is the following scenario possible in Mac OSX?

I want to assign specific TCP/IP configurations for different wireless networks that I connect to, and I want the system to remember the settings.

For example:

When I'm at work, I have two networks that I frequently connect to and switch between. The first one is the internet-enabled network, the TCP/IP settings in this network is configured automatically using DHCP. The second one is the internal testing network, this network is not connected to the internet and the TCP/IP settings must be configured manually.

Every time I switch between them, I set the TCP/IP settings manually from Networks preference pane. Since I do this quite frequently, it gets quite annoying. Moreover, I can't use cables because I need to be mobile when I use the internal network. I want the configuration to be automatically configured for every known wireless network.

Is there a way to do this, or are there any third-party tools for this?

3 Answers 3


You can set up 'Locations' using System Preferences-> Network, which should do what you need.

In the Network System Preferences panel, you'll see (at the top) a pop-up menu labeled Location. It will be set to Automatic. Click that menu and choose Edit Locations...

Click the [+] button in the panel that appears. Name your new Location. Click Done.

Make sure the new Location is selected under the Location: menu, and set it up.

Then, when you need to change back to the other setup, change the location back to Automatic (or rename Automatic something more descriptive). When you need to change again, switch back to your new one.

  • 7
    Note that once you've created a second location, you'll get a Location submenu under the Apple menu, so it's very easy to switch between them. Jul 9, 2011 at 3:09
  • Thanks! This solves the problem, up vote for Gordon for the extra information.
    – avee
    Jul 11, 2011 at 8:44
  • This has the possible downside however of needing to manually add VPN configurations for each location. Or has this been improved in later OSX releases?
    – DanH
    Jan 20, 2014 at 5:46
  • OK, looks like you can keep VPN configs by duplicating an existing Location. This doesn't help later on, as you'll need to manually add new VPNs to each Location, but it still removes a lot of initial effort.
    – DanH
    Jan 20, 2014 at 5:54

"Airport Location takes snapshots of the system settings you select and re-applies them the next time you use your machine at that location. The author's description:

Airport Location is a small menubar app for Snow Leopard laptops and desktops. When you ask it to it records dozens of settings by taking a Snapshot of your computer just the way it is setup at that time. You can have as many Snapshots as you want – one for Travel, one for Office, one for Home, one for watching Movies etc.."

  • The app is very useful and good for future reference. It's quite overkill for what I currently need though. Upvoted
    – avee
    Jul 11, 2011 at 8:44
  • Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. Jan 16, 2012 at 16:09
  • Moreover the first link is now outdated and there is not enough food left here to fire a new web hunt ☹.
    – dan
    Aug 12, 2013 at 18:24

Try this.

  1. Go to "System Preferences" -> Network.
  2. On the left pane, click on + to create a new service.
  3. Call it let's say "Wi-Fi Work", and configure it once as per your needs.
  4. Then right click on service button next to + and - in the left pane, and select Make Service Inactive menu item.
  5. Redo steps 2 to 4 as much as you have different profiles.

Then, whenever you want to activate a profile, instead of reconfiguring it, you just go and select it to make it active.

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