Exchanging Data with Other Macs

Considering how many ways there are to move files back and forth between Macs, it seems almost comical that anybody complained when Apple discontinued built-in floppy disk drives. Here’s a catalog of the different ways you can move your files from one computer to another, including some that might not have occurred to you.

By Network

You can shoot a file to another Lion Mac with a single drag-and-drop operation, thanks to AirDrop (AirDrop) or another file-sharing method. You can open files from the other drives, copy stuff back and forth—anything you would do with your own disk. Step-by-step instructions are in Chapter 14.

Best for files of any size, when the computers are in the same building.


And for $0, you can create an ad hoc network, meaning a tiny wireless network between just two computers (or a handful). Great when you’re in the car somewhere, or in the airport waiting lounge, or a hotel lobby, and someone says, “Hey, can I have a copy of that?” Details are in Cell Networks.

By Email

Best for small files. High on convenience; computers can be in different countries.


Of course, the problem with email is that it generally can’t handle file attachments larger than 5 or 10 megabytes. You can easily get around that limitation using a free Web site like Sendthisfile.com, which can handle enormous files by sending the recipient a link to them by email.

Using Dropbox

Dropbox is a free service, almost universally adored, that lets you create synchronized ...

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