Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Mac OS X

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Managing Multiple Connections with Locations and Configurations

If you have a MacBook, chances are you’re not one to sit still. One day you might be connecting from a beach in Maui, and the next, from a coffee shop in Columbus, Ohio. To help accommodate your mobile lifestyle, Apple provides two mechanisms for managing network connections: configurations and locations.

For interfaces such as VPNs, WWAN modems, or other devices that might have multiple different “versions” of their settings, you can create configurations. A configuration holds information such as the server you’re connecting to and your specific network settings.

Creating Configurations

To create a configuration, do the following:

  1. To create a configuration (if supported by your network interface), first open the system preferences and click the Network icon.
  2. Click the interface for which you want to create a new configuration.
  3. Using the Configuration popup menu, choose Add Configuration.
  4. Enter a name for the configuration.
  5. Click Create. You may now configure the network interface as described in the chapter.
  6. Your new settings are stored and accessible under the configuration name you provided so that you can easily switch from one to another. (You can also remove or rename configurations under this menu.)

Adding and Using Locations

Locations are like configurations on steroids. Lots of steroids. Using locations, you can create entirely new sets of network interfaces and options and switch between them easily.

  1. Open the System Preferences and click the Network icon.
  2. The default location of Automatic is set at the top of the network panel.
  3. Choose Edit Locations from the Location drop-down menu.
  4. A dialog box that lists any configured locations displays.
  5. Click the + button to add an entry for a new location. (Use – to remove locations you no longer want.)
  6. Type a name to describe the location, such as “Coffee Shop.”
  7. Click Done.
  8. All your network settings are now set to their defaults for the new location. All VPN connections and other interfaces are gone. You are, in effect, starting fresh with configuring your MacBook network setup.
  9. Configure your network settings as described in this chapter.
  10. After you’ve completed your setup, you can switch between locations using the Location drop-down menu within the System Preferences Network panel. Remember that you can return to your original network settings by choosing the location named “Automatic.”
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account