How to Setup a Network Between Mac and Windows
This blog is a short tutorial on setting up a network between Mac and PC.
Hardware Connection Setup
Connection by a Ethernet Cable
- To connect two computers directly together without a switch, an Ethernet crossover cable is often used.
- many modern Ethernet host adapters can automatically detect another computer connected with a straight-through cable and then automatically introduce the required crossover, if needed; if neither of the computers have this capability, then a crossover cable is required.
- If both devices being connected support 1000BASE-T according to the standards, they will connect regardless of the cable being used or how it is wired.
If you just have one Mac and one PC, this is the most simple, reliable, and fastest file transfer method. (this is some 90 times faster than wireless thru router.)
〔“Belkin 100BT Crossover Yellow Molded” Buy at amazon〕
Connection thru Router
If you have a router with internet connection setup, all you have to do is to connect a Ethernet cable from your router to Mac, and from your router to PC.
If your router is wireless, then you don't need to do anything. (presuming that both your machines have Wireless network interface card. On the Mac, it's built-in, called AirPort. On the PC, it's usually built-in these days too, but if not, you can buy one. They usually comes in the form of a USB stick.)
- “Medialink Wireless Adapter 802 11n Compatible” Buy at amazon
To let a computer access a remote machine X, you have to turn on file sharing on machine X.
Turn on File Sharing on Mac
Go to System Preferences, Sharing icon, then the Windows Sharing checkbox. If you need to use tools like rsync or unison to access the Mac, you also need to turn on ssh daemon (check the Remote Login checkbox).
Turn on File Sharing on Windows
On Windows Vista, go to Control Panel, click on the Classic View on the left, then click on “Network and Sharing Center” icon. Then, for the folder you want to share, get the folder properties, Share tab.
View Shared Folders
Once both machines have sharing on, you need to connect them to view. On Mac OS X 10.4.x, goto Finder, menu 〖Go ▸ Connect To Server〗, then press the Browse button. You can type a server address directly, for example, 〔cifs://WORKGROUP;XAH@XAH-PC/USERS〕.
On Windows Vista, open folder, then press 【Alt+d】 to put cursor on the file path field, then type for example:
\\169.254.223.41\xah. Then it will ask you for login name and password, the login name has this syntax:
Note: the syntax
\\ip_address\login is Microsoft's
Uniform Naming Convention (UNC).
Access Thru Wired Access Point
If you have wireless networking setup, and you also have a Ethernet cable connected between your Mac and Windows. You will have 2 connections to access either machine. One is thru wireless, and the other thru wired. The wired is some 10 or 100 times faster. (see detail below)
Which way you access depends on the address you used. Suppose you connect from Windows to Mac. In Windows Explorer, i can type either the following IP address to open my Mac folder:
\\169.254.223.41\xah ← wired, computer to computer \\192.168.1.2\xah ← wireless thru router
In general, if you want to use the wired, use the IP address that starts with 169. The one starting with 192 is actually your router address. That means, when transferring files, the data goes wireless to the router first, then wireless to the destination machine.
How to find out the local IP address of Mac or Windows?
In Mac OS X, start Terminal, then type ifconfig.
On Windows Vista, press 【❖ Window+r】, then type
cmd.exe to start the terminal, then type
Wireless Speed Issues
When transferring a 1.47 giga byte file from Windows to Mac, it takes 2 minutes with wired computer-to-computer connection. But takes a estimated 3 hours over a wireless network thru router.
Note: actual wireless speed varies, depending many factors. i.e. the router wireless protocol used, encryption on/off, etc. You can also setup computer-to-computer wireless… but i haven't explored it. See: Wireless LAN.