Turn off or turn on internet at MacBook via iPhone

pawan-agr used Ask the Experts™
I usually have something being downloaded all the time at my MacBook Pro.

When I have to use internet via my iPhone, I have to goto my MacBook, wake it up, then shut off the internet and then I can use the internet on my iPhone.

After I finish using internet at iPhone, I have to repeat same thing for turning on internet at my MacBook so that it can continue to download whatever it was downloading.

Is there any way I can do same thing via iPhone wirelessly? I know there are VNC apps from where I can control MacBook but it's not that convenient.

Is there something form which I can type single command or press single button at my iPhone which can turn on or turn off the internet at my macbook?

(I'm using the OS lion)
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Looking at the situation from a perspective of convenience, I suggest you use a router that allows rules for prioritizing certain applications and/or devices, like this one (good DSL/ethernet router): http://www.avm.de/en/Produkte/FRITZBox/FRITZ_Box_Fon_WLAN_7390/index.php

If you're looking for a remote control from the iPhone, you will have to deal with the difference in screen sizes. I somtimes use a terminal app on my iPhone, but that is even less convenient to use than VNC. Maybe Teamviewer makes it a bit easier for you? http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx 


Replacing router is a good idea but I am not happy to buy a brand new router just for this one single function.

I think teamviewer is still like most of other vnc. I have to deal with mouse scrolling clicking etc... Isn't there anyway such that I select any program and then tap to close it or open it conveniently?

To me it looks like you will need to script something (Wi-fi off/on) on your Mac, assign a keybord shortcut to it, then install an app on your iPhone to grab that keyboard short cut.

I had a look at Apple's Automator and keyboard settings but couldn't find anything to switch off/on the Wi-Fi menu.

This suggestion is a bit of a long shot:
1. I haven't used it in a long time, but in the past I was able to macro/script almost anything on a Mac with Quickeys, which is still available http://download.cnet.com/QuicKeys/3000-2094_4-8451.html 
With Quickeys you should be able to create that macro.

2. You will need an app like the ones below to grab that keyboard-Quickey and test if that works.

At the moment I can't do this testing for you...

You should als be able to replace the Quickey with the "networksetup" command line tool, but I need to look into is more deeply. It's explained in this article, but in Lion things have changed.

I'll get back at this later today.

It appeared to be simple with the CLI commands (assuming en1 is the Wi-Fi interface on your MacBook):

to switch AP/Wi-Fi off type this: networksetup -setairportpower en1 off
to switch AP/Wi-Fi on type this: networksetup -setairportpower en1 on

Doing these commands from an iPhone is for later today.

It appears to me you will have to look for the router option.

I'm assuming here your MacBook is connected to the internet by Wi-Fi. When you remotely switch off the Wi-Fi connection of the MacBook from an iPhone, you automatically also switch off the possibility to remotely switch on the Wi-Fi again. The MacBook will be disconnected from the network that both devices use.

Maybe there is a remote control app that supports connecting via Bluetooth, but I couldn't find it.
You may want to run a test with this app, it supports Bluetooth and can control applications:


Thank you very much mac2010 for your intensive research. I really appreciate the time you spent on such detailed research.

I chose to use MobileMouse app which shows all the running softwares on the dock. From there I can remotely close or open any software.

That way I can control the software consuming the internet and I don't even have to connect via bluetooth.


Mac2010 understood my problem and gave me suggestions in different angle. Definitely deserve "A" for his knowledge and hard work. :)

Cheers! This is the type of question I can expect from my customers, now I'm prepared ;-)


Mac2010 I've got another question for you here:

Btw, if in the future I have got similar questions then how can I contact you separately instead of adding comment here in the existing question? I searched but couldn't find such function in EE.

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