Connecting to Mac on iPad via local network
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For my business, I have a product that is built with a Mac Mini running things at the core. On this Mac Mini, I have installed Apache and PHP to serve dynamic web pages locally. Users access these webpages via an iPad that is typically connected to the same wireless network.

This device is frequently brought into different venues, where wireless conditions are unpredictable. The problem I'm encountering is that pages are served extremely slowly if the network is not very good or, if it has a firewall, they won't load at all.

The webpages do, however, load flawlessly if I create a network on the Mac Mini and connect to it with the iPad, but it is essential that I retain Internet connectivity while my product is set up, so this solution is not perfect.

I'll admit I know very little about networking, but my question is two-fold: 1) Is this not the smartest way to be connecting the iPad to the Mac Mini and, 2) If this is the way that makes the most sense, how can I guarantee a legitimate connection without supplying my own wireless router to these venues?

Will award bounty to solutions that solve my problem, the more detailed the better!


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1 Solution

Unfortunately, it is not possible to relay a wifi connection on a mac using one network interface. You can share a connection from one device on your mac, through another device though, which gives you two options...

  1. Connect to WIFI, and share it over blutooth to the iPad

You need to set up sharing to share from wifi, and to bluetooth pan, and then pair your ipad with your mac. Some details here:

  1. Buy a second WIFI adapter (usb device) and share the connection from one device through the other

Details here:

I tested with blutooth, and it works great for me. Took 2 mins to set up, and seems fast, and reliable - working for websites on the internet, and being served from the mac too.

Edit: More details of setting up the bluetooth connection

  1. Set up sharing

On the mac, go to System Preferences->Sharing, and then select the Internet Sharing option, which will allow you to Share your connection from: WiFi to computers using: Bluetooth PAN. Make sure you are connected to the internet via wifi. Finally, tick the Internet Sharing checkbox to start sharing your connection.

  1. Set up bluetooth pairing

On your mac, go to System Preferences->Bluetooth and make sure it is on and discoverable. On your iPad, go to Settings->General->Bluetooth and make sure it is on. You should be able to choose the mac to initiate pairing. When it is done, you should get an icon of some connected links in the toolbar.

Thats it!

Thanks! This is definitely a way to share the internet connection, but my issue is serving a local webpage that is running on the mac (as i mentioned, I have installed Apache and PHP to serve web pages locally). Does this make sense? I can't seem to visit "mywebsite.local" on the iPad. This, unfortunately, is the main reason I need the iPad to connect.
thebosco almost 9 years ago
For you to be able to access "mywebsite.local" from the iPad, you will need to set up DNS somehow. The name needs to be resolved to the IP address of your mac. Was this working before? How was it working over wifi? Perhaps it can be set up in the same way. If it was working from wifi - perhaps you can copy the DNS settings from your wifi device to your bluetooth device. You can do this on the mac in System Preferences->Network->Wifi->Advanced->DNS. And copy the values over to the bluetooth.
billymoon almost 9 years ago
If you are able to use the IP address of the mac as your address from the ipad, there is no need to set up DNS, but it depends on your Apache config.
billymoon almost 9 years ago