Mac OS X: How to connect to the Internet with PPP (dial-up access) and a modem

If your Mac has a built-in modem, you can use it to get on the Internet using the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), which is also known as "dial-up" access. Even if your Internet service provider (ISP) doesn't specifically offer Mac support, you can still use these steps.

Tip: If you use an AirPort base station, connect the phone line to your computer's modem and complete the steps below first. After, see the AirPort section at the end of this article.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Get information from your Internet service provider (ISP)

Ask your ISP for the following information if you don't know it.

  • Username and password
  • Dial-up access phone number(s)
  • Domain Name System (DNS) server addresses, if needed
  • Whether you should choose to configure IP information via PPP or manually. If you don't know, assume you'll use PPP. Manual IP configuration is uncommon for dial-up connections.

Write down the information your ISP gives you and keep it in a safe place in case you need it again.

Tip: If your ISP requires you to use customized software to connect to their service, use a Mac OS X-compatible version of the software.

Configure Mac OS X

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. From the View menu, choose Network.
  3. Choose "Internal Modem" from the Show pop-up menu (or the "Configure" pop-up menu prior to Mac OS X v10.1).
    If your computer does not have a built-in modem, select your external modem.
  4. Mac OS X v10.5 or later: From the Configuration pop-up menu, choose Add Configuration.
    Mac OS X 10.4.x or earlier: Click the PPP tab.
  5. Enter your information into the relevant fields. Your username goes in the Account Name field, for example. If you want to copy this connection information to other user accounts on this computer, select "Save password".
  6. You should now be able to connect. If you need to configure DNS servers or other advanced settings, continue to the next step.
  7. Mac OS X v10.5 or later: Click the Advanced button, then click the DNS tab.
    Mac OS X v10.4 or earlier: Click the TCP/IP tab. Choose either PPP or Manually from the Configure pop-up menu, as instructed by your Internet service provider. If configuring manually, type the IP address in the matching field.
  8. Type the DNS server addresses in their field if necessary (click the "+" button first in Mac OS X v10.5 or later).
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click Apply (or Apply Now for Mac OS X v10.4 or earlier).

Connect and verify

  1. Mac OS X v10.5 or later: Open Network preferences (in System Preferences).
    Mac OS X v10.4.x or earlier: Open Internet Connect (from the Applications folder).
  2. Be sure the Configuration pop-up menu is set to your modem.
  3. Click the Connect button.
  4. Once you're connected, open a Web browser or other Internet application to make sure your connection works.

Tip: You can have Mac OS X automatically connect to the Internet whenever you open an Internet application.

Additional steps for AirPort

  1. Disconnect from the Internet.
  2. Disconnect the phone line from your computer and connect it to the base station's modem port.
  3. Use AirPort Utility or AirPort Setup Assistant utility (in /Applications/Utilities/) to copy the computer's settings to the base station.

See also:

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