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How to share your internet connection over Bluetooth

From the bluetooth-sharing-101 dept. (21307) (0)

As you already know, MacOS X allows you to quickly share your internet connection with others with a few clicks. However, what if you want to share your connection using your bluetooth device in the same way that the iPhone personal hotspot works?
Say you are in a strange place or your computer does not have the wifi drivers and you need to connect to the internet quickly. You can share your Macbook connection by following these simple steps.

1 Go to the Bluetooth Preferences

Bluetooth preferences

2 Click on "Advanced" and choose PAN (personal area network). This will allow your computer to share its connection with other computers or devices

Bluetooth PAN

3 Go to the Sharing control panel and pick the device that's currently connected to the internet on the "From" pop-up menu; then choose the PAN bluetooth device as the "To" device

Bluetooth network preferences

4 After you have done this, you can Pair your Bluetooth devices by making your Macbook "Discoverable" on the Bluetooth menu. Your other device will now see your Macbook as a network device

Updated 2011-09-08: The above information worked well for MacOS X versions prior to Lion (10.7). Under Lion there seem to be missing the option to turn on the Bluetooth sharing:

Bluetooth sharing checkbox missing under Mac OS X 10.7

However, if you enable internet sharing to other interface, say "Ethernet", and then pair your devices with a remote computer, your PAN interface will magically appear. WTF?

Bluetooth PAN connected under Mac OS X 10.7

Trying to make Lion forward your packets seems to be futile. This is what happens when you try to resolve google.com (same with ICMP or any other protocol):

Bluetooth PAN devices do not work under Mac OS X 10.7

Let's hope Apple addresses these issues and fixes them promptly as this appear to be something people are starting to notice.


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