Tuesday, January 29

Back to my Mac

I've posted on Back to my Mac before.  Basically the theory of "I think this will be cool, and I'll use it".  Turns out after I got it, I couldn't get it to work.  I had a Linksys router, nice one too, one of the top of the line B/G models (well, top of the line when it came out).   After I read lots of forums on saying that you need to enable "UPnP" on the router, and this and that, and do you have portmapping for these ports?  Open this.  Poke a hole here.  Yuck.

Well, this past Friday I got rid of the Linksys router.  I called up my ISP, got some directions for how to switch routers (some ISP's basically have the equivalent of port security on, so you can't change your router.  My ISP in Georgia was like this).  Turns out all I had to do was either have them reset my modem on my end, or I could simply unplug the coax for about 10 minutes while the mac addresses cleared.  Faster to have them reset it, so the nice lady did.

I've had my Airport Wireless Extreme Base station for awhile now but only used it for my macs in order to get full speed to each other.  As I said in this post, I got rid of the Linksys as my gateway and just put the Apple Base station there instead.  (Technically the title of that article is wrong, as I didn't get a "new router".  I just moved it.)

Well, today, being my first day back to work, and more importantly the first time I thought about testing Back to my Mac from an external connection before.  Guess what.  

Plugged in my AT&T 3G wireless cell card today into my laptop when I got to work, and lo and behold -- Back to my Mac worked!  There were all my computers I have here at the house right on my "Sources" list in Finder.  I could connect to them remotely, get files off the disks, use Spotlight on their drives, and even grab ahold of the screen using "Share Screen" and control my Mac's remotely just as advertised!

The best part?  It was actually fast.  I did notice a bit of latency here and there, especially with complex animations (the dock magnification and such).  But otherwise the refresh and display of the apps remotely was fast, and even better, it was useable!

So, for those of you that have problems getting Back to My Mac to work, when it comes to 3rd party routers, I have no advice for you.  But my advice officially is... Buy an Apple Base Station to use as your gateway.   Better yet, wait for Time Capsule to come out that way you have a backup drive on your network.  Good luck!

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1 comment:

Cd-MaN said...

[flame on] You know, if you would use a router with a Linux firmware, you could just clone the MAC address of the previous router [flame off] :-)