Mac: Connecting to the Internet
Obviously, you’ll need an account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP for short) to get connected to the Internet on your Mac (unless you are in a public place with free Wi-Fi, or if you can get access somehow to your neighbors’ account!).
How to Connect to the Internet on Mac?
Connecting Your Mac At Home
Your existing Internet account at home, if you have any, should work fine with your Mac. If you don’t have an Internet account, sign up.
Today, all Macs have built-in wireless and allow you to connect via any wireless network:
- Click the fan-shaped icon in the menu bar to display networks in range.
- Then click on one provided in the list in order to connect, entering a password if required. If by any chance you don’t have a wireless set up at home, then you’ll need to buy yourself a Wi-Fi router (either to connect to your broad-band modem or to function both as a modem and as a router).
Note: If your Mac doesn’t display the fan icon, it may be an older model without built-in wireless. In this case, depending on what model you have, you may be able to track down and install a suitable AirPort or AirPort Extreme card to add this feature.
How to Connect Via Ethernet or USB
If you have a broadband account already set up, and if your modem or router have an Ethernet socket (like a fatter version of a phone jack), no further configuration should be needed. Just plug an Ethernet cable from the modem or router on the Mac, and go online. The same should work at friends’ houses and in some offices (in other cases, you’ll need to get a system administrator to approve and configure your Mac before it will work on the network).
If you don’t have a broadband or router, you can still share your Internet connection with other computers, allowing both computers to be online at the same time. The icons to the right of each network’s name will tell you whether a password is required to join the network. The same icons will also inform you about the network’s signal strength given your current position.
Tip: If you don’t seem to be able to connect to a password-protected wireless network, but you are certain you typed the right password, try sticking a $ sign before the password – without a space. It works!
Connecting Via Dial-Up
A few years ago, we used to connect via a dial-up modem (sometimes they were built in). Setting up a dial-up ISP account required users to connect to a phone line and plug in the relevant details, such as phone number, username, password and so on. Today most computers manufactured and marketed throughout the world don’t have a dial-up modem. If you have to set up a dial up connection, (in many countries this is still the first option), you’ll need to use a USB modem attachment.
Now, go ahead and open Internet Connect from Applications (or via the phone icon near the clock), and click on the Internal Modem button. Then, key in the details and press Connect. If that worked, you should be able to connect and disconnect via the phone icon in the menu bar or by using Internet Connect. If not, you’ll find more options in the Network panel of System Preferences. Open the panel, choose Internet Modem in the Show menu, and explore the settings.
Don’t connect a USB modem to your Mac before you install the software that comes with the modem, since that may cause problems. If you can’t get your modem to work, disconnect it, uninstall the software, restart the Mac, and then reinstall the software. Only after all these operations have been performed, reattach the modem.
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