Modem Network Settings on Your MacBook - dummies

Modem Network Settings on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

From the Network pane of your MacBook, you can choose an existing Location by clicking the Location pop-up menu at the top of the dialog, or you can create and edit your Locations by choosing Edit Locations from this pop-up menu.


When you select Modem from the list of connection types, you can enter the telephone number, account name, and password provided by your ISP. In most cases, that’s all the information you need. But if you need to make a manual change, click the Advanced button to display these tabs:

  • Modem: Click the Modem pop-up menu and choose the brand and model of your external modem.

    Enable the Enable Error Correction and Compression in Modem check box; also select Wait for Dial Tone before Dialing from the Dial Mode pop-up menu. These settings provide you with the best performance and the fastest speeds.

    You can also select tone or pulse dialing and whether you want to hear the two modems conversing. (If the caterwauling bothers you, turn off the Sound option.)

  • DNS: The settings that you enter here specify the DNS servers and search domains used by your ISP. Typically, any changes you make here are requested by your ISP or your network administrator. Click the Add buttons (with the plus signs) to add a new DNS server address or search domain.

  • WINS: You’re likely to never need these WINS settings, so make changes on this tab only if instructed to do so by your network administrator.

  • Proxies: Some ISPs use proxy servers for their dial-up accounts to maintain security, but changing these settings willy-nilly is inviting disaster. Leave them disabled unless given specific instructions on what to set by your ISP.

  • PPP: These settings are used for a Point-to-Point Protocol connection over a telephone modem. Your ISP provides you with the right values to enter here.

    If you’re concerned about who’s using your Internet connection — or you want to add an extra layer of security when you dial out — select the Prompt for Password after Dialing check box on the PPP tab, and Mac OS X prompts you each time for your Internet account password.

Select the Show Modem Status in Menu Bar check box on the Modem status pane, which gives you a visual reference on your connection status.