If you’ve ever turned on file sharing within a small office network, you know the convenience of copying, distributing, and opening files that aren’t actually on your machine—all without ever budging from your chair. Now just imagine the convenience of accessing those same files from thousands of miles away via the Internet.
As long as both machines are connected to the Internet at the time, you can do exactly that. File sharing can be a lifesaver when, say, you’ve left an important quarterly report on your home computer 35 miles away, and you have to present it to your CEO in five minutes.
Here’s how to tap into your home-base Mac from another Mac miles away. In this example, the home-base Mac (the one you’ll be connecting to) is a Power Mac, and you’re on the road with your PowerBook.
Before you leave for your trip, on the Power Mac at home, open System Preferences and click the Sharing icon. On the Services tab, turn on Personal File Sharing.
Also while you’re on this machine, make note of its IP address—its unique Internet address, identified by a string of numbers separated by periods. (You can find your IP address by opening System Preferences → Sharing. The IP address appears below the list of checkboxes, where it says, “Other Macintosh users can access your computer at.”)
If your home computer is connected to the Internet through a router, you may have to set the router to send incoming connections specifically to your computer ...