Connecting to the Internet via cable, DSL, or local area network (LAN) in Mac OS X v10.5 or earlier

Learn how to connect to the Internet via a cable modem, digital subscriber line (DSL), or an Ethernet local area network (LAN) in Mac OS X 10.5 or earlier.

To connect to the Internet via a cable modem, digital subscriber line (DSL), or an Ethernet local area network (LAN), set up Network preferences for the "Built-in Ethernet" port. If your Internet service provider (ISP) requires PPPoE, see Mac OS X: Connecting to the Internet With PPPoE first.


If you have an AirPort Base Station, follow the steps below before placing it on your network, then see the AirPort section at the end of this document.


Connecting via cable modem, DSL, or LAN

  1. Get this information from your ISP or network administrator:
    • Domain Name Server (DNS) addresses.
    • Whether you should choose DHCP or manual IP address configuration, which will be done in Step 6 below.

    For manual configuration only:
    • IP address
    • Router address
    • Subnet mask

    Tip: Your ISP or local network may provide DNS addresses automatically.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. From the View menu, choose Network.
  4. Choose Built-in Ethernet from the Show pop-up menu (the Configure pop-up menu prior to Mac OS X 10.1).
  5. Click the TCP/IP tab, if necessary.
  6. Choose either Manually or Using DHCP from the Configure pop-up menu, as you were instructed by your ISP in Step 1.
  7. Type the other information you gathered in Step 1 into the matching fields. Unless your ISP instructs you otherwise, you can ignore the DHCP Client ID field and the Search Domains field.
  8. Click Apply Now.
  9. Open a Web browser or other TCP/IP application to test your connection to the Internet.

    Additional steps for AirPort
  1. Open a Web browser to verify that the computer connects to the Internet.
  2. After the computer successfully connects to the Internet, physically connect the base station to the network.
  3. Unplug the DSL or cable modem's power cord for a few seconds, then plug it back in.
  4. Use the AirPort Setup Assistant (/Applications/Utilities/) to copy the computer's settings to the base station.
Last Modified: Jul 18, 2012
  • Last Modified: Jul 18, 2012
  • Article: HT1383
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