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When most people think of having their computer on a network, they probably associate it with being connected to the Internet. And while Internet access is a common and important use of a home or office network, the other major purpose of a network is to allow the computers on the network to communicate with each other in terms of sharing files and resources. So in this movie, I want to briefly go over some common tasks you might perform on your network other than accessing the Internet. This is going to be a fairly general overview, as there are many types of network configurations and setups you might find yourself on. What you are allowed to do on your network is often controlled it by your network administrator, so you might find you don't have the ability to perform some of the things I am going to be showing you here.
Let's start with the idea of sharing files between networked computers. This is a really convenient feature of networks because you can transfer files without having to first copy them to a disc, or some kind of portable storage device, which you then have to put into the receiving computer to copy the files to. Over a network, you can simply transfer the files directly from computer to computer, and this is particularly useful if the files you have to share are large and won't fit on portable drives or discs. Now, of course, it doesn't make sense to open up your entire computer to your whole network. Most likely, you have files and folders you don't want other people getting into. So, by default, the ability for others to access your computer over a network is turned off, or severely limited.
You need to allow access to your Mac before others can copy files to it. So let's take a look at how to do this. Start by going to the Apple menu and choosing System Preferences. And the majority of the controls for allowing access to your computer are going to be found under the Sharing Preferences. To allow other Macs to connect to your Mac, you want to make sure File Sharing is checked. This will allow others to access your shared folders, which are folders you designate as being available to other people who connect to your Mac. Generally your Public folder, found in your Home folder, is a shared folder into which other people can drop files for you to receive.
You can add or remove shared folders by clicking the Plus and Minus buttons. And we'll see how to connect to a shared folder in just a little bit. Now, to allow Windows users to connect to your Mac, you have to first click Options and then check Share files and folders using SMB. SMB is a language used by Windows. Notice that share files and folders using AFP is on by default. That's the default language Macs used to communicate with each other. And by turning File Sharing on, this option automatically comes on. I'll click Done.
Now, there are options you can set to allow specific users access to your files, but that's a little more advanced, and you are most likely want to check with your network administrator to see what you are allowed to do, or have them set it up for you. But for now, just know that this is where you come to turn on File Sharing. Other popular sharing options you'll find here are Printer and Scanner Sharing. By turning these options on, printers or scanners connected directly to your Mac become available to other users over your network. As long as your Mac is on, other users on both Macs and PCs should be able to see your printer and scanner and use them over the network.
This is especially convenient in a household with multiple computers and only one printer. Just set up Printer Sharing on your Mac, and all the other people in house can print to the printer from their computers. Other popular sharing features can include Screen Sharing, which lets other users see exactly what's on your Mac screen. Currently, I am being told that Screen Sharing is being controlled by the Remote Management service. So if you want to allow Screen Sharing, you have to turn off Remote Management. Remote Management is a feature that works over the network as well, in which other Mac users using a program called Apple Remote Desktop can see and control your computer over the network.
This is more for administrative use in most cases. If you want to allow another regular user on your network to see your screen, you can turn on Screen Sharing. Internet Sharing is a great feature too. Maybe you are somewhere where the only Internet connection is through a single Ethernet cable connected to a modem. You can connect your Mac to the modem and then broadcast the Internet connection through your AirPort card. So I could see here I could say, I am going to share my Internet connection from Ethernet 1, and I am going to share it to other computers using my AirPort card. I'll just check Internet Sharing to turn that on. The AirPort card itself has to be on, so I'll click Turn On.
I'll conform that I do want to start Internet sharing, and there it is. So what I have essentially done here is I've created my own Wi-Fi network. So I am broadcasting the Internet connection that I am getting through my Ethernet cable out through my AirPort card, so now that other people whether they are on Macs or PCs, as long as they have Wi-Fi capable computers, can now connect to the network I created for Internet access. So those are just some of the options that are available to you when connected to a network. Now let's see what file sharing looks like from the other end. I am going to go ahead and close System Preferences. Let's say I want to connect to another computer on my network that's been set up for file sharing the same way I just set up my Mac for file sharing.
From my Mac's finder, I am going to go to the Go menu and choose Network. This opens a window showing me all the computers my Mac has found on the network. To access any of these computers, I just double-click it. Again, you'll only be able to access a computer if File Sharing has been enabled on it. If File Sharing is been enabled, you don't need to enter your username or password, and you will automatically be able to open any of the public folders in any user's home folder. So, if you want to make files available to other people on your network, you can just put them in your Home > Public folder.
And I can see that by going to my Home folder, and here's my Public folder, just to show you what that looks like, This is what my Public folder looks like, and I have a folder in here called For Brent. Brent is somebody on my network, and I wanted to drop a file in there for him so I put it in my Public folder, which is a shared folder. Now in each person's Public folder, there is also a Drop Box. This is where users who connect to your computer can place files they want you to have. Now they can't open and view the contents of the Drop Box folders though; they can only place files into it. If I try to open this Public folder, it says I can't see the contents because I don't have permission.
But you as the owner of a Drop Box can look in your Drop Box to see what files other people have left there for you. Let me go and select the computer that I just connected to again. Now if you do have an account on the Mac you are connecting to, you can click the Connect As button to log in. So I am logging in as a Registered User because I do have an account on this computer that I am logging into. Logging in gives you access to everything under that user account. So this is really convenient if you want to move files to some place other than your Public folder. So for instance, right now, I am connecting to my MacBook Pro that's sitting in my office in another part of the building.
Because I logged in, I am not limited to just going into a Public folder on my computer. I can log into my Home folder from here, as well. So, that gives you an idea of some of the things you can do with your network once your Mac and other computers are connected to it.
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