Network locations are extremely useful if you use your Mac across a variety of networking environments, like a Proxy-laden school building, a super secured enterprise site, or a special set up at home. Each environment could take a ton of extra time setting up the details if you only had one networking setup system.
Luckily, Mac has always had this idea of Locations, a way of setting and saving all the little networking details for each location you use your Mac in. Did you know, however, that you can switch between network locations in the Apple menu? I didn’t, so I figured I’d share what I found out.
Launch System Preferences on your Mac, and click on the Network icon to access the preference pane. Notice the Location popup menu at the top? That typically says Automatic, which works for most of us with standard Wi-Fi and networking situations. If you click on it, though, you’ll be able to Edit Locations… and create as many different setups as you like.
Once you’ve chosen the Edit Locations… option, go ahead and click the little plus sign at the bottom and create a new location. It’s usually best to do this in the actual real-world location you’re setting it up for, so you can test the waters, so to speak, and make sure it all works. Once you’ve created the Location, you can make any networking changes you want and they should stick.
Now, whenever you go to that real-world location, simply click on the Apple menu, and (as long as you have at least one Location besides Automatic set up) you can choose the networking location you’d like to use from the Location sub-menu. Pretty slick, right?