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Connecting Your Mac to a Network

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This chapter shows how to connect your MacBook to wired and wireless connections as well as how to manage multiple connections.
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter, you learn how to get your Mac online, including tasks like:

  • → Connecting to wired networks
  • → Connecting to secure wireless networks
  • → Configuring network address, DNS, and routing information
  • → Verifying network connections
  • → Creating VPN connections
  • → Managing multiple connections with Locations

Being connected to a network gives you access to information, files, and services such as email or the Web. Your Mac comes with the latest networking technology—802.11ac Wi-Fi and gigabit Ethernet, making it a snap to connect to existing wired or wireless networks.

Connecting to a Wired Network

The most common type of network connection in the business world is a wired Ethernet connection. The cables used to connect to the network look like oversized phone connectors and, as luck has it, plug directly into your MacBook’s Ethernet port. (New Air and Retina MacBook owners need to buy Apple’s USB or Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter.) The MacBook supports gigabit Ethernet, making it able to exchange information at extremely high speeds.

Making an Ethernet (Wired) Connection

On a network that is set up to automatically configure your computer using DHCP, the most complicated thing you need to do is plug in the network cable!

  1. Open the System Preferences panel and click the Network icon.

  2. The network preference panel displays. All of the active network interfaces are listed here. Red dots indicate that no connection is present on the interface.

  3. Plug the network cable into the back of your Mac. After a few seconds, the interface should update, showing a green dot for an active connection. The pane to the right of the interfaces displays the information that your computer is using to communicate online.

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