macOS High Sierra

Connect to the Internet from anywhere

These days it’s easy to connect to the Internet from your Mac, whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go. Two common ways to get online are by using a Wi-Fi (wireless) or Ethernet (wired) connection. If neither is available, you may be able to use an Instant Hotspot.

Use Wi-Fi

When a Wi-Fi network is available, the Wi-Fi icon is shown in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click the icon, then choose a network to join. If you see a lock icon next to the network name, the network is protected by a password—you’ll need to enter the password before you can use that Wi-Fi network. Learn more about using Wi-Fi.

Use Ethernet

You can use Ethernet either through an Ethernet network or through a DSL or cable modem. If Ethernet is available, connect an Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on your Mac, identified by this symbol . If your Mac doesn’t include a built-in Ethernet port, you can use an adapter to connect the Ethernet cable to the USB or Thunderbolt port on your computer. Learn more about using Ethernet.

Use Instant Hotspot

If you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection, you may be able to use your Mac and Instant Hotspot to connect to the Internet using the personal hotspot on your iPhone or iPad, as long as they’re within range of each other. Learn more about using Instant Hotspot.

At home, at work, or on the go

When you’re at home: Your ISP may offer a Wi-Fi or Ethernet Internet connection. Check with your ISP if you’re not sure which type of access you have.

When you’re at work: You may have a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network connection available. Check with your company’s IT department or network administrator for details about how to connect to your work network, and usage policies.

When you’re on the go: You can use Wi-Fi hotspots (wireless networks that are open to the public) or Instant Hotspot on your Mac (if your Mac and your phone carrier support it). Keep in mind that some Wi-Fi hotspots require that you enter a password, agree to terms of service, or pay a fee to use it.