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Chapter 7. Configuring Network Connectivity > Configuring Network Connections

Configuring Network Connections

The Network preferences pane is the GUI brain center of the OS X interface to TCP/IP. This pane, in actuality, just provides a series of hints to the underlying Unix TCP/IP control software, but it does so in a much prettier and often more convenient fashion than twiddling configuration parameters at the command line. The primary control with which you should familiarize yourself is the Configuration menu. In previous versions of Mac OS, various portions of the networking software were configured by separate control panels, and each panel was controlled by its own independent saved configuration setting. Mac OS X has instead placed all network configurations under a single parent control pane, with an umbrella configuration setting that covers TCP/IP, modem control, AppleTalk, and location settings.

The two main options in this pane are the Location and Show options. Location can be set to Automatic, New Location, Edit Locations, and any locations that you've already created. What appears by default under the Show menu varies with your system's hardware. Options include Network Status, Internal Modem (dial-up connection, if you have a modem), IrDA modem (infrared port, if you have this interface), Built-in Ethernet, AirPort (if your machine has an AirPort), and Network Port Configurations. The collection of these that are visible to you may also be modified by enabling and disabling each connection type on a per-location basis.


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