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Chapter 13. Networking, File Sharing, and Screen Sharing

Chapter 13. Networking, File Sharing, and Screen Sharing

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Chapter18,whichisabouthookinguptothesomewhatlarger

networkcalledtheInternet.



13.1.WiringtheNetwork

Mostpeopleconnecttheircomputersusingoneoftwo

connectionsystems:EthernetorWi-Fi(whichApplecalls

AirPort).



13.1.1.EthernetNetworks

Thesedays,everyMacandeverynetwork-readylaserprinter

hasanEthernetjackonthebackorsidepanel(seeFigure131).IfyouconnectalloftheMacsandEthernetprintersinyour

smallofficetoacentralEthernethuborrouter—acompact,

inexpensiveboxwithjacksfor5,10,orevenmorecomputers

andprinters—you'vegotyourselfaveryfast,veryreliable

network.(Mostpeoplewinduphidingthehubinacloset,and

runningthewiringeitheralongtheedgesoftheroomorinside

thewalls.)YoucanbuyEthernetcables,plusthehub,atany

computerstoreor,lessexpensively,fromanInternet-based

mail-orderhouse.(Hubsaren'tMac-specific.)

Tip:IfyouwanttoconnectonlytwoMacs—say,yourlaptop

andyourdesktopmachine—youdon'tneedanEthernethub.

Instead,youjustneedastandardEthernetcable.Runitdirectly

betweentheEthernetjacksofthetwocomputers.(Youdon't

needaspecialcrossoverEthernetcable,asyoudidwithMacsof

old.)ThenconnecttheMacsasdescribedintheboxonSection

13.1.2.Ordon'tuseEthernetatall;justuseaFireWirecableor

aperson-to-personAirPortnetwork.

Figure13-1.EveryMacOSX–compatibleMachasan

Ethernetjack(left).Itlookslikeanoverweight

telephonejack.ItconnectstoanEthernetrouterorhub

(right)viaanEthernetcable(alsoknownasCat5orCat

6),whichendsinwhatlookslikeanoverweight



telephone-wireplug(alsoknownasanRJ-45connector).



Ethernetisthebestnetworkingsystemformanyoffices.It's

fast,easy,andcheap.



13.1.2.AirPortNetworks

Wi-Fi,knowntothegeeksas802.11andtoApplefansas

AirPort,meanswirelessnetworking.It'sthetechnologythatlets

laptopstheworldovergetonlineathighspeedinanyWi-Fi

"hotspot."Hotspotsareeverywherethesedays:inhomes,

offices,coffeeshops(notablyStarbucks),hotels,airports,and

thousandsofotherplaces.

Tip:Atwww.jiwire.com,youcantypeinanaddressoracity

andlearnexactlywheretofindtheclosestWi-Fihotspots.

Whenyou'reinaWi-Fihotspot,yourMachasaveryfast

connectiontotheInternet,asthoughit'sconnectedtoacable

modemorDSL.

AirPortcircuitrycomespreinstalledeveryMaclaptop,iMac,and

MacMini,andyoucanorderitbuiltintoanewMacPro.

Thiscircuitryletsyourmachineconnecttoyournetworkand

theInternetwithoutanywiresatall.Youjusthavetobewithin

about150feetofabasestationor(asWindowspeoplecallit)

accesspoint,whichmustinturnbephysicallyconnectedto

yournetworkandInternetconnection.



Ifyouthinkaboutit,theAirPortsystemisalotlikeacordless

phone,wherethebasestationis,well,thebasestation,andthe

Macisthehandset.

Thebasestationcantakeanyoftheseforms:

AirPortbasestation.Apple'ssleek,white,squarishor

roundedbasestations($100to$180)permitasmanyas

50computerstoconnectsimultaneously.



UPTOSPEED

AirPorta,b,g,andn:Regularor

Supersized?

Intheshorthistoryofwirelessnetworking,

Wi-Figearhascomeinseveralvariants,

bearingtheabsurdlyuser-hostilenames

802.11b,802.11g,802.11a,802.11n,andso

on.

Thedifferenceinvolvesthetechnicalspecsof

thewirelesssignal.OriginalAirPortusesthe

802.11bstandard;AirPortExtremeuses

802.11g;thecurrentAirPortcardsandbase

stationsuse802.11n.

Sowhat'sthedifference?Equipmentbearing

the"b"labeltransfersdatathroughtheairat

upto11megabitspersecond;the"g"system

isalmostfivetimesasfast(54Mbytes/sec);

and"n"issupposedtobefourtimesasfastas

that.

(Traditionally,geeksmeasurenetworkspeeds

inmegabits,notmegabytes.Ifyou'remore

familiarwithmegabytes,though,here'sa



translation:TheolderAirPortgearhasatop

speedof1.4megabytespersecond,versus

morethan6megabytespersecondforthe

AirPortExtremestuff.)

(Oh,andwhilewe'reusingparentheseshere:

Theonlyplaceyou'llgetthequotedspeeds

outofthisgeariswhenyou'reonthemoon.

Hereonearth,signalstrengthisaffectedby

peskythingslikeair,furniture,walls,floors,

wiring,phoneinterference,andantenna

angle.Speedandsignalstrengthdiminish

proportionallyasyoumoveawayfromthe

basestation.)

Now,eachsuccessiveversionoftheWi-Fi

basestation/laptopcircuitrystandardis

backward-compatible.Forexample,youcan

buyanew,802.11nbasestation,andstill

connecttoitfromyourancient802.11g

PowerBook.Youwon'tgetanygreaterspeed,

ofcourse—thatwouldrequirealaptopwith

an802.11ntransmitter—butyou'llenjoythe

greaterrangeinyourhouse.

It'simportanttounderstand,though,that

eventhemostexpensive,top-tiercable

modemorDSLservicedeliversInternet

informationatonlyabouthalfamegabyteper

second.ThebottleneckistheInternet

connection,notyournetwork.Don'tbuy

newerAirPortgearthinkingthatyou'regoing

tospeedupyouremailandWebactivity.

Instead,thespeedboostyougetwithAirPort



Extremeisusefulonlyfortransferringfiles

betweencomputersandgadgetsonyourown

network(likethebandwidth-hungryAppleTV)

—andplayingnetworkablegames.

Andonemorenote:AllWi-Figearworks

together,nomatterwhatkindofcomputer

youhave.There'snosuchthingasa

"Windows"wirelessnetworkora"Macintosh"

wirelessnetwork.Macscanusenon-Apple

basestations,PCscanuseAirPortbase

stations,andsoon.



Thelessexpensiveone,theAirPortExpress,issosmallthat

itlookslikeasmallwhitepoweradapter.ItalsohasaUSB

jacksoyoucanshareaUSBprinteronthenetwork.Itcan

serveupto10computersatonce.

Awirelessbroadbandrouter.Lotsofothercompanies

makelessexpensiveWi-Fibasestations,includingLinksys

(www.linksys.com)andBelkin(www.belkin.com).Youcan

plugthebasestationintoanEthernetrouterorhub,thus

permitting10or20wireless-equippedcomputers,including

Macs,tojoinanexistingEthernetnetworkwithoutwiring.

(Withallduenon-fanboyism,however,Apple'sbasestations

andsoftwareareinfinitelymorepolishedandsatisfyingto

use.)

Tip:It'sperfectlypossibletoplugaWi-Fibasestationinto

aregularrouter,too,toaccommodatebothwiredand

wirelesscomputers.

AnotherMac.YourMaccanalsoimpersonateanAirPort



basestation.Ineffect,theMacbecomesasoftware-based

basestation,andyousaveyourselfthecostofaseparate

physicalbasestation.

Afew,proudpeoplestillgetonlinebydialingviamodem,which

isbuiltintosomeAirPortbasestationmodels.Thebasestation

ispluggedintoaphonejack.WirelessMacsinthehousecan

getonlinebytriggeringthebasestationtodialbyremote

control.

Tip:IfyouconnectthroughamodernrouterorAirPortbase

station,youalreadyhaveagreatfirewallprotectingyou.You

don'thavetoturnonMacOSX'sfirewall.

FortheeasiestAirPortnetworksetup,beginbyconfiguringyour

Macsothatitcangoonlinethewiredway,asdescribedinthe

previouspages.Onceit'scapableofconnectingtotheInternet

viawires,youcanthenusetheAirportUtility(inyour

Applications Utilitiesfolder)totransmitthoseInternetsettings

wirelesslytothebasestationitself.Fromthenon,thebase

station'smodemorEthernetjack—notyourMac's—willdothe

connectingtotheInternet.



GEMINTHEROUGH

NetworkingWithouttheNetwork

Inapinch,youcanconnecttwoMacswithout

anyrealnetworkatall.Youcancreatean

Ethernetconnectionwithoutahuborarouter—

oranAirPortconnectionwithoutaWi-Fibase

station.

Tosetupthewiredconnection,justruna

standardEthernetcablebetweentheEthernet

jacksofthetwoMacs.(Youdon'tneedtousean



Ethernetcrossovercable,asyoudidindaysof

old.)

Tosetupawirelessconnection,fromyour

menulet,chooseCreateNetwork.Makeupa

nameforyourlittleprivatenetwork,andthen

clickOK.OnthesecondMac,choose Join

Network,enterthesameprivatenetworkname,

andclickJoin.

Atthispoint,yourtwoMacsbelongtothesame

adhocmicro-network.Butthatdoesn'tmean

thatyou'vestartedaccessingtheirfilesyet.

Todothat,intheFinderononeoftheMacs,

chooseGo ConnecttoServer.TheNetwork

windowopens,showingtheiconsforallthe

computersonthelocalnetwork.Double-clickthe

oneyouwant,entertheaccountpassword,if

necessary,andyou'rein.



Whetheryou'vesetupyourownwirelessnetworkorwantto

hopontosomebodyelse's,Chapter18hasthefullscoopon

joiningWi-Finetworks.



13.1.3.FireWireNetworks

FireWirenetworks?

You'reforgivenforsplurtingyourcoffee.Everyoneknowsthat

FireWireisgreatforhookingupacamcorderoraharddrive,

andafewpeopleknowaboutFireWireDiskMode.Butnotmany

peoplerealizethatFireWiremakesafantasticnetworkingcable,

sinceit'sinsanely,blisteringlyfast.(Allright,gigabitEthernetis



faster,andsoisFireWire800.Butattainingthatkindof

networkingnirvanarequiresthatallyourMacs,hubs,andother

networkinggearareallgigabit-EthernetorFireWire800compatible.)

FireWirenetworking,technicallyknownasIPoverFireWire,is

anunheralded,unsungfeatureofMacOSX.Butwhenyouhave

alotofdatatomovebetweenMacs—yourdesktopandyour

laptop,forexample—acasualFireWirenetworkisthewayto

go.Itletsyoucopyagigabyteofemail,pictures,orvideofiles

inamatterofseconds.

Here'showyouunleashthissecretfeature:

1. ConnecttwoMacswithaFireWirecable.

Youcan'tusetheonethatfitsacamcorder.Youneedasixpin-to-six-pincablefortraditionalFireWirejacks.Ifyou

wanttousethefasterFireWire800connectiononsomeof

thelatestMacmodels,you'llneedtoshopforanevenless

commoncord.

Inanycase,thecomputerscanremainturnedon,whichis

abigdifferencefromFireWireDiskMode(Section6.2).(The

otherdifferenceisthatyoucancontinuetousebothMacs

whilethey'reconnected.)



Figure13-2.IntheNetworkpaneofSystem

Preferences,youcanaddyourFireWireportto

thelistofnetworkconnections.Thepointof

thiswindow,bytheway,isthataMaccan

maintainsimultaneousopennetwork

connections—Ethernet,AirPort,FireWire,and

dial-upmodem.(That'safeaturecalled

multihoming.)



2. OpenSystemPreferences.ClickNetwork.Clickthe

iconandenteryourAdministratorpassword.Clickthe

+buttonbelowthelistofnetworkconnections.

ThetinydialogboxshowninFigure13-2appears,letting

youspecifywhatkindofnetworkconnectionyouwantto

setup.

3. Fromthepop-upmenu,chooseFireWire.ClickCreate.

NowyournewlycreatedFireWireconnectionappearsinthe

list.

4. Repeatsteps2–3onthesecondMac.

Bynow,itmayhavedawnedonyouthatyoucan'tactually

getonlineviaFireWire,sinceyourcablerunsdirectly

betweentwoMacs.ButyoucanalwaysturnonInternet

Sharing(Section18.5.4)ontheotherMac.

5. QuitSystemPreferences.

YourMacsarereadytotalk—fast.Readthefollowingpages

fordetailsonsharingfilesbetweenthem.

Tip:Onceyou'veswitchedonyourFireWireconnection,you

mayneedtoturnFileSharingorInternetSharingoffandon

againtomakeitwork.



Chapter13.Networking,FileSharing,

andScreenSharing

JustabouteveryMaceverbuiltisnetwork-ready.Buyacouple

ofcomponents,andyoucanconnectallthecomputersinyour

officetogether,withorwithoutwires.Theprocessofriggingthe

hardwareandsoftwareforanetworkissomewhatmore

technicalthan,say,emptyingtheTrash,butit'snotexactly

rocketscience.

Onceyou'vegotanetwork,youcancopyfilesfromone

machinetoanother—evenbetweenWindowsPCsandMacs—

justasyou'ddragfilesbetweenfoldersonyourownMac.You

cansendlittlemessagestoeachother'sscreens.Everyoneon

thenetworkcanconsultthesamedatabaseorcalendar.Youcan

playgamesoverthenetwork.Youcanshareasingleprinter,

cablemodem,orfaxmodemamongalltheMacsintheoffice.

Youcanconnecttothisnetworkfromwhereveryouareinthe

world,usingtheInternetastheworld'slongestextensioncord

backtoyouroffice.

AndinMacOSX10.5,youcanevendoscreensharing,which

meansthatyou,thewisecomputerwhiz,canseewhat'sonthe

screenofyourpathetic,flounderingrelativeorbuddyelsewhere

onthenetwork.YoucanevenseizecontroloftheotherMac's

mouseandkeyboard.Youcantroubleshoot,fiddlewithsettings,

andsoon.It'sthenextbestthingtobeingthere—andoftena

lotbetterthanbeingthere.

Tip:Youdon'tnecessarilyneedanetworktoexchangefiles

betweenMacs(andevenPCs).Ifeachcomputerisequipped

withBluetoothcircuitry,theycanshootfilesbackandforth

wirelessly,asdescribedonSection6.2.6.1.

Thischapterconcernsitselfwithlocalnetworking—settingupa

networkinyourhomeorsmalloffice.Butdon'tmissitssibling,



Chapter18,whichisabouthookinguptothesomewhatlarger

networkcalledtheInternet.



13.1.WiringtheNetwork

Mostpeopleconnecttheircomputersusingoneoftwo

connectionsystems:EthernetorWi-Fi(whichApplecalls

AirPort).



13.1.1.EthernetNetworks

Thesedays,everyMacandeverynetwork-readylaserprinter

hasanEthernetjackonthebackorsidepanel(seeFigure131).IfyouconnectalloftheMacsandEthernetprintersinyour

smallofficetoacentralEthernethuborrouter—acompact,

inexpensiveboxwithjacksfor5,10,orevenmorecomputers

andprinters—you'vegotyourselfaveryfast,veryreliable

network.(Mostpeoplewinduphidingthehubinacloset,and

runningthewiringeitheralongtheedgesoftheroomorinside

thewalls.)YoucanbuyEthernetcables,plusthehub,atany

computerstoreor,lessexpensively,fromanInternet-based

mail-orderhouse.(Hubsaren'tMac-specific.)

Tip:IfyouwanttoconnectonlytwoMacs—say,yourlaptop

andyourdesktopmachine—youdon'tneedanEthernethub.

Instead,youjustneedastandardEthernetcable.Runitdirectly

betweentheEthernetjacksofthetwocomputers.(Youdon't

needaspecialcrossoverEthernetcable,asyoudidwithMacsof

old.)ThenconnecttheMacsasdescribedintheboxonSection

13.1.2.Ordon'tuseEthernetatall;justuseaFireWirecableor

aperson-to-personAirPortnetwork.

Figure13-1.EveryMacOSX–compatibleMachasan

Ethernetjack(left).Itlookslikeanoverweight

telephonejack.ItconnectstoanEthernetrouterorhub

(right)viaanEthernetcable(alsoknownasCat5orCat

6),whichendsinwhatlookslikeanoverweight



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