These days, using a computer and using a network are nearly synonymous concepts. Since Unix has always been a network-oriented operating system, Mac OS X supports networking (and Internetworking) at its core, and provides many friendly interfaces to let users take advantage of this.
This chapter covers the basics of getting a Mac OS X machine connected to a network, particularly the Internet, from a user’s perspective. Chapter 10 covers network administration in more detail.
Connecting to a network basically involves telling your Mac where on the network it belongs by giving it a network IP address (which might belong to the Internet or maybe just the local area network) and telling it where it can find its router (which lets it speak to the network outside of the immediate subnetwork). Depending on your network’s configuration, you might have to enter this and other information manually, or you can have a network server configure your network setup for you through DHCP, as described in Section 22.214.171.124.
In any case, Mac OS X’s main interface for setting
and displaying all this information is the Network preference pane,
described in the next section. Though network administrators can also
route, and other command-line tools to display a
network settings, changes made
with these tools don’t always work as expected
because they don’t report their changes to the
configd daemon, which is responsible for storing the systems’ ...