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Internet Over Bluetooth
Bluetooth dial-up networking uses your cell phone as a wireless modem to access the Net.
If you have a Bluetooth phone, you don’t necessarily need to buy a separate cellular broadband card to access the Internet. Phones that support dial-up networking (which most newer Bluetooth phones do) can serve as high-speed modems for your Mac.
The best phones for dial-up networking are those using 3G mobile broadband services, such as Verizon’s VCAST or Sprint’s Mobile Broadband, because they allow you to surf at DSL-like speeds. These phones will require you to run special software provided by your carrier in order to use the network, so check with your cellular provider to see if your phone supports broadband dial-up networking. Non-3G phones can still use dial-up networking the old-fashioned way: Obtain a dial-in number from your Internet service provider, then open the Bluetooth dial-up networking controls under System Preferences > Network > Bluetooth. With your Bluetooth phone paired with your Mac, enter the dial-in number and your account name and password, and then click Connect.
Note that many carriers require you to subscribe to their broadband service in order to use your Mac on the network, so you may still have to pay extra for the ability to use the connection.
AirPort lets you create your own wireless network, with your Mac acting as a wireless hub.
No matter how much of a hotspot ninja you think you are, sometimes there just isn’t a hotspot around. And a wireless broadband card won’t help if you’re in an area with no cellular reception. But that doesn’t mean you can’t buddy up to share files—it just means you have to be more creative.
When there’s no way to get to an Internet connection, computer-to-computer networking—or creating an impromptu connection between two or more computers within a limited range—can make it easy to transfer files to someone nearby. This comes in handy when you can’t connect to the Internet but want to give a large Illustrator file to a colleague without burning it to a CD, for example. To create a computer-to-computer network (also called an ad hoc network), click the AirPort icon in the menubar and select Create Network. By default, the network will bear the name of your Mac, but you can change the name to anything you like. You can also check the box next to Enable Encryption (Using WEP) and designate a password to make your network private. Once other machines join your network, you can use file sharing to transfer files between them.
Mac OS X can turn any MacBook into a miniature server with File Sharing.
To enable file sharing from your Mac running Leopard, go to System Preferences > Sharing and check the box next to File Sharing. Then select Options and check “Share files and folders using AFP.” To make your files accessible to Windows users, also check “Share files and folders using SMB” and be sure to select an account from your Mac to enable sharing from. You can share the data on an external hard drive by clicking the plus sign under the Shared Folders box in the main Sharing pane. Then browse to the drive you’d like to share and click Add.
If your Mac is running Tiger, the directions are almost the same: Go to System Preferences > Sharing, and select the Services tab. Then check the Personal File Sharing box to share with Mac users, and/or check the Windows Sharing box (and specify an account when prompted) to let Windows users share your files.