Seamless Apple TV iPad Mirroring 1 of 3: Create a MacBook WiFi Hotspot

Is slow or no WiFi in your presentation room slowing you down?

Seamless Apple TV and iPad Mirroring 1 of 2 | Create a MacBook WiFi Hotspot

Every presenter has been in the situation where they are stoked to try some new tech when delivering a workshop. Quite a bit of research, learning, and preparation has been invested into your presentation over the days or weeks prior. As you’re getting ready to “wow” your attendees with your innovative idea, you realize there is no WiFi signal in the conference room or such a weak signal that it is completely useless.

This situation doesn’t just happen to conference workshop presenters as it can also happen in the classroom. It takes quite a bit of resiliency and confidence in both the technology and subject area for a teacher to try new technology in the classroom. So much can go right, but so much more can go wrong.

If you plan on using an Apple TV, Reflector, or AirServer to mirror your iPad screen, it is always good to have alternative options available to you when things don’t go as planned. Creating a WiFi Hotspot with your MacBook is a great way to get around a WiFi Network that is having trouble. Creating a MacBook Hotspot can be done as an “ad hoc” network (i.e.: without internet access available) or as an Internet Sharing Network.


If you are a teacher, please note that you should contact your IT Department prior to creating your own network to ensure that you are not violating any IT policies in your district.

At my board, the Greater Essex County District School Board, personal devices (including routers or computers) cannot be wired to any GECDSB Ethernet Drop.

Unsure if you’re breaking the rules? You should contact your IT Department.

How to Create a MacBook WiFi Hotspot for Seamless Apple TV iPad Mirroring

Creating a MacBook WiFi Hotspot for iPad Mirroring to Apple TV can be completed in a matter of minutes. Watch the following video for a quick guide:

How to Create a MacBook WiFi Hotspot in Minutes

The Step-by-Step Guide With Screenshots:

Step 1 – Connect MacBook to a Hardwire Internet Connection

Connect your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or similar to a hardwire Internet connection. Newer MacBook Pro Retina requires a Thunderbolt to Ethernet dongle to connect the Ethernet cable to the Macbook. Attach the other end to your Internet router or Internet drop.

Again, ensure you are not breaking IT Policies by connecting your ethernet cable to an internet drop.

Connect MacBook to Internet with Ethernet Cable

Step 2 – Access Network Settings

Go to System Preferences -> Network and ensure the MacBook is receiving an Internet connection from the Ethernet port / Thunderbolt port (depending on your MacBook). You will need to identify where the Internet connection is coming from later.

Step 2 - Determine Which Thunderbolt Port Ethernet is Using

Step 3 – Access Sharing Settings

Go to System Preferences -> Sharing and configure the Internet Sharing settings. Ensure that the Internet Sharing checkbox is unchecked in order to configure.

Use the pull-down menu next to Share your connection from: in order to select where the Internet connection is coming from. It will likely be Ethernet, Thunderbolt Ethernet, or USB Ethernet, depending on your MacBook and configuration.

Where it asks To computers using:, select Wi-Fi.

Step 3 - Access Sharing Settings and Configure Sharing Settings

Step 4 – Configure Wi-Fi Options…

While still in the Sharing Settings screen, click the Wi-Fi Options… button at the bottom right. Here, you can name your MacBook Hotspot Network for your classroom and set a password.

Seamless Apple TV and iPad Mirroring 1 of 2 | Create a MacBook WiFi Hotspot

Press “OK” and check the box next to Internet Sharing to begin your Internet Sharing Network.

Upward Arrow Indicates Your MacBook Internet Sharing Hotspot Network is Active

Step 5 – Connect Your iPad and Apple TV to MacBook Hotspot

Now that your Internet Sharing MacBook Hotspot Network is active, you can connect your Apple TV and iPad to the network and begin using the AirPlay feature to experience seamless iPad Screen Mirroring!

Connect Your iPad and Apple TV to the MacBook Hotspot

Pt2: iPhone Hotspots
Pt3: AirPlay via Bluetooth

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7 comments on “Seamless Apple TV iPad Mirroring 1 of 3: Create a MacBook WiFi Hotspot

  1. Great walkthrough Kyle. I run a similar setup using an old Airport Express I’m my class. This way my network is set up as soon as I plug it in and I can keep speakers plugged in. It also allows students to mirror their devices if needed without having access to the internet. It was a game changer for me with all the wifi being locked down in my school. It also makes my life a lot easier when I do presentation or lead PD session.

    • Kyle Pearce Kyle Pearce says:

      Good call on the airport express. Great, permanent solution! For allowing personal devices share their screens in non-BYOB districts, I’d suggest it is a very worthwhile investment.

      Hope all is well otherwise! Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

  2. […] is part 2 of a three-part series, Seamless Apple TV iPad Mirroring. To see part 1, click […]

  3. […] While this option will not work for Apple TV and *may* not be as smooth as creating your own MacBook hotspot or iPhone hotspot, I did pair my iPad to my MacBook and mirrored the display without any trouble! […]

  4. […] Connection issues using Apple TV AirPlay for iPad Mirroring? Create a MacBook WiFi Hotspot to seamlessly stream your iPad to Apple TV, Reflector, AirServer.  […]

  5. […] Here’s a third option that only works for those of you who have a Mac. You can use your laptop to create your own wireless network. Connecting your iPad to that network creates a way to piggyback on a wired connection to your laptop, providing wireless access to your iPad, and any other device in your classroom. This basically turns your laptop into a wifi hotspot. Again, the internet being a wonderful thing, I’m not going to re-write something that someone else has already done an excellent job explaining. Check out this link here: […]

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