As Apple’s programmers slogged away for months on the massive Mac OS X project, there was one area where they must have felt like they were happily gliding on ice: networking and the Internet. For the most part, the Internet already runs on Unix, and hundreds of extremely polished tools and software chunks were already available.
Plenty of people still connect to the Internet using a modem that dials out over ordinary phone lines. But their numbers are shrinking; over half of the U.S. Internet population connects over higher-speed wires, using broadband connections that are always on: cable modems, DSL, or corporate networks. This chapter explains how to set up each one (and how to use each with a wireless AirPort system).
This chapter also describes some of Mac OS X’s offbeat Internet featurettes: the iDisk, a backup or transfer disk that resides on the Internet; the other Apple .Mac account features, including HomePage, which lets you publish your own Web pages; Internet Connection Sharing, which lets several computers in the same household share a single broadband connection; the system-wide Internet bookmarks known as Internet location files; and iSync, the software that keeps data on your cellphone, Palm organizer, and multiple Macs all in sync.