Adding broadband to Macs used to be a hit-and-miss affair in the 1990s before ethernet and WiFi became standard features during the second Steve Jobs era.
Mac users have had networking since 1984 using Apple’s 230.4 Kbps LocalTalk hardware and AppleTalk protocol. However, there was an older networking standard with roots at Xerox PARC (which also inspired the Mac’s look and feel) known as ethernet that was destined to become the networking standard.
Way back in the 1970s and early 1980s, it was rare enough to have a personal computer in the home, classroom, or office. Today it’s common to have several computers, tablets, and/or smartphones in the workplace, school, or home.
WiFi might be great for laptops and smartphones, but in terms of speed and reliability it is still far behind ethernet. This is why I have installed ethernet cabling throughout my house.
When we think of ethernet today, we think of wired networking with RJ-45 ports and plugs. These connectors look like an oversized phone jack. But that was only one of several competing connectors in the early days of networking.
1999 – USB is slower than promised, providing at most two-thirds of the expected speed based on its 12 Mbps bandwidth (see The Truth About USB Speed). But the iMac, iBook, and Lombard PowerBook don’t have any other option, do they?
1998 – I’ve looked at the theory of using an older, slower Mac as a server on a 10Base-T ethernet network in SCSI Throughput vs. Network Throughput – now on to the testing.
1998 – Scott L. Barber does something I didn’t understand for a long time: he recommends using a Mac Plus or Mac SE – or whatever your slowest Mac is – as a file server!