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Old June 27th, 2003, 05:54 AM   #1
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networking 2 macs and sharing broadband

Dear fellow Macheads,

I have a question which I'm sure you guys can answer. We're all drooling over the new G5 and I would like to buy it as soon as it is available. I currently have a single G4 500Mhz and would like to keep that machine as well. I have cable internet and was wondering what the best way of networking my 2 macs together (for file sharing) and so that they both can share the same internet connection. I'm sure its a pretty simple solution but I've never had more than one mac before so never had to have anything to do with networking.



btw. I use OS X jaguar and I assume the G5 will come with Panther
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Old June 27th, 2003, 06:18 AM   #2
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There are a lot of Mac wizards here, so I'm sure they'll chime in if I'm wrong...but I believe that you can simply connect them via Firewire. I've only done it once...when I bought my most recent machine, a G4, and I wanted to copy a ton of data from my old machine. It was really simple...just connected them and dragged the contents over.
John Locke
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Old June 27th, 2003, 07:23 AM   #3
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You have many choices to connect two Mac's together to share files, Firewire or ethernet port works great, Airport card and airport, or simply connect over the internet via file sharing. Last night I tranfered 700 MB's Of Photoshop work to my brother via broadband over the internet. He is across the state from me and this works like a charm every time.

Networking is easy all you have to do is set permissions for the folders you would like to share. It is also just as easy to share with Windows machines in almost the same way.

You can hard wire one mac and with airport and card network them together to share your connection.
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Old June 27th, 2003, 08:04 AM   #4
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If you're sharing files and broadband connection, be sure that you're not sharing your files over the Internet. Windows flashes its 137 and 139 ports like a tart, not sure about OSX. But a good firewall, and checking its integrity, is a must.

There's a good firewall checker on Symantec's site at
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Old June 27th, 2003, 04:58 PM   #5
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thanks guys... ok, let me try to make some sense of it all... please correct me if I'm wrong...

option 1:
firewire from mac to mac (file transfer and sharing internet)

option 2:
ethernet cable from mac to mac (file sharing and internet connection), but my cable modem connects to my mac via ethernet cable, and there is only one ethernet port on my G4, so how do I wire the cables?

option 3:
airport connection ($$$)

option 4:
file sharing through the internet (not ideal as the machines are probably going to be place next to each other)

thanks once again everyone for all the help.

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Old June 27th, 2003, 07:13 PM   #6
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IMO the best solution is to buy one of the little broadband router/firewall boxes. I have one called an "SMC Barricade". Linksys also makes several models. Get one that has a builtin 4 port 100meg (or faster) ethernet switch. That will let you connect up to 4 machines, for future expansion, and give you a nice little home network.

These boxes are actually little computers with embedded web servers. You use a browser to configure them. They use something called "NAT" (network address translation) which assigns private IP addresses to your home machines and only presents one public IP address to the internet. This will isolate your file sharing so that outsiders can't get in (although you can specifically allow an ip address to be visible if desired). It just amazes me the amount of functionality these things offer... I paid about $50 for mine a year ago. You'll also need a few ethernet cables for your computers.

The is a WAN (wide area network) port on the router which you connect to your cable modem or DSL modem. The router talks to the modem just as though it was a computer. The router also has a builtin DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) server. This makes everything really easy. Just enable DHCP networking on your Macs and plug them in, the router will assign them ip addresses. Then use your browser as per instructions to supply the account name, password and protocol information needed for your DSL or cable modem account.

This is really the only way to fly... I have set up quite a few of these and they work great. Also makes it easy for someone to plug their powerbook into your home network if they're visiting, just provide an extra cable to one of the 4 ports.

CompUSA or Best Buy should have several different brands available. Just make sure you're getting one with the builtin 4 port switch. Wireless networking is great, but really meets a different need and will be much slower for big file transfers inside your house.

Here's the Linksys router, and here is the SMC

BTW, these companies may say they don't support the Mac. I've used both products extensively on Macs and they're fine. The companies just don't provide any software or tech support for Mac users, but you don't need any special software on the Mac, just a web browser...
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Old June 27th, 2003, 08:18 PM   #7
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Boyd has hit it exactly right.

A router is easy, inexpensive, and provides an additional level of security. I have four computers networked through my router, (which happens to be a D-Link.) Easy & painless.
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Old June 27th, 2003, 08:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the help guys, I think the router will be the route I take then... (corniness unintended). I'll let you guys know how it goes once I get my G5!

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