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Connecting two Macs using AirPort

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Is it possible to connect two Macs at home, using AirPort, without an external AirPort server ?

More precisely, I have a Mac mini and a MBP (see my signature below). I want to define a small network using AirPort, if it's possible. I don't have an external AirPort server. Is it still possible ? I don't want to use an Ethernet cable between the two computers, since one of them is a portable.

Of course, I can connect them using BlueTooth, and it's working very well (except that it's slow, and I can't mount the computer's HD on the other computer's desktop).

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

Is it possible to connect two Macs at home, using AirPort, without an external AirPort server ?

In the Airport menu, you can create a network and then connect the other machine to that network. This will disconnect both from the internet but it's the fastest way to transfer files wirelessly. Also, set a password and turn it off when you aren't using it for security.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm trying it right now. I created a new network using AirPort, but then how do I mount one HD on the other computer ?

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

I'm trying it right now. I created a new network using AirPort, but then how do I mount one HD on the other computer ?

You turn on file sharing in system preferences > sharing on the machine you want to mount and it should show up in your sidebar under shared. Then you can mount as guest t access the dropbox or type the username and password for full access. Guest access is often safer as deleting files accidentally over a network is immediate, they don't go to the trash.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
It's working. Thanks a lot for your help, Marvin.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've found a better way :

My mini is hooked on the DSL modem with the Ethernet cable, while the MBP is using AirPort. On the MBP, I simply have to use command-K (connect to server) in the Finder, and enter the mini's IP number. Once done a first time, the MBP remembers the IP address and password. The MBP then mounts the mini's HD on its desktop ! Can't be simpler than that ! That way, I don't even have to disconnect the MBP from the internet !

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

I've found a better way :

My mini is hooked on the DSL modem with the Ethernet cable, while the MBP is using AirPort. On the MBP, I simply have to use command-K (connect to server) in the Finder, and enter the mini's IP number. Once done a first time, the MBP remembers the IP address and password. The MBP then mounts the mini's HD on its desktop ! Can't be simpler than that ! That way, I don't even have to disconnect the MBP from the internet !

Are you connecting the MBP to a router or to the Mini via Internet Sharing? Via a router will be slower but for small files, it's ok.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Are you connecting the MBP to a router or to the Mini via Internet Sharing? Via a router will be slower but for small files, it's ok.

The DSL modem is probably acting like a "router", since I'm using the mini's IP address. The MBP is using AirPort from the modem (wi-fi connection).

Yes, it's pretty slow. I didn't made any comparison, but it may be like with what I got using BlueTooth.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

The DSL modem is probably acting like a "router", since I'm using the mini's IP address. The MBP is using AirPort from the modem (wi-fi connection).

Yes, it's pretty slow. I didn't made any comparison, but it may be like with what I got using BlueTooth.

When you connect directly, you aren't being limited by the router speed so you get the full 802.11n performance.

The internet sharing method seems to work ok. Because your Mini is connected via ethernet, you can turn on internet sharing and share from ethernet to devices using wifi. Then you connect your MBP to that wifi rather than the router. You will get an IP address from it - it used to be 192.168.4.0 or something like that but in 10.6, it seems to be 10.0.2.x. Anyway, the Mini IP should be 10.0.2.1 in that case and you can try connecting to server using it.

It might not work but if it does, it should give you full transfer speed.

You'd use the router wifi most of the time but you can switch to the other one for faster transfers. Hopefully Apple will implement ad-hoc networking soon.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Marvin,

your last suggestion is working. But what about security ? When I connect my MBP on the Mini (using the AirPort menu), I don't get a password protection (there is no padlock icon next to my Mini AirPort server). Does that mean that any neighbor could connect to the internet while using my Mini as the server ?

The security protection isn't clear in this case.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

your last suggestion is working. But what about security ? When I connect my MBP on the Mini (using the AirPort menu), I don't get a password protection (there is no padlock icon next to my Mini AirPort server). Does that mean that any neighbor could connect to the internet while using my Mini as the server ?

The security protection isn't clear in this case.

In the Internet Sharing settings on your Mini, there is an airport options button. You need to turn off internet sharing to access it. In that panel, you turn encryption on and set a password.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yep, thanks.

I'm testing all these options now...

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay, I think I figured out that it's indeed the best scheme to link the MBP to the Mini.

The Mini is still linked to the internet via an Ethernet link to the DSL modem. The MBP is usually using the AirPort link to the internet from the DSL modem and it doesn't have access to the Mini. Very often, the Mini is sleeping anyway. When I need to exchange some files between both computers, I awake the Mini and turn ON AirPort on it. On the MBP, I then select the Mini from the Airport menu. The MBP still have access to the internet, since the Mini is awake and is acting as a server. Once the file exchange is done, I turn OFF AirPort on the Mini and I reselect the usual internet access from the AirPort menu on the MBP. The Mini can then return to sleep mode.

Of course, I could let AirPort in the ON state all the time on the Mini, but I need it only from time to time, when I have to exchange some files between both computers. Also, I don't want the neighbor to see my Mini in his AirPort menu, even if it asks for a password.

So, is this the best scheme to link both computers, just to exchange files ?

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

So, is this the best scheme to link both computers, just to exchange files ?

I'd say that's the best way if you need to transfer big files. For small documents under 5MB, using the router would suffice. The setup you described gives you the best of both without having to disconnect from the internet.
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