working with a Windows box connected to a network. Which is pretty much the default configuration of a Windows box these days.


I’d start with a less-complex network configuration, get that working, and then add the next piece and reconfigure for and get that working. Boot Camp with Windows or macOS file sharing, then add whatever additional pieces are necessary. I’d use Acess Point (AP, bridged) mode where you can, as that can simplify the IP network configuration.). You may find that the ISP blocks in-bound screen sharing or in-bound file-sharing protocols, too. You will find that the network firewall will need to be reconfigured to allow remote in-bound access. And you will get probed and quite possibly then attacked via any open IP ports. Usually within minutes. Plan for those attacks to happen, too.

Mar 21, 2018 8:00 AM

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Mar 21, 2018 8:19 AM in response to MrHoffman In response to MrHoffman

Hi, yes, networking can be complicated.


In my case here I have only two computers involved, lets call them PC1 and PC2. A router is involved, and the router is running in router mode and broadcasts a WiFi.The two computers attach to the WiFi and PC1 can see PC2 on that WiFi. PC1 then uses Remote Desktop and gets into PC2, running applications on PC2. PC2 does not have its own keyboard or screen, which is why PC1 needs to remote into it in order to operate it.


Things are okay for a while, say a few minutes, and sometimes about an hour, and then Remote Desktop keeps getting disconnected.


The only network that I can think of as being simpler than this is if the two computers were actually tethered together using an Ethernet cable.

Mar 21, 2018 8:19 AM

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Mar 21, 2018 9:43 AM in response to Farzad_K In response to Farzad_K

So Windows 10 booted via Boot Camp is eventually not responding to an RDP request (from Microsoft’s macOS RDP client on macOS or from CoRD or such from macOS, or from whatever else) from some other host? No VM and no remote access and one subnet and one router total (ISP gateway-router-firewall box with Wi-Fi, or an entirely local and isolated Wi-Fi router configuration) on this network, and with minimal (or possibly even no?) use of macOS?


If so, then you’ll probably want to ask Microsoft and Microsoft folks for help with Windows 10 and Windows networking more directly.


On the way to finding some folks that might better know Windows 10, I’d further reduce what’s being tested, preferably reducing and isolating until the trigger can be identified.


I’d wire the boxes together and test that, and see if that works better that Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is subject to interference, and this would certainly not be the first case of a flaky router or a weird router setting somewhere. If that doesn’t point to a culprit, then swap out the computer at one end of the connection for some other box, and see if and how the RDP drop-out responds. Repeat for the box at thr other end.

Mar 21, 2018 9:43 AM

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Mar 21, 2018 9:55 AM in response to MrHoffman In response to MrHoffman

MrHoffman wrote:


So Windows 10 booted via Boot Camp is eventually not responding to an RDP request (from Microsoft’s macOS RDP client on macOS or from CoRD or such from macOS, or from whatever else) from some other host? No VM and no remote access and one subnet and one router total (ISP gateway-router-firewall box with Wi-Fi, or an entirely local and isolated Wi-Fi router configuration) on this network, and with minimal (or possibly even no?) use of macOS?


If so, then you’ll probably want to ask Microsoft and Microsoft folks for help with Windows 10 and Windows networking more directly.



All I wanted to know is how to create a network from within OSX that I can then use to remote into a PC sitting in my house and using the same WiFi.

Mar 21, 2018 9:55 AM

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Mar 21, 2018 10:16 AM in response to Farzad_K In response to Farzad_K

Enable and configure the Wi-Fi setting in system preferences. That’s accessible under the Apple menu in the upper left. Select Network there. Specify the network name (SSID), network password, and a few other details that are specific to your local Wi-Fi configuration. For its IP address, subnet, gateway router address and DNS address will probbaly be obtained from DHCP provided from within your local DHCP server, and as there is usually a DHCP server present and configured in your ISP gateway-firewall-router box. If you’re getting timeouts or disconnections, then those are potentially arising from a problem in macOS or Wi-Fi or from the Windows 10 box, or possibly due to interference.

Mar 21, 2018 10:16 AM

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Question: Hosting a WiFi