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The Network system preference is where you set up a variety of services for connecting your Mac to a local network and the internet. So, let's take a look. Back to the System Preferences and select Network. Along the left side of the window, you see any services capable of networking. In most cases, you'll see Wi-Fi and either an Ethernet entry or a Thunderbolt Ethernet. You also may see a Bluetooth entry as we have here. Any service that is currently working will read Connected.
We have Ethernet one connected, Wi-Fi is connected, and those that are not connected read Not Connected and of course they show this red icon. If you select Wi-Fi, you'll see its status. So, it will tell you it's either connected or it's not connected. At this point, you can turn Wi-Fi off if you like just by clicking Wi-Fi Off, and it disappears. You notice it says Off and then it changes to this red dot. We'll turn it back on, it will seek out my network, and there it is. Now, speaking of network name, this pop-up menu will show you available networks nearby.
So, here are networks available to me. However, you notice the lock icon. This indicates that this network is password protected, so I would need to know the password for that network. So, for example, if I choose this IPHONE network, I will be prompted for the password. If I know it, I type it in, click on join, and I'm ready to go. We'll stick with GUEST for now. If you like, you can show the Wi-Fi status in the menu bar by clicking Wi-Fi status. Here again, you see the same kinds of options.
So, local networks available to me if I know the password. Let's go back to this menu and look at a couple of options. One is Join Other Network. Now, it's possible to create a Wi-Fi network that other people can't see. What you would do is you would type in the network name in this field, choose the kind of security it's using, and here are your various security options. Enter the password for the network, click join, and then you're on the network. The other option is Create Network, and this is a very cool option.
Basically, it allows you to turn your Mac into a wireless hotspot that other computers and devices can share. So, you choose this command, name your network, choose the channel that it's going to be on, and this is a Wi-Fi channel. Generally, a lot of Wi-Fi networks end up on eleven or one, so you might want to choose something in the middle like six or seven. Choose the kind of security you want, and that can be 40-bit WEP or 128-bit WEP, 128-bit is a little more secure. And once you've done that then you create the network and it will become a wireless hotspot to other computers around you.
So, in what case would you use this? Well, let's say that you're in an old-style hotel and they don't have a wireless network, instead they have a wired network. So, you plug the ethernet cable into your Mac, and you have other devices around you that you'd like to use. Well, let's say my iPad for instance. Well, I don't have an Ethernet cable for that so how do I connect? Well, I can set my MacBook Pro up as a hotspot, then I can connect my iPad to that hotspot and be able to share the hotel's network with all my devices. I don't care to do that now, but I can.
If I do that, this Wi-Fi icon will change a little bit. It will show a little icon of a computer with a fan in it indicating that the computer is now acting as a hotspot. Let's click on the Advanced button, and we're not going to look at all this stuff, but I do want to look at TCP/IP, and the reason I do is because of this Renew DHCP Lease. Now, it's possible that as you're using your network that it could get a little confused and it doesn't seem to be making the kind of connection you want it to make.
What you can do at that point is click on Renew DHCP Lease, that will go back to the router and say, "Could you refresh that address for me?" And then it works properly. After all this, it may be something of a disappointment to discover that Ethernet is pretty much the same thing. The difference is that they put the DHCP menu here at the front instead of behind Advanced. But again, click on advanced, you have the option to renew your DHCP Lease here, and then you have some other, more obscure settings that are outside the goals of this course.
Although it's a somewhat advanced topic, it's something that those working from home and connecting to a corporate network need to know a bit about, and that's VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network. This is a means for connecting your Mac from a remote location to a server, like the one in your office, in a secure way. Now, I'm not going to tell you how to configure your particular VPN because it's different for each company, but I can get you started. And the way to get started is to click on the + button, from Interface choose VPN, and you'll see various VPN types.
So, for example, L2TP over IPsec, PPTP, and Cisco IPsec. For some companies they'll use a Cisco IPsec. You would name your service name and then click on create. At this point, you need to enter the server address, the account name, and the password, and most importantly, authentication settings. You'll need to know the shared secret. Now, all this information is something that you're going to get from your IT professional at work.
They'll either set it up for you or they'll send you a long message detailing how you set this up. Some require a group name and others don't. Again, I can't show you how to set up your particular VPN, but at least now you now how to get to the settings, should you get this kind of information from your IT Department and need to set up a VPN. And we can get rid of that because we don't need it. There are many more things that you can do with the Network system preference, but they're advanced enough to be outside the scope of this course. What I've shown you is all a typical user needs to know about networking their Mac.
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