In some cases, instead of using a Macintosh as a file server, you might connect a NAS (network attached storage) device to your network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, so that it can handle file sharing and store files. A NAS device has no monitor or keyboard connectors, and you configure it via special software or a Web interface.
Two examples of NAS setups are:
As of the model released in February 2007, Apple's AirPort Extreme Base Station ($180) can accept one or more USB hard drives and share them across a wireless and wired network, and make them reachable over the Internet.
Some NAS systems support Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), Apple's built-in file-sharing method (see AFP). This includes La Cie's Ethernet Disk Mini with ...