Connecting to the Internet with PPPoE in Mac OS X v10.6 and later

Learn about connecting to the Internet with PPPoE in Mac OS X v10.6 and later.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Your broadband Internet service providers may require you to connect via PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet). This article explains how to set up PPPoE in Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

Follow these steps if you connect your computer directly to a DSL or cable modem and your ISP requires you to use PPPoE. If you have an AirPort Extreme, Express, or Time Capsule, follow these steps to set the computer up first, without the base station connected to the network, then see the AirPort section at the end of the article.

Before continuing, please note that many DSL or cable modems also function as a router, and handle any necessary PPPoE settings on their own. You should only follow these instructions if your ISP confirms you'll need to set up PPPoE directly on your computer or router.

Note: If configuring PPPoE in Mac OS X v10.5 or earlier, please refer to this article.

Steps to connect

  1. Get this information from your Internet service provider (ISP):

    • Username and password
    • Domain Name Server (DNS) address(es) if needed

    Note: In many cases, DNS servers are automatically assigned by the ISP when the PPPoE connection is established, and do not need to be entered ahead of time. 
  2. Make sure that the DSL or cable modem is on and connected to the Internet (based on its status lights), and that the Ethernet cable is connected to the computer. Some modems have separate status lights for each connection.
  3. From the Apple () menu, choose System Preferences.
  4. From the View menu, choose Network.
  5. Unlock the pane (if needed). 
  6. Click the "+" button in the bottom left corner to add a new interface. 
  7. Choose "PPPoE" as the Interface, and make sure "Ethernet" is selected in the "Ethernet" menu. 
  8. Click Create. 
  9. Type your username in the Account Name field.
  10. Type your password in the Password field. If you want all users of this computer to use the same connection method, select the checkbox for "Save password."

    Tip: To have the computer automatically connect whenever you open a network application (web browser, email, and so forth), click the Advanced button, select the PPP tab, and select the "Connect automatically when needed" checkbox.
  11. Click the TCP/IP tab.
  12. Choose either Using PPP or Manually from the Configure IPv4 pop-up menu, as instructed by your Internet service provider. Choose Manually if your ISP gave you a static IP address. Enter the static IP address in the IP address field.
  13. Click the DNS tab. 
  14. Under DNS Servers, click the "+" button, then type in the first DNS server your ISP has provided (if any). Repeat the same steps for each additional DNS server.
  15. Click Apply Now.
  16. Open a web browser or other Internet (TCP/IP) application to verify your connection.

    If you did not check the option in step 10 to automatically connect when needed, there are two other alternatives. You can either manually click on "Connect" from the Network System Preference screen while PPPoE is selected when you want to access the Internet, or you can check the "Show PPPoE Status in menu bar" checkbox on the same screen, and then use the PPPoE menu icon to connect when needed.   

Additional steps for AirPort

  1. After the computer successfully connects to the Internet, physically connect the base station to the network.
  2. Disconnect the DSL or cable modem's power cord for a few seconds, then plug it back in.
  3. Use AirPort Utility (located in /Applications/Utilities/) to copy the computer's settings to the base station.
  4. If you selected the option "Connect automatically when needed" (step 10 above), open Network preferences after using the AirPort Setup Assistant and deselect this setting for your computer's Built-in Ethernet port. This prevents the issue described in AirPort: Can connect to base station but not to Internet when using PPPoE.


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