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Archived - Mac OS X: DSL/PPPoE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This document answers common questions about connecting to the Internet with Mac OS X and a DSL modem, using the PPPoE protocol.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Questions answered in this document:
  1. What is DSL?
  2. What is PPPoE?
  3. With Mac OS 9, I used PPPoE software provided by my ISP. How do I use this software with Mac OS X?
  4. What if the ISP tells me that their DSL/PPPoE software does not work with Macintosh computers?
  5. Where can I find more information?



Question 1: What is DSL?

Answer: A Digital Subscriber Line is a popular medium for delivering high-speed Internet connections. Physically, it looks like a phone line. A DSL modem, normally provided by your Internet service provider (ISP), bridges this line to an RJ-45 Ethernet port like the one on your computer. You then connect your computer to the DSL modem using an Ethernet cable.


Question 2: What is PPPoE?

Answer: PPPoE is the abbreviation for Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet. PPPoE is the protocol that your ISP uses to transmit information to and from a computer. Some DSL-based ISPs may not call PPPoE by name, but this information is relevant if you use a DSL modem and are required provide a user name and password in order to connect to the Internet.


Question 3: With Mac OS 9, I used PPPoE software provided by my ISP. How do I use this software with Mac OS X?

Answer: With Mac OS X, you do not need to use such software. This function is part of Mac OS X. Follow the instructions in technical document 106282: "Mac OS X 10.0: Setup Assistant Does Not Accommodate DSL User Name and Password"


Question 4: What if the ISP tells me that their DSL/PPPoE software does not work with Macintosh computers?

Answer: You do not need connection software when using Mac OS X, so this does not affect you. Most ISPs only require the correct user name and password when your computer connects to their service. Mac OS X can do this without any additional software. Follow the instructions in technical document 106282: "Mac OS X 10.0: Setup Assistant Does Not Accommodate DSL User Name and Password"


Question 5: Where can I find more information?

Answer: More information on DSL should be available from your ISP.

Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Article: TA20530
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