Chapter 18. Internet Setup & MobileMe

As Apple’s programmers slogged away for months on the massive Mac OS X project, there were areas 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.

There are all kinds of ways to get your Mac onto the Internet these days:

  • WiFi. Wireless hot spots, known as WiFi (or, as Apple calls it, AirPort), are glorious conveniences, especially if you have a laptop. Without stirring from your hotel bed, you’re online at high speed. Sometimes for free.

  • Cable modems, DSL. 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. (These, of course, are often what’s at the other end of an Internet hot spot.)

  • Cellular modems. A few well-heeled individuals enjoy the go-anywhere bliss of USB cellular modems, which get them online just about anywhere they can make a phone call. These modems are offered by Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and so on, and usually cost $60 a month.

  • Tethering. Tethering is letting your cellphone act as a glorified Internet antenna for your Mac, whether connected by a cable or a Bluetooth wireless link. In general, the phone company charges you a hefty fee for this convenience.

  • Dial-up modems. It’s true: Plenty of people still connect to the Internet using a modem that ...

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