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How to Connect an iPhone to a Wi-Fi Network

If you're a new iPhone owner, one of the first things you'll want to learn how to do is connect your iPhone to a wireless network. That's because there are certain times when your cellular data connection just won't cut it, even if you're lucky enough to have an unlimited data plan. Using Facetime, downloading content from iTunes, and even surfing the web can be painfully slow without a wi-fi connection.

Make Your iPhone Ask to Join Wi-Fi Networks

By default, your iPhone automatically connects to known wi-fi networks. (To stop an iPhone from automatically connecting, you can tell your iPhone to forget a wi-fi network.) But what happens if you take your iPhone to a new location? You'll need to manually connect your iPhone to a wi-fi network.

Tell Your iPhone to Forget a Wireless Network

When you connect an iPhone to a wi-fi network, the iPhone remembers that network and will automatically attempt to connect to it in the future. This is a great feature for wi-fi networks you trust and use frequently. But mistakes happen. If you connect to the wrong network at a coffee shop, your iPhone will automatically attempt to join that network every time you visit the coffee shop in the future. And if the password for a known network changes, your iPhone might have trouble connecting to it.

Controlling AirPort Network Access with Time Limits

If you own an AirPort base station, you can use the Timed Access feature to control the days and times when users access the Internet. This could come in handy in a variety of situations. For example, if you own a cafe and provide free wi-fi access, you can configure the AirPort to block all access to the Internet when your business is closed. And if you have children, you can set time limits for specific devices in your home.

How to Change Your iPhone's DNS Servers

Just like in Mac OS X, you can change the DNS servers on your iPhone. This can significantly speed up Safari and other iPhone apps that use the Internet. For a general introduction to DNS, and to learn why you would want to change the DNS servers on your iPhone, see How to Change Your Mac's DNS Servers.

How to Find Your iPad's MAC Address

Your iPad's Wi-Fi interface has a permanent, unique serial number called a media access control (MAC) address. Some universities and employers may request your iPad's MAC address to monitor or limit your access to certain Wi-Fi networks.

How to Find Your iPad's IP Address

Your iPad is assigned something called an IP address when it connects to a Wi-Fi network. Other devices that are connected to the same Wi-Fi network can use this unique identifier to transfer information to and from your iPad. If this sounds confusing, it might help to think of an IP address as your iPad's home mailing address. Just like physical mail, which is routed to your home via a unique address, digital information is routed to your iPad using an IP address.

There may be certain situations when you'll need to find your iPad's IP address. Here's how to find it:

How to Find Your iPhone's MAC Address

Your iPhone's Wi-Fi interface has a permanent, unique serial number called a media access control (MAC) address. Some universities and employers may request your iPhone's MAC address to monitor or limit your access to certain Wi-Fi networks.

Setting DHCP Reservations on Your AirPort

In a previous tutorial, you learned how to set a static IP address in Mac OS X to create a permanent, private IP address for your Mac that doesn't change from one day to the next. But if you own an AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, or Time Capsule base station, you can use something called DHCP reservations to do essentially the same thing.

How to Find Your Mac's MAC Address

Each of your Mac's network interfaces — such as the ethernet and Wi-Fi cards — have a permanent, unique serial number called a media access control (MAC) address. Some universities and employers may request your Mac's MAC addresses to monitor or limit your access to certain networks.

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