One thing that I love about Macs, apart from all the usual plaudits, is how easy it is to fix internet connection problems on them compared to PCs. This was illustrated to me recently when I had a problem connecting to the net via an Ethernet cable instead of WIFI. The problem was that although the connection status said that the Ethernet cable was connected and an IP address had been obtained, I still couldn’t access the internet.
After spending hours trawling the net for a solution, I realized the solution lay right in front of my eyes – in the form of the network connection assistant tool in OS X.
The reason I avoided using it at first was because I’d been scared off by “connection assistants” when using PCs. Invariably, I’d find the connection assistant in Windows was useless taking ages to analyze the problem before reporting something like “No problems found, please contact your ISP.” I found the connection assistant in OS X on the other hand to be fast, painless and effective.
To access the tool, go to your System Preferences under the Apple logo and select Network:
You’ll be able to see your Ethernet connection status showing whether the connection is active and what the IP address is. Click on Assist Me at the bottom of the window:
The connection assistant will ask you which connection you whether you want to run the assistant or diagnostic tool. Select Assistant:
The connection assistant will then ask you what you want to diagnose, Ethernet, Wireless etc. Select Ethernet:
The connection assistant will then run the test in a matter of seconds. In my case, the assistant revealed that I had manually changed some of the DHCP settings trying to figure out what the problem was and it therefore couldn’t establish a working connection. It automatically readjusted the DHCP settings and the internet started worked instantly afterwards. When all is clear, you’ll receive a confirmation message with green lights indicating all is working correctly: