AirPort: Using with AOL in Mac OS 9

You can use these instructions to connect to America Online in the United States, using minimum software versions of AirPort 2.0 and AOL 5.0.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

AOL customers in the United States using AirPort 2.0 and AOL 5.0 or later software versions can connect to AOL via AirPort.



  1. Sharing your AOL connection among multiple computers requires multiple AOL accounts.
  2. AirPort software versions earlier than 2.0 do not connect to AOL. For the latest version, see Apple Featured Software (
  3. You must have AOL 5.0 (Build 20.9). Choose About AOL from the Apple menu when AOL is the active application to verify the build number. See your America Online support materials if you need a later version. Beta versions of America Online do not work with AirPort.

Connecting to AOL

Make sure you have America Online 5.0 (build 20.9) or later installed on your computer and that you have an active account with AOL. You also need to enter the AOL access phone number into the AirPort Setup Assistant when connecting via PPP.

There are two different AOL connection types:

  • Standard Dialup (PPP) - This is for connecting directly to AOL with a dialup modem. Have your preferred AOL access phone number(s) written down.
  • Bring Your Own Access (BYOA) - This is for connecting to AOL when you are already connected to the Internet. Existing connections can include but are not limited to DSL, cable modems, and non-AOL dialup access (PPP).

This picture shows a dialup configuration, which could be either an AOL Standard Dialup account or a BYOA PPP account:

This pictures illustrates using a cable, DSL, LAN, or other Ethernet connection:

Obtaining dialup access numbers (optional)

There are two ways to get AOL access numbers. The preferred way is to go to to look up local access numbers. When you do not have access to the Internet, you can follow these steps:


  1. Open AOL.
  2. Click Setup.


  3. Click Expert Setup.


  4. Write down the main phone number and alternate phone number for your location.
  5. Quit AOL

Connecting Using a Standard Dialup Account

Part 1 - Setting up the AOL client


  1. Quit AOL if it is open.


  2. Locate the America Online Extras folder on your AirPort 2.0 CD-ROM. Note: Downloaded AirPort 2.0 software does not include this folder. To use AOL with the earlier AirPort Base Station (Graphite), download the extras from America Online Extras for AirPort: Information and Download.


  3. Locate the Online Files folder inside the America Online v5.0 folder on your hard disk.


  4. Drag the files "AirPort" and "AirPort Connect" from the America Online Extras folder to the Online Files folder.


  5. Open AOL and verify that AirPort Connect is selected under the Select Location menu.


The America Online client is now set up. Before you can continue, you need to set up the base station to connect to AOL using AOL access numbers.

Part 2 - Setting up the AirPort Base Station

You can use either the AirPort Setup Assistant or the AirPort Admin Utility to set up the base station.

Setting Up the Base Station Using AirPort Setup Assistant


  1. Open the AirPort Setup Assistant, located at Macintosh HD: Applications (Mac OS 9): Apple Extras: AirPort.
  2. Select "Set up an AirPort Base Station" in the Introduction panel.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions, entering your America Online access phone number in the Internet Access panel.

    Setting Up the Base Station Using AirPort Admin Utility


    1. Open the AirPort Admin Utility and connect to your Base Station.
    2. Click the Internet tab.
    3. Choose either America Online (AOLnet, V.90) or America Online (AOLnet, V.34) from the Connect using menu. Which option you use depends on the access number you use.


    4. Enter your first access number in the "Main number" field and if available an alternate number in the respective field.
    5. Click Update to load these settings to your base station.

    You are finished. After completing these steps, the next time you open AOL, it will connect to the base station over the wireless network, then the base station will dial AOL and provide service.

    Connect Using Bring Your Own Access Accounts

    Because the "Bring Your Own Access" account is intended for users who already have a broadband Internet connection, the AOL client is treated the same as other Internet applications. To set up the AOL client to use TCP/IP connections, follow these steps:


    1. Open AOL and click Setup.


    2. Select the radio button Bring Your Own Access connection and click Next.


    3. On the next page you can name the connection. You can ignore the dialing options, since they only apply to dialup modem connections.
    4. Click Next.


    5. Select "Add a TCP connection" and click Next.


    6. After you see this window, click OK, and you are finished. AOL will now connect using your Internet connection, not through a dialup modem.


    Note: Wireless Internet access requires an Internet service provider (fees may apply) and AirPort (or AirPort-compatible) wireless Ethernet card and base station. Some ISPs are not compatible with AirPort. For more information, see AirPort: Requirements for wireless Internet access.
Published Date: Feb 17, 2012