Home network management software

in macOS edited January 2014
Found this on Engadget today: Network Magic.

It basically is a UPNP based setup and management tool that lets you easily set up your whole home network, shared printers, shared folders etc. from a central location. Unfortunately it is for Windows only ;-(

But the coolest thing is the Network Map (you have to scroll down a bit).

I think that Apple should add something similar to OS X (non-server version, as I guess the server version already has something similar). They should add centralized user account and software (System Update) management as well. Oh, and while they are at it, they could add the upcoming laptop synch and ACLs.

They could even extend it to Samba shares (and other file systems for that matter) and thus create a (almost) platform

agnostic network.

Maybe they could bundle it with the OS X family pack and restrict the maximum user count to 5 or 6 to keep it from getting to far onto the server version's terrain.

Just imagine how much easier it would be to edit preferences and user settings for the whole network from just one computer. And the mentioned Network Map is a great way to visualize.

With Rendez-vous (soon to be Bonjour - I don't get why so many people around here despise that name), Apple has the foundation in place. They just need to put the other pieces together and give it a nice easy to use user interface.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    But the best interface is none.

    Think about it - if there's nothing to set up, if there's nothing to *do*... then why have an interface?

    About the only thing I can think of that would be necessary to remotely control, ever, would be turning on/off filesharing. I can whip up an AppleScript or shell script to do that for ya in about 10 minutes, if you want.

    ZeroConf is precisely that - Zero Configuration. Nothing to set up, it Just Works(tm). That takes care of the network. Turning services on and off remotely is something that should only be done with care, but is completely possible with a few minutes of work on MacOS X.

    The Network Map is... well, I *guess* it might be useful for someone who knows nothing about networking, and wants to see what's going on even though there's nothing to *do*, but heck, my technologically illiterate mom can guess that much about how her network is set up. "Laptop connects wirelessly to the base station, which is plugged into the DSL modem, which plugs into the phone jack." There's really nothing else.

    Configuration tools are only necessary when you are forced to configure manually.

    Sure, they can be fun to poke around with, but then you're risking just breaking it. Those who would know what they're doing don't need this for simplistic networks like in the home, those who would want this for basic home networking are likely to be more dangerous than its worth, unless it's view-only. In which case it's just pretty pictures. \

    Just my $0.02.

    Oh, and what you're requesting they add to the client version is essentially the only things that differentiate it from the server. Ain't gonna happen. If you *need* that level of control and setup, then $500 is a drop in the bucket.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    When I need to change/access anything on one of my other Macs at home, I just fire up Apple Remote Desktop and do it, using the standard GUI. Thus, I can access any of my online Macs from any other. It's convenient and fast. No running up/down stairs, getting out of bed, or whatever.
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