Apple OSX Configuration

There are two areas you need to configure on your Macintosh:

  • TCP/IP must be configured to use the AirPort and get an address via DHCP.
  • The AirPort must be configured to attach to the UW network.

Configuring Your Mac

To configure your Mac to use the AirPort card and TCP/IP with DHCP:

  1. StepsActions
  2. Run the System Preferences application (from the Application folder or, often, the "dock" on screen).
  3. Click "Network" to select it. You should see something similar to the image below.
    Wireless1
  4. If a red dot appears next to "AirPort" then your AirPort card may not be turned on.
    To turn on the AirPort card, from the top menu bar, select the AirPort logo/icon and then select "Turn AirPort On."
  5. Double-click the Airport line to open detail about Airport. You should see something similar to the image below.
    Wireless2
  6. Click the "AirPort" tab (this may be the default, and already selected).
  7. Next to "By default, join:" use the pop-up list and select "Automatic."
  8. You do not need the ability for your computer to create networks to use the UW wireless.
    We recommend you deselect (turn off) the "Allow this computer to create networks" option.
  9. Click the "TCP/IP" tab. You should see something similar to the image below.
    Wireless3
  10. Next to "Configure IPv4" use the pop-up list and select "Using DHCP."
  11. Do NOT enter anything under "DNS Servers." It is essential the system get this setting from the DHCP server.
  12. In the box next to Search domains, you may enter (but it is optional):
    u.washington.edu
    cac.washington.edu
    washington.edu
    If you also use services within a departmental domain, you may enter it here.
  13. Quit the System Preferences application, and if prompted to save settings, do so.

Switching to the UW Wireless Network

To configure your AirPort card to attach to the UW network:

  1. StepsActions
  2. At the top of the screen, click the AirPort icon/menu. If you are in an area with wireless coverage
    provided by the University of Washington, then a network named "University of Washington"
    should appear in the list. Note that the number of black bars in the icon shows current signal strength.
    It should look something like the image below.
    Wireless4
  3. If the list includes "University of Washington" and the signal level bar shows a strong signal, select
    "University of Washington" from the list.
  4. If signal strength is very poor, or the list does not include "University of Washington," then be sure you
    are in an area with UW wireless network coverage. Try moving around within the area a little (there might
    be small "blind spots" in covered areas).
  5. At this point, you should be able to connect to UW resources, for example, the UW Home page.
  6. When you try to open a connection to a resource OUTSIDE the UW,
    an authentication dialog similar to the image below appears.
    Wireless login screen
  7. Click "Log in with your UW NetID," and enter your UW NetID and password.
    You should need to do this only once per day, even if you move around and connect from multiple UW wireless covered areas.

    Note: If the authentication dialog does not come up automatically, then check the TCP/IP settings and be sure you have NOT entered anything for "DNS Servers."

You should now be able to access the Internet and run "network" applications (e.g, Fetch, Fugu, your Web browser) via the UW Wireless network.

Switching the wireless network connection between the UW Wireless network and other wireless networks is usually automatic; the Mac will try to use the strongest service it finds available. Under the AirPort icon/logo in the top menu bar, you can always see what wireless networks the AirPort has discovered and which it is currently trying to use. You can then select a different one if desired.

The settings used by the UW network are common, but may not be the same as those required by other wireless connections you use. If desired, you may create multiple named "locations." Each of these locations has a different network setup associated with it, and you can easily select what location to use from the list found under the Apple logo menu (top/left of the screen) under locations. To create new locations, run the Network System Preferences and next to Location, select "New Location."

Switching to Another Network

To switch network connection type (e.g., to dial-in or wired Ethernet):

This should be automatic. The Macintosh will look for working network connections and use the first one it finds. You can adjust the order in which it checks for networks. To adjust this, run the Network System Preferences and next to Show, select "Network Port Configurations". If you never use a port (e.g., dial-in modem) you can deactivate that option entirely. Just drag items in the list to change the order in which they are checked. We recommend first checking the built-in Ethernet, then Airport, then dial-in modem.

Last modified: November 10, 2014