How to connect your Mac to the internet

By cable connection
As soon as you use a UTP ethernet cable to connect your Mac to an ethernet modem, you are online. Most modems give out so-called 'dynamic IP-addresses' and your Mac's default setting is exactly this.
You can find those settings at System Preferences => Network. Select Ethernet, and choose at Configure IPv4: 'Using DHCP'

Some internet providers use the PPoE protocol. Then you choose
Configure IPv4 => Create PPPoE Service...

First give the PPPoE Service a name. This name can be given to you by your provider. Then fill in your Account Name and Password, also given to you by your internet provider.

NOTE: Please mind that passwords and account names are capital letter sensitive.

Wirelesss / Wi-Fi

To use a wirelesss network, there are a few things you need to know:
- the networks name (SSID code)
- the type of wirelesss security that is being used (WPA or WEP*)
- the password for the network (WPA- or WEP key).
*WEP is not secure and obsolete!

Select a wirelesss network and login
Go to System Preferences => Network and select Wi-Fi.
Choose at Network Name the name of the wireless network.

Enter the password

Choose the security:

Another way: through the Menu Bar
Go to the Wi-Fi icon in the Menu Bar on the right. Choose your network:

Can't find your network? Then choose Join Other Network.

Advanced Internet Settings
Click at System Preferences => Network at Advanced to fill in other things like Proxy servers.

DNS servers, speed of the Wi-Fi network en Mac addresses of ethernet en Wi-Fi- are also to find here.

Problems with a Wi-Fi connection

Wi-Fi is a radio signal. It's a the same wave length as a microwave oven (no worries, a Wi-Fi transmitter is much weaker than a magnetron). This is the reason you don't need a transmitter permit.
Radio signals travel in a straight line. In case there's some obstacle between the modem and the Mac, like enforced concrete, cables, fish tanks, washing machines, microwaves and pipes, the signal can be jammed.
Also your neighbours can interfere with your signal, in case their modem is on the same radio channel as yours.
- move your modem / router
- choose another channel
- use an amplifier (WDS)

Surfing with Safari

You use a web browser to surf the Internet. It comes with Mac OS and it's name is Safari.
You are not obliged to use Safari. Firefox or Google Chrome are some excellent alternatives.

The Safari window from left to right

Upper row:
- one page backwards, or back to the page you came from
- one page forward, back to the page you came from
- plus sign: make a bookmark (make a favorite)
- field for the internet address (URL) , with on the upper right the rounded reload-page arrow.
This field is also the Google search engine field. No separate space for this!

Second row:
- glasses are button that puts the page on the 'reading list'. It downloads the page so that you can keep on reading later in case no internet connection is available
- book icon is the button that shows all your bookmarks
- the Favorites Bar: you can drag and drop your upper favorite bookmarks in here

To add a Bookmark, go to the Bookmarks menu and choose Add bookmark...

Put a bookmark in the Favorites Bar
Drag and drop your upper favorite sites in here.

Then give it a (short) name.

Totally fill the screen
Use the little arrows icon to enlarge the Safari window to the whole screen.

Move your mouse towards the upper right of the screen. The menu bar will appear with a blue icon and arrows. Click it to go back to window view.

Homepage or startpage

At default, Safari goes to the Apple website at start up. Don't lik this?
Go to the Safari menu and choose Preferences...

Choose your favorite opening page at 'Homepage'. Or leave it blank for a blank page at start up.

Downloading images

Just use 'drag and drop': click the picture and drag it to the Desktop.

And there it is:

Downloading images by right-clicking
You can also use a right click to open a menu. Now you can choose to save your image to the 'Downloads' folder, add it to your iPhoto Library or use it as a Desktop picture.

NOTE: occassionally, pictures won't download because web masters don't allow it.

Too small characters in Safari?
Use Command + to make it all bigger (and Command – to make it smaller). Very convenient for MacMiep, with her cat at her lap and leaning back in her desk chair she can still surf the internet!

Email a complete internet page?
Choose Command-i in Safari and Mail wil make a new email with the complete and formatted content of the webpage.

Changing default browser
Ad default, Safari is the browser to open all web pages. Don't like this? Go to the Safari Preferences => General, and choose another browser at 'Default web browser'.

Changing default search engine
Hate the Google search engine?
Go to Preferences=> General and choose an alternative at 'Default search engine'.

Extensions in Safari
MacMiep hates to be followed by websites without her permission. She uses an extension against that, called Ghostery.
There are much more extensions for Safari, for all kinds of things. You can find them at the Safari menu => Safari Extensions. This will lead you to the App Store where there are much more of these.

Electronic Mail, how does it work?

1. You have your own mailbox at the post-office: This is the place on the mail-server at your provider that's yours, on the POP-server.

2. To open this mailbox at the office you'll need a key: The key is the login name and password your provider gave you.

3. To send mail, there's a a public mailbox in your street: This is the outgoing mail-server of you provider. SMTP-server or POP3-server.

4. However: to put your letter in the public mailbox, you'll need to live in the same street as the mailbox.: Only when you're on your provider's network, you're allowed to send mail through their mail-server.
Note: The reason internet providers only let their own customers send mail via their servers is obvious: anonymous mail-sending results in a huge amount of spam.


The standard email program on the Mac is simply called "Mail".
Configuring the Mail program is easy. Starting up for the first time it will ask you the appropriate questions by itself:

NOTE: SSL is optional and makes that your email is being send through a secured connection.

Choose POP of IMAP:

Outgoing mailserver info:

Identity control at sending email
Most email services demand an identity control before you are allowed to use their outgoing mail servers.

Some providers may have blocked default email ports. You can choose the port you need to use here:

Account data
Want to configure more Mail accounts? Go to the Mail Menu => Preferences => Accounts and click the + symbol:

This is also the spot where you can remove or add new email accounts.
Use the + or - symbol in the upper left.

Go to Preferences => Accounts. Click the + symbol to make a new account. Choose Google.
Mail will fill in the rest of the servers for you, you only need to fill in your password.

In case you want to use other Google services, just choose them here. Google contacts will now appear in the Contacts program etcetera.

The Mail program window

Upper bar from left to right:

Envelope - get new mail
Pen and paper- create a new email (Command + N)
Trash - throw away this email
Thumbs down - declare an email as Junk mail
Arrow to the left- reply to this email
Double arrow to the left- reply this email to all addressees
Arrow to the right- forward this email
Flag - mark the email with colors
Search window -type your search word here


Click 'Show' to show all your email folders:

Inbox - all new emails will arrive here
Concepts - mails you've been working on but haven't been sent yet
Sent - your sent emails
Junk mail - spam folder
Trash - thrown away email

A new email

Carbon Copy and Blind Carbon Copy
CC and BCC can be found here:


Use Drag and Drop to throw Atatchments into your email.

Mail in the Dock
The Mail icon in the Dock tells you when new mail has arrived and more:

Control how Mail behaves at Mail Preferences
Go to Preferences at the Mail Menu and configure Mail according to your wishes:

For example how often Mail has to get new email and what sounds you want it to make.

Spam / Junk Mail
You can turn on the filter for Junk Mail at Preferences too:

Declare email as spam
Right-click on the e-mail and choose 'Mark as Junk'.

Would you like to have personal info or other comments at the bottom of every email you send? Use Signatures to make your own. You can drag and drop pictures in here too.

Small characters in an email?
Use Command + to make them bigger (and Command - to make them smaller)

Sending email and changing your internet provider

Mind that you send your email through the email server of the provider you are using at that moment. Many providers block email that ain't using their servers.

Working with Microsoft Exchange Server
Ask your System Administrator to turn on the Autodiscover-function of MS Exchange. Like this it's easy to create an Exchange-mail-account with the login name and password you have been given. Contacts en iCal (agenda) will also work together with MS Exchange.

Disclaimer: MacMiep is independent. This means she writes what she wants, based on 25+ years of Mac-experience. She doesn't get paid for stories (positive or negative) on this website.