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Chapter 4. Using the Internet > Creating an Internet Connection

Creating an Internet Connection

The first step in connecting to any network (including the Internet) is determining what, exactly, is being connected. Mac OS X supports a number of technologies out of the box, such as standard wired (ethernet) networks, wireless AirPort networks, and, of course, broadband and dial-in ISPs. For each different type of network, you must collect connection information before continuing. Your network administrator or ISP should be able to provide you with the details of your network access, including

  • IP address— An Internet Protocol address that's used to uniquely identify your computer on the Internet.

  • Subnet mask— A filter that helps your computer differentiate between which machines are on the local network and which are on the Internet.

  • Router— A device address used to send and receive information to and from the Internet.

  • Domain name server— A computer that translates the name you see in your Web browser, such as www.apple.com, into the corresponding IP address.

  • ISP phone number— A number used when creating a dial-in connection.

  • Account name— A username for your ISP Internet account.

  • Password— A password for your ISP Internet account.

  • Proxy— A computer that your Macintosh must interact with to reach the Internet.


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