The first is known as a TCP/IP stack. For the Mac, there are two types of stacks- MacTCP and Open Transport.
MacTCP is the older of the two programs, having been developed in the 80's in response to increasing demands for Macintosh portability to Ethernet and TCP/IP. The Macintosh was not initially designed for large, wide area network accessibility; therefore there are some very serious weaknesses in the MacTCP code. The last version of MacTCP to be produced is 2.0.6.
Open Transport on the other hand, is Apple's final response to the bugs in MacTCP. It's much more robust (you don't have to reboot your Mac every time you make a networking change) and much easier to comprehend setting up than its predecessor. The most recent version is 1.1 (NOTE: Open Transport 1.1 will not work on 52xx, 62xx, 63xx desktop Macs and some PowerBooks!!
Open Transport 1.1.1 was released the week of October 21, and resolves the weaknesses in version 1.1. It is available from Apple's Open Transport page at www.devworld.apple.com/dev/opentransport/sdk.html. Make sure to read the README file before upgrading!
From the README file:
Open Transport/PPP is designed to work on Mac OS-compatible computers with a Motorola 68030 or 68040 family microprocessor, or a PowerPC 601, 603(e), or 604 microprocessor. You should use system software version 7.5.3 updated with Open Transport 1.1.1b6c3 or later, although the earlier system software versions 7.1, 7.1.1 and 7.1.2 releases are also compatible.
WARNING! Do not place PPP and SLIP extensions in your System Folder at the same time! You only need one or the other, not both! Placing both SLIP and PPP extensions in your System Folder may crash your Mac; and in extreme cases may require that you must reinstall it to restore normal operation.
The PPP protocol is newer, and has fewer problems than SLIP. The other reason to use PPP is that the extensions are free; SLIP generally is not.
Msen recommends either FreePPP or any of several versions of MacPPP (download links are at the top of the page).
Ok; enough! If you have a forms capable browser (Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer, et.al.) follow the links below for your style of connection: