What Is MacIP?

In my TCP-IP control panel, there is a choice to "Connect Via: AppleTalk (MacIP)". What is this and when should I use it?
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Certain physical networks and dialup networking protocols, notably LocalTalk and ARAP (Apple Remote Access Protocol--for dial up connections), cannot transmit TCP/IP. To allow TCP/IP connectivity over these networks, MacIP wraps (tunnels) the IP packets inside of AppleTalk packets so they can be transmitted across these non-TCP/IP networks. From there, the AppleTalk packets are received by a MacIP gateway, which then forwards the unwrapped IP packets.

For example, a Macintosh LCII without Ethernet capability can connect to an Ethernet network through a LocalTalk-to-Ethernet bridge. Without a MacIP gateway, this connection would offer only AppleTalk connectivity and the user would not be able to access the World Wide Web or get Internet email. Similarly, someone dialing in to a network using Apple Remote Access 1 or 2.x (or using ARAP under 3.x) would also have only AppleTalk connectivity to the network on the other side without MacIP.

Open Transport supports MacIP in the TCP/IP control panel. Once "AppleTalk (MacIP)" is selected, TCP/IP data packets are encapsulated in AppleTalk packets and sent through the network interface selected in the AppleTalk control panel. To be unwrapped, the packets must reach a MacIP gateway (server). If the gateway is not in your current zone, you may select another zone in the TCP/IP control panel.

In the past the Apple IP gateway was an Apple product that would provide MacIP gateway services. At this time, Apple does not make a MacIP gateway. Third party solutions can be found at this address:


MacIP gateway support is most frequently offered as an integrated service within a multiprotocol router or a LocalTalk to Ethernet bridge. The gateway (router/bridge) attaches to both an AppleTalk and a TCP/IP network.
Published Date: Feb 18, 2012