Solutions for connecting to the Internet, setting up a small network, and troubleshooting

This article covers solutions for connecting to the Internet, setting up a small network, and troubleshooting.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

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Internet connection and troubleshooting

Learn about common ways to connect to the Internet. The DNS issues section below applies to all three types.

Ethernet connection from cable modem, DSL, or LAN

These articles explain how to connect to the Internet or troubleshoot your service if you have a cable modem, digital subscriber line (DSL), or a local area network (LAN). You use your computer's Ethernet port or an AirPort base station to connect to these services.

Wi-Fi (wireless) connection

Learn about setting up, using, and troubleshooting a Wi-Fi Internet connection in these articles:

PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE)

Use these articles if your cable or DSL Internet service provider requires you to connect to the Internet using PPPoE.

DNS issues - "Server Could Not Be Found", webpages load slowly

DNS-related alert messages

It's possible to successfully connect to the Internet but not be able to load webpages or do other things that use the Internet. You may see messages such as:

  • "The server could not be found."
  • "The specified server could not be found."
  • "A connection failure has occurred."
  • "Connection attempt failed."
  • "Name servers not responding."

Delay before connection

In some cases, webpages might load, but you have to wait quite a bit before they do. This could be caused by DNS issues.
The domain name system (DNS) server, which is provided by your Internet service provider or network administrator, translates names like "" to their numerical IP addresses. For more information, see this article:

Troubleshooting web browser issues

If your web browser can connect to the Internet but has other issues, such as quitting unexpectedly or becoming unresponsive ("freezing") there are other steps you can try.

Setting up Mail

You can read all about setting up Mail, the email application included with Mac OS X.

Creating a small network

You can create a simple Ethernet network for your home or office, including a wireless network based on AirPort.

File Sharing

Read the Mac 101: File sharing to learn about sharing with other Macs. Mac OS X also offers a number of ways to share with other platforms; see Mac OS X: Sharing your files with non-Apple computers.

Using your computer in different locations

If you use your computer in different locations, at home and school, for example, you can easily set up your Internet connections to match your locations and port configurations.

Setting Internet preferences

Set preferences within Internet applications. See Mac OS X: How to change the default web browser or email application.

Learn more


PPP (dial up)

PPP is also known as "dial-up" or "plain old telephone service (POTS)". These articles apply if you access the Internet by using a modem and analog telephone line. Learn how to connect to the Internet or troubleshoot your service:

Connecting to the Internet via PPP and a compatible GPRS mobile telephone

See Macintosh: How to Connect to the Internet Using a GPRS Mobile Telephone.

Unexpected PPP dial-up?

If your computer automatically connects to the Internet when you do not expect or want it to, see these articles:

Mac OS X: How to Disable or Enable Automatic Modem (PPP) Connections
Mac OS X: Some Services Cause Modem Connection During Startup

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