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In Computer Literacy for the Mac, author Garrick Chow walks through the skills necessary to use Mac computers comfortably, while improving learning, productivity, and performance. This course focuses on the Apple Mac OS X operating system and offers a thorough introduction to computers, networks, and computer peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, and more. In addition, basic procedures with software applications, the Internet, and email are covered.
In this video, we are going to look at how to connect your Mac to a network via a wired Ethernet connection. Now this assumes that your network has already been set up in your home, office, or classroom. If you are connecting to your home network, you are most likely just going to run an Ethernet cable from your Mac directly into your router. If you are connecting in an office or classroom environment, chances are you will be running an Ethernet cable from your Mac into an Ethernet port in the wall, or some other fixture, which in turn connects to your network. In any case, the important thing is that you have to have a cable running from whatever the source of your network connection is into the Ethernet port on your Mac.
All Macs, with the exception of the MacBook Air, have Ethernet ports. Once you have your Mac connected to your network via Ethernet, chances are you are already on your network, and your so-called setup is done. You should be able to connect to other computers on your network, as well as the Internet, if Internet service is connected to your router, but let's take a look at some settings. Go to the Apple menu and open System Preferences, and then click Network, and here I can see I already have a green light next to Ethernet, telling me I am connected to my network. To the right, I can see my Network Settings, and I want to draw your attention to the menu labeled Configure IPv4.
Notice that this menu is currently set to Using DHCP. DHCP is the most common setting for connecting a computer to a home or office network. The D in DHCP stands for Dynamic, and it means that you are going to let the router assign an IP, or Internet Protocol address, to your computer. Each computer or device on your network has its own unique address, kind of like how every house in your neighborhood has its own unique address. That way, the router knows which computer is which, and is able to send and receive data to and from the right computers. You do have other options in this menu, such as Manually or BootP, but again the most common configuration, by far, is going to be Using DHCP.
If you need to select another setting, you are most likely be informed of this by your network administrator, who will probably set it up for you too. So the address of my computer has been assigned in this case is 10.1.10.182. Generally, all the devices on your network will have the same first three numbers; in this case, 10.1.10, and the last number, 182 in this case, will be the unique identifier for each computer. In most cases, you are not going to need to know your computer's IP address, but just in case you ever do need it, this is where you will find it. You will even have less need to know any of the other information here, like the Subnet Mask or the Router Address, but you can see that the Router Address also starts with 10.1.10 in this case.
But again, all this information is found in this one location if you ever do need it. Really though, all you need to know in the majority of cases is to set your configuration menu to using DHCP, which is the default anyway. So once you plug your Ethernet cable into your Mac, you should immediately be connected to your network.
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