Mac OS X: How to Create Port Configurations

Mac OS X can automatically connect to the Internet, or other networks, two or more different ways with the same Ethernet port. Each additional connection is achieved by creating a new port configuration.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
This document assumes familiarity with the Automatic location. If you need to review this first, see technical document 106653, "Mac OS X: How to Use Locations".

When using the Automatic location in its default state, Mac OS X detects which of your network interfaces is/are connected to a network. You do not have to manually switch between different interfaces when using this location in its default state.

But what if you must set up the same network interface two different ways, manually at work but via DHCP at home, for example?

The default automatic location does not accommodate having both configuration choices active on the same interface at the same time. You could create two different locations and switch between them. But if you prefer not to switch, this is easily remedied by adding a new port configuration to the existing location.

Note: For most practical purposes, creation of port configurations applies to the Ethernet port. Though Mac OS X 10.1 allows you to create additional port configurations for AirPort, you should use only one for best results. The ability to create multiple port configurations for AirPort has been removed in Mac OS X 10.2 and later. However, multiple AirPort configurations may be present in Mac OS X 10.2 if they were created in Mac OS X 10.1 and then retained during an upgrade installation. In this case, it is recommended that you deactivate the extra AirPort port configurations.

Creating a new port configuration

Follow these steps:
    1. Choose Location from the Apple menu and Network Preferences from the submenu.
    2. Be sure the Location menu is set to Automatic, or your whichever location you prefer.
    3. For Mac OS X 10.2 or later: Choose Network Port Configurations from the Show pop-up menu.
    For Mac OS X 10.1: Choose Active Network Ports from the Show pop-up menu.
    For Mc OS X 10.0: Choose Advanced from the Configure pop-up menu.
    4. Select the Ethernet port configuration that you are using from the list.
    5. Click Duplicate.
    6. Name the new port configuration as desired, then click OK.
    7. Choose the new port configuration from the Show menu.
    8. Set up the new port configuration as desired.

Each port configuration is set up as its own Internet connection. If you need any help setting up for the Internet, see these technical documents. Note: Steps for setting up a connection on an Ethernet LAN are the same as for cable/DSL.

106715: "Mac OS X: How to Connect to the Internet With Cable or DSL"
106716: "Mac OS X: How to Connect to the Internet With PPPoE"
106717: "Mac OS X: How to Connect to the Internet via PPP (Dial-Up Access)"
Published Date: Oct 10, 2016