Setting up an internet connection via modem with PPP

This note describes how to set up an internet connection by telephone from a mac through the terminal server at the Deparment of Mathematics. The directions are quite generic, and so should be easily modifiable if you are connecting to another server.

To establish an internet connection via modem through the Mathematics Department you need three pieces of software: MacTCP and the MacPPP extension and control panel. They look like this:

MacTCP, now at version 2.0.6, is part of the standard MacOS system, now at version 7.5. You may wish to consult Apple computer for more information or for recent updates. There is also an ftp site for an updater for MacTCP. MacPPP is available from


MacTCP is installed as a control panel. To configure it to connect to the Mathematics Department, proceed as follows.

  1. Bring up the MacTCP control panel, which looks like this:

    Note that PPP is selected. You should ignore the IP address --- your PPP software and the PPP server will negotiate that for you.
  2. Click on the button "more". It will look something like this:

    Select the "Server" option for "obtain adress." Then enter in the domain name information as it is indicated above. You can add additional domain name servers, e.g.,,, if you like. The default DNS should be You do not have to set the gateway or routing information, nor do you have to set the IP address.When you are done with this set-up, Click "OK" and then close MacTCP.


The MacPPP package consists of two parts: the "Config PPP" control panel and the "PPP" system extension. Drag both of these into the system folder, which should be closed for this operation. The two parts will automatically be placed in the correct places. Once MacPPP is intalled, you must open the MacTCP control panel and select PPP.

The next task is to configure MacPPP. Open the "Config PPP" control panel. It will look like this:

Make sure that the modem port is selected. Next press the "Config ..." button. You will get a screen that looks like this:

Enter "annex.math.utah" in the "PPP Server Name" box. Select the modem speed and, if your modem supports, it, select the "DTR & CTS" flow control option. You should generally choose a higher modem speed than the maximum available on your modem, e.g., 19200 bps for a 14400 bps modem. This is in order to force the modem to activate data compression, which will give you higher data transfer rates. Enter the telephone number of the server (581 8105), and enter the modem init string. A popular one (the usual default for mac modems) is AT&F1.

The last part of the configuration job is to set up the PPP connect script. To do this press the "Connect script " button and enter in the information as follows:

Note the annex password has been obscured. After the script has been entered, click "OK", then click " Done" on the "Config PPP" control panel. Configuration is now complete.

To establish a PPP connection you may press the "Open " button in the MacPPP control panel. Once the connection is established, you can activate your network applications, e.g., Telnet, Netscape, or MacWeb. You can run more than one of these at once. To close the connnection, press either the hard or soft close button. You can also open a connection by opening a network application, e.g., Telnet or Netscape.

  1. The connect script works as follows. First, MacPPP dials 581 8105 to connect to the annex. The two modems negotiate the best possible connection by singing songs to each other. Then MacPPP waits for the string " Annex username:" Once it receives this it sends your username, followed by a carriage return. Then MacPPP waits for the string "Annex password:". When it receives it, it sends your password. Finally MacPPP waits for the string "annex:", after which it sends the command "ppp". This signals the annex to establish a PPP connection with your Mac.
  2. You can have multiple PPP configurations. To set up a new one, press the "new" button in the ConfigPPP control panel.
Back to Department of Mathematics, University of Utah
Last edit by jac, March 4, 1995.