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ATPM 7.11
November 2001



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How to Become a Network Guru

by Matthew Glidden,

Basic FTP File Sharing Between Macs and PCs

For people who use both Macs and PCs, using the same file on either platform is often both a need and a problem. Mac and PCs use different OSes and file systems, but that doesn’t prevent them from communicating entirely. You can take advantage of the built-in TCP/IP support of both operating systems to move files from Mac to PC and vice versa using FTP (File Transfer Protocol, a common method of file transfer on the Internet). It’s not quite as easy as AppleTalk between two Macs, but it’s pretty close.

FTP is based on the platform-independent TCP/IP protocol, so you can send and receive files from any other platform or operating system that supports TCP/IP. This article specifically addresses Mac OS and Windows, but you could use Unix instead with a very similar setup.

Hardware Setup

Assuming each computer is Ethernet-ready, connect each computer to your Ethernet hub or switch using a standard Ethernet cable, or connect the two computers to each other using a crossover Ethernet cable. The crossover cable setup will only work for exactly two computers, since you’re using a single cable.

How FTP Works

FTP is a no-frills way of viewing files and moving them around. Unlike the Web, FTP is based on text-only lists of files and directories of files that you browse and download using an FTP client. To see these files, the client connects to an FTP server, which runs on the computer that stores the files you want to share (with others or yourself).

You need two things to make FTP work: an FTP server on one of the computers and an FTP client program on the other. It’s possible to set up clients and servers on both computers at once if you like, although that probably won’t be necessary.

For this article, I’ve chosen a PC FTP server and Mac OS FTP client. There are multiple client and server choices for each platform, which you can browse on file repositories like CNet’s or VersionTracker.

Mac Software Setup

Before you can set up your FTP connection, each computer needs to have an IP address. For the Mac, open the TCP/IP control panel and check the “Connect via” setting. If you already receive an IP address using DHCP (from an Internet router, for example), make note of the address and close the control panel. If there’s no IP address, change “Connect via” to “Manually” and assign one. The address is four groups of numbers from 0 to 255, all connected by periods. Typically, you start home network IP addresses with 192.168 (e.g.,


In the example, I receive an IP address via DHCP, so I make note of the address ( and don’t change anything.

PC Software Setup

Now you need an IP address on the PC. Choose the Start button, then open Network and Dialup Connections from the Settings menu. Open Local Area Connection, highlight Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and choose Properties. If you already obtain an address automatically, you can close everything. If you don’t already have an IP address, assign a different one manually as described above.

If you receive an IP address dynamically (using DHCP) in Windows, the actual IP address may not be obvious. To get it, select Run from the Start menu and type cmd to open an MS-DOS window. Type ipconfig to see your computer’s IP address.


In this example, the IP address is

FTP Server Setup

There are a number of free FTP servers on the market, but I choose BlackMoon FTP to run on the Windows system for this article. Once you download and install the server, create a user for yourself on the server by setting a user name and password and your default folder. I’m using my music folder in the example.

Once you have an account set up, start the server.


The server is now ready to receive FTP connections. You should be able to use the default configuration, which will communicate through port 21 (the standard FTP port).

FTP Client Setup

I use Fetch Softworks’ Fetch program (previously from Dartmouth College) as my example client FTP program. Once you start Fetch, create a new connection (or new bookmark) from the File menu and enter the IP address of the computer running your FTP server. Then enter the account name and password you created on the FTP server and choose OK.


This should open the FTP connection and show you the contents of the default folder for your account.


You can now navigate folders and transfer files between your Mac and PC. Get File… downloads one or more files, and Put File… uploads them.

A Note About File Formats

Just because you can transfer files from one computer to the other, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can easily use them. Some files work equally well on both, especially picture formats, many music formats, and some word processing formats. Application-specific files, however, are less likely to work unless you have the same application on both computers. If you run into this problem, see if the application that created the file can export to a more generic format, like Rich Text Format for word processing or PNG or JPEG for graphics. You should then be able to find a program on the other platform that can use the file.

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (77)

anonymous · November 28, 2001 - 11:14 EST #1
Your article on FTP transfer lacked a bit of needed detail for someone new to FTP work with Windows (i.e. myself). Upon downloading BlackMoon server, I am unable to change the default directory. Further, the directory that is available via Fetch shows three folders that make no sense (e.g. "." ".." and a "my faxes" folder that I cannot find anywhere on my PC). As far as I can tell, BlackMoon offers no help files for the trial version. If you could offer other alternatives, this would be most helpful. Remember, a lot of us Mac users just don't even know where to begin choosing programs like this on the Windows side.
anonymous (ATPM Staff) · November 30, 2001 - 22:12 EST #2
When you set up a new user account on the BlackMoon server, you also set the Home Folder using the provided Browse button. The picture in the article ended up being smaller than I thought, so here's a more specific list of steps: In BlackMoon:
  1. Select User Accounts from the Setup menu
  2. Create a new account, or select an existing account
  3. Set a name and password, then use the Browse button to select the default folder. This is the folder a user will see when they login with the given username and password.
  4. Close the User Accounts window and start the FTP server
In Fetch (or any other FTP client):
  1. Open a new connection and enter the Windows system's IP address
  2. Enter the username and password identically to how you entered them on the FTP server, then connect
This should open a connection to the server and show you the default directory you specified in step #3 above. The "." entry means "this directory" and ".." means "the parent directory," in shorthand form. There are no actual directories with those names. As a general observation, I checked out about five or six different freeware Windows FTP servers, and BlackMoon was the easiest to use of what I saw. Obviously you can expect a better product for a price, but since this was only for home file transfer, free was the most important consideration.
Razip · February 18, 2002 - 15:20 EST #3
Setting up an FTP server on the PC that will talk to a Mac is either a real pain or requires a commercial (not free) FTP server on the PC.

I got around by changing perspective. Macs running OS X are already able to function as an FTP server, that is, if you allow connections via FTP in the sharing preferences.

Fire up WS_FTP LE on the PC and you can start transferring merrily. For some reason, one of the folders in the Document folder on the Mac, which happens to be big, appears on WS_FTP LE but, when clicked, gave the response, "No such file or directory." I have not bothered to investigate the cause of the problem.

Thank you for writing and sharing your tips.

Razip Samian
[GDL] Vegeta · March 18, 2002 - 10:02 EST #4
I found that your article was very helpful! I downloaded the Blackmoon FTP Server and didn't have to do anything other than chang my IP! With your article, I was able to backup my whole hard drive! I just want to say thank you for writing a very helpful introduction for Networking between Macs and PCs that can be followed without extra costs!

I just can add this: On my Mac (System 7.5) there was no Control panel called "TCP/IP." There was one called "MacTCP." It was harder to handle, but it worked after 10 minutes of trying. Is the "TCP/IP" panel not an essential part of Macintosh System software?

Anyway, I'm very pleased that your article was so easy to understand!

[GDL] Vegeta
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 18, 2002 - 22:24 EST #5
Vegeta - the TCP/IP control panel is just the newer name for the same thing. When MacTCP became TCP/IP, it not only got a rename, but also became somewhat simpler to use. As for it being essential, well, Mac OS will run just fine without it, but you wouldn't be able to do anything over internet protocols.
Jason · April 18, 2002 - 22:56 EST #6
I found your information very helpful. We were set up in less than 10 minutes! Thanks a ton!
James Royal · April 22, 2002 - 14:40 EST #7
Wonderful article. We've now got a home network between my Mac and my wife's PC. I'm running OS 9.1 and she's on Windows XP. Your advice and full explanation got me up and running in no time, so thank you for that.

The best thing was the IT guys at my company who are always making comments "about my particular Macintosh." They told me it couldn't be done. Now, since I've done it--well, they tend to treat me a little differently.

Thanks again.
Zack · May 26, 2002 - 17:32 EST #8
Hello. I am new to networking. Therefore, I have minimum knowledge of this. Getting to the point, I have three PCs and one Mac. How do I network these? I know I need a hub/switch and RJ45 cables and I have to set up the software on the computers. Do I need to do anything else? I'm networking to share files from one PC to another, not to connect to the internet. I'd appreciate if you can help me out on this one.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 27, 2002 - 23:17 EST #9
Zack - you might find the information in this ATPM article a bit helpful.
J.Q. · July 2, 2002 - 10:32 EST #10
Thank you for the well-written article. I normally use PCs but at work we use all Macs. Finally, a Mac networking article that I can understand!
anonymous · September 4, 2002 - 18:22 EST #11
I've set up Fetch on my Mac and Blackmoon on my PC as instructed. When I try to connect the Mac to the PC I get the message, "Error-connection timed out," after a couple minutes of trying. Both the PC and Mac are sharing an internet connection OK through a cable modem using an Asante router.

I'm wondering if there is something in my Mac's TCP/IP control panel or maybe the file sharing/exchange panel that I need to change (OS 9.2)? Or maybe some box in Windows XP that I need to check?
anonymous · September 4, 2002 - 18:49 EST #12
Disregard the post above. I got it working by disabling the firewall on both computers, which brings me to another question. Since my computers are behind a router, is there any reason to activate Norton Firewall on the Mac and XP Firewall on the PC?
Boele Gerkes · October 22, 2002 - 05:21 EST #13
Hi. Interesting article. I still have some questions though. In our company, we want to set up Filemaker server on a dedicated computer (Mac G4) and use it on a network (ethernet) with other Macs (iMacs, G4s).

The administrator's guide from Filemaker Server says that you can only use TCP/IP when using Mac OS X (which we use).

How do I have to configure the TCP/IP settings on both the server and the users' Macs?

I hope you can help me.

Friendly regards, Boele Gerkes, the Netherlands
Mike Lee · October 28, 2002 - 18:14 EST #14
I want to set up an FTP site inside my dorm. I did everything from above, but people outside of my college network can't get to my server. Please help me out. Does anyone know?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 28, 2002 - 19:08 EST #15
Mike - it's almost a sure bet that your college has some sort of firewall set up to prevent outside traffic from abusing their network. Virtually all large networks will have such a protection device set up.

As far as you're concerned, it's fairly safe to assume you're not going to be able to create a public FTP site. The college would have to forward FTP port 20-21 to your computer, and the IT guys would probably just laugh in your face if you asked them to do so, especially since they probably already have it forwarded to their own machine. There are some hack ways of setting up a file server behind a firewall, but I'm not up on how they are accomplished, and should you actually implement any of them, I couldn't say that your college's IT staff wouldn't notice the traffic and shut you down.
anonymous · October 31, 2002 - 14:46 EST #16
Hi there. I have set up everything as you have outlined and I can download files from the server, but I can not upload files to the server.

Also, can Fetch act as the server on a Mac and use a PC as the client instead?
Ben C. · November 12, 2002 - 15:46 EST #17
How do I determine the IP address to use with a Mac and a PC to share files without going over the internet? Can you just use the cat-5 cable between the two and file share using the same programs?
Chris Lawson (ATPM Staff) · November 12, 2002 - 21:59 EST #18
We've just been discussing this on the staff list and this is (thus far) the general consensus:

If you're using OS X: Set the TCP/IP to DHCP and let it assign itself an address (since it won't find a server to get one from). FTP to said address, assuming an FTP server is running.

If you're using OS 9: You should just be able to set up a manual IP of 192.168.0.x with as the subnet mask and as the router address on both computers. (Obviously, both computers have to have unique IP addresses, but all the other info should be the same.)

I haven't tried this in OS 9 (I know OS X will self-assign an IP even if no DHCP server is present), but I can't think of a good reason it wouldn't work, off the top of my head.

P.S. - the computers will need to be connected either via the numbered ports of a hub or, if you are connecting directly, the ethernet cable you use must be a crossover.
Centel · December 3, 2002 - 12:08 EST #19
Is this procedure OS X compatible or should I set it up just in Classic enviroment (OS 9)?

Thank you.
Chingon · December 3, 2002 - 21:20 EST #20
Very clear and professional article.

I set up Windows 98 (server) Mac OS 9 (client) and it worked great, thanks to your advice and a very small server's aplication tutorial.

I couldn't make it work in the same scenario with the Mac in OS X 10.1.5.

Thank you.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 3, 2002 - 23:53 EST #21
Centel - the steps are slightly different, but it is absolutely OS X compatible. If the OS X machine is the client, then you just need an OS X-compatible FTP program. If the OS X machine is the server, then it's even easier. OS X has a built-in FTP server. Just turn it on in the Sharing preference pane and your local IP address can be accessed as an FTP site. The only caveat is that it requires an OS X user login (either your own, or another one you create) and you can't lock access to a specific folder…at least not easily. To combat this, you can obtain FTP server software for OS X just like you can for OS 9. Just search through VersionTracker and plenty of choices are bound to turn up.
Photogeek · January 12, 2003 - 00:47 EST #22
This was a pretty clear article, although Fetch is giving me problems. I have CesarFTP set up on my Win98 box and Fetch on my OS 9.1 Mac. I've changed the setting of the default folder to my E: drive, but all Fetch will give me is a '/' folder that doesn't show anything or go anywhere. No matter what drive or folder I set the default to, it keeps sending it to a useless '/' folder. Strangely enough, I can pull up the E: default drive in Mozilla using FTP, which doesn't make sense at all. It's connected with a crossover cable, BTW.
Roy Moor · January 28, 2003 - 05:55 EST #23
It seems to me that the FTP server on Mac OS 9 is not working properly. When I try to connect from some Linux clients or Windows clients to the Mac, I get a timeout. On the other hand, some clients (in the same network segment as the failing clients) succeed in making an FTP connection. Does anyone have a suggestion what could be the problem?
Tim Huish · March 10, 2003 - 04:14 EST #24
This site is amazing. There are many points being discussed for which I have been searching for a long time, but it's all here. A big thanks to all at ATPM!

A big thanks also to Matthew Glidden - your articles are really helpful. You must be a good bloke!!
Terry · March 22, 2003 - 03:12 EST #25
The info on this site is absolutely essential, but could you tell me if this same technique (or a similar one) will allow me to connect to a Mac's shared files at the office from my PC and Mac from home?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 22, 2003 - 10:29 EST #26
Terry - the physical location of the computers has absolutely no bearing on how this technique works. So the short answer to your question is, yes.

However, virtually any office that is set up for internet access most assuredly has a firewall set up. If they don't, the IT manager is asking for trouble. A firewall would prevent you from setting up the FTP server in your office unless the IT manager agreed to forward ports 20-21 on the firewall to your computer. It probably wouldn't do any good to ask, though. If those ports aren't already pointed at your office's own FTP server (and, consequently, are unavailable to you), I don't usually hear of offices agreeing to permit service ports to be forwarded to employee workstations.

On the other hand, you could set it up the other way around. If you turn on your home computer as an FTP server, forward ports 20-21 on your home router to that computer, and you determine the public IP address your home is currently using (even if it generally stays the same, it can't hurt to check each morning before you leave), you can connect to your home server with an FTP client at work by going to that IP address your home is using.
Lars Huttar · April 7, 2003 - 19:24 EST #27
Dear ATPM, thanks for this very helpful article. My wife (Mac OS X) and I (Win XP) got networking set up with a minimum amount of trouble. Your readers may wish to know that we did not find it necessary to have any kind of FTP client or server (at least nothing explicit). Using an Ethernet crossover cable, we set the Mac TCP/IP to "using DHCP," and let it assign itself an address, as you described above. On the Internet tab, we checked "Share the connection with other computers on Built-in Ethernet" and turned on Internet Sharing. On the PC, I clicked on "Set up a home or small office network" and followed the wizard to set up a home network/workgroup (called "OSX-VS-XP"). Soon, OSX-VS-XP was visible on the Mac's "Connect to Server" list, and when we clicked on it. To our surprise, the Mac had access to the PC's shared files!

So far, we haven't gotten the PC to be able to "see" the Mac's files, but that's not such a big deal. Anyway, thanks again for helping us get there!

Oh, P.S., when accessing the PC from the Mac, we had to type a Windows username and password, which was no problem. There may be some other details I'm missing, but the point is, we didn't have to download FTP software. OS X and Win XP were all we needed.
Leddy · May 2, 2003 - 09:28 EST #28
Hi. This is a nice concise tutorial. I"m looking to set up this scenario this weekend. Will I be okay with Mac OS 8.6? All the feedback suggests users seem to be using OS 9 and above.
patrick flynn · December 22, 2003 - 16:54 EST #29
I have a windows milenium machine and a mac os x, they can ping eachother but cannot file share. I have enabled file sharing on both machines. I am not completely used to the macs, so maybe I'm missing something any ideas?

Mazhar Hussain · March 4, 2004 - 02:02 EST #30
I 'm using Mac my computer is connected with pc as client I reach internet through wingate. Explorer or yahoo messenger are open my computer but msn messenger not. What can I do please help me
James Devlin · April 21, 2004 - 10:22 EST #31
We are working on both PC's and Mac's over ethernet cards. We are experiencing problems when mounting external hard drives. Files cannot be seen or do not transfer correctly etc. Does anyone know how this problem may be solved and where to get information on the sharing properties over both platforms
Nathan Oneill · May 30, 2004 - 08:34 EST #32
hello, im a 16 year old, and at the moment im running a Windowns XP system and Mac OSX, i was wondering is it safe for me to set up this connection i mean will i be charged extra for connecting to the internet through my mac (as in through the XP internet connection)?

and also is there a high chance of the network being hacked and shut off, i mean is it safe and legal to do?

im a little warey about this network as ive never set up one between PC and MAC before, so if someone could help it would help me out alot, Thankx alot Nathan.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 31, 2004 - 03:48 EST #33
Nathan - In all extreme likelihood, you will not be charged extra for having two or more computers on your internet connection. You absolutely will not be charged extra if you purchase an inexpensive router to share your connection. Not only is this more efficient than using XP's connection sharing, but it also adds a barrier between your computers and the internet, so you gain some protection. Check out both Linksys and Netgear routers.
nathan · May 31, 2004 - 05:15 EST #34
thanks alot lee, im gonna hook them both up today, and ill price up the router today, thanks again Nathan.
Evan Trent (ATPM Staff) · June 6, 2004 - 19:53 EST #35
I can't say for sure, but I am pretty certain the AOL FTP thing will not work. What will probably happen is that the AOL FTP application will not be able to access a machine behind the router because I suspect the FTP service is based on some sort of server side arrangement at AOL. In other words it's not a true peer to peer system. If it were, you could go from one computer to the other without going out to the Internet. But in this case I suspect it would go from your G3 to AOL's servers, back to the Dell. In that case, when it comes back and sees the router, you'll run into problems unless you map ports. You can do that if you can find out what ports AOL FTP uses. But you may only be able to transfer in one direction because if both machines use the same port, you'd whenever a request hits the router it'll get sent to whichever machine you have set up in the port mapping table.

Anyway - a less complicated way to do this would be to find a cheap shareware, or a freeware, FTP server for either the Mac or the Windows machine, and then use a similarly cheap/free FTP client on the other machine to log on and pull down the files. If you do this, you can just use the IP address for the machine running the FTP server when you go to log on with the FTP client, and it should be smooth sailing.

The easiest way to do this is with Timbuktu, I've found. I use Timbuktu a lot for Windows/Mac file transfers on older Mac OS machines that can't talk to Windows File Sharing because it's easier than setting up an FTP server, dealing with DAVE on the Mac end, or PC/MacLan on the Windows end. For a group network environment where you need to log on to any number of machines, those are better solutions. If you just need to log on to one machine and pull down a group of files, TB2 is super simple and fast. It has a great peer to peer transfer built in. The transfer speeds are very high, and it has a nice file browser. It also allows you to do all the other things TB2 is famous for like watching or controlling a remote machine, chatting, etc. It isn't cheap, but it is cross platform and can be a great investment if you need to do this sort of thing on a regular basis. For a one time shot, it probably doesn't make sense to spend the bucks.
Dick Hosmer · June 6, 2004 - 23:17 EST #36
Thanks for the response.

We spent all of yesterday trying to get the computers to talk, through the router, using every combination of settings we could think of - nothing worked. Part of the problem, at least, appears to be with Windows XP, from which the Mac interface protocols have apparently been stripped.

I have "won" an older Mac CDRW drive on Ebay, and, as a backup ordered a USB card reader, which is supposed to work. Will advise.

BTW, my brand-new Olympus camera works fine with the old Mac, but only after doing something that the instructions failed to cover. For those using OS8.6 (the lowest version supported) they mention the need for adding the Mass Storage Device drivers, 1.3.5, which can be had from Apple, but completely fail to point out that you must download and install the USB Support extensions, 1.4.1, as well.

Hopefully these will also recognize the card reader.
Dick Hosmer · June 19, 2004 - 13:32 EST #37
Thought I should close the loop on this, even though no one seems to be home on the board, and, it has gotten away from FTP, per se, but, it does cover two successful data-transfer solutions.

I have gotten an Olympus MAUSB-100 card reader to function between my G3 and the new Dell w/XP.

Also, the two-year old LaCie CDRW drive that I "won" works flawlessly, using an early version (compatible with OS8.6) of Toast Lite (5.0.2).

600 1MB pics took 20 min to burn. Not fast, but it sure beats the alternative!
Michael E · September 23, 2004 - 20:38 EST #38
This article is perfect... (except the link to Blackmoon FTP is broken). I got a free copy of "Golden FTP Server" - it is running happily in my PC's system tray (Win XP), and my macs (OS 9.2) are using Fetch 4.

So simple I can't believe it - but it really is that easy!!!
You saved me time and frustration... thank you very very much!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 24, 2004 - 09:21 EST #39
Michael - try this page for Blackmoon, instead.
RAJENDRA SINGH BISHT · March 1, 2005 - 05:33 EST #40
sir, it is possible (for learning purposse) i can set up a networking in a singal computer can i share two folder which is in different directory.

ATPM Staff · March 1, 2005 - 09:57 EST #41
Rajendra - your broken English is making it very difficult to understand exactly what you want to do. As best I can tell, you have two different folders on different locations of the hard drive in one computer and you want both of them available for access via sharing (I'm assuming by FTP). Yes, it definitely is possible. The steps will vary depending on what type of sharing you're using and perhaps the specific server software you are using. Most any FTP server should be able to let you specifically define which folders show up as available and you can even customize it for different folders for each FTP user account. For example, my login to my server lets me access the entire computer, but the guest account I have set up only lets people into one specific folder.
Lana Bean · April 13, 2005 - 16:46 EST #42
I want to set up my Mac as the server and the PC as the client. How do you do that?
ATPM Staff · April 13, 2005 - 17:07 EST #43
Lana - if the Mac is running OS X, it's easy. Simply go into the Sharing preference pane and enable FTP sharing. Then open an FTP client on the PC and connect to the IP address your Mac is using. The username and password would be the same as the OS X login name and password.

If, however, you want an FTP space that doesn't give the person access to your entire user folder, you have to run a dedicated FTP server on your Mac. Follow the same steps as described in this article, only with a Mac FTP server instead of a PC server. To find one, just go to VersionTracker or MacUpdate web sites and search the Mac libraries for "FTP Server."
Ben T · May 2, 2005 - 12:09 EST #44
Hey guys, thanks a lot for the help, everything worked fine, except that when i shared my music folder... to my flat mate who uses Mac OS 9.2.2... only 5 of the files can be seen and two of the folders are viewable... all the rest have the same name in 'fetch' the folders have dxrp..... or something and they won't open... and the files have xrp.... or something , (without the d) and we can't access those either!....

Any ideas guys? maybe a change in file name, some are pretty short though, it's weird...

thanks for the help in advance....


Gladys F. Salinas · May 5, 2005 - 04:47 EST #45
Hello, MAtt

How's it being a Network Guru?

Your ideas are good....

Lana Bean · May 5, 2005 - 13:24 EST #46
I want to network (allow a PC to connect to a Mac) directly through a hub with ethernet cable. How do you set that up? Note: I don't want to use FTP.
Matthew Glidden · May 7, 2005 - 10:43 EST #47

This article covers the Mac OS X "Sharing" preferences panel. That's the most straightforward way to get a Mac and Windows machine talking to each other. It's important to decide what you want to do though--are you trying to look at files on the other machine? Use one printer for both? Those are different tasks as far as the computer's concerned. Also check out the Mac OS X help files for assistance, as Apple has greatly improved it in the last couple years.

Matthew Glidden · May 7, 2005 - 10:49 EST #48
Hi Gladys,

Thanks for the kind words--"guru" is overstating it a bit, but people seem more likely to print your articles if you claim authority. (Heh heh)

Michael Lollis · June 23, 2005 - 14:36 EST #49
We have a Mac connected to the internet via a PC. We do not have a router which I think may be the problem. We are running System 10.3.9 on the Mac and XP on the PC. We can connect to the internet and check e-mail through Mac Classic system 9 but in System OS X we cannot get e-mail or get on the internet. Will a router fix this problem or is there something in the settings not right? Thanks.
Omar T · June 26, 2005 - 01:29 EST #50
I'm running a Powerbook G4 OS X Tiger and have just installed Fetch as the client program following your recommendations. I'm trying to make an direct ethernet connection to a Windows 98 PC and have just installed a server program called Serv-U. I have set both IP addresses manually to (for the PC) and (for the Mac) and I have been trying to connect Fetch to the server since this afternoon (it's 2am right now). I have already read that Apple states that the Powerbook G4 is one of its products that does NOT need an ethernet crossover cable. Besides all of this information, am I doing something wrong?
ATPM Staff · June 26, 2005 - 09:37 EST #51
Omar - since I'm not personally a networking expert, I'm not positive here, but my recollection is that if you're using different digits for the first three parts of the IP, then the two addresses are considered different subnets and won't (easily) directly talk to each other.

First try getting both computers on the same subnet (e.g. and Also, avoid using x.x.x.1 because the .1 is usually reserved for a router—even if you don't physically have one. You'll also want to make sure your subnet mask address is the same (e.g.

If you still can't connect after doing this, chime in again here and I'll ask the rest of the staff for help.
Omar T · June 26, 2005 - 11:32 EST #52
I did as you told but nothing so far. I verified that the subnet masks for both computers is but I am wondering more about the setup for the ethernet card on the WIN 98 PC. On the configuration tab, should I delete other components like for example dial-up adapters or maybe client for microsoft network? Do these make any difference?

Secondly, I can verify the IP configuration on the PC by running the program "winipcfg" which helps me have more information about it. Besides the ip address and the subnet mask, I can see there is a configuration for DNS servers and an "adapter address" which I assume is the same thing as a network address. I'm not familiar with that last one. How can I change these IF they should make a difference?

I'm running out of ideas of how to solve the problem. I'm also thinking of changing the ethernet cable just to check if that is it. But then again, my mac thinks it is connected to the internet by the ethernet port so I guess that should mean that the port on the PC is being detected.

Thank you for your prompt response and your help.
ATPM Staff · June 27, 2005 - 00:14 EST #53
Omar - we're not likely to have a lot of help to offer for the setup on your Windows machine, since we tend to focus solely on Macintosh issues. I will, however, kick your questions to the staff to see if someone can answer.
Chris Lawson (ATPM Staff) · June 27, 2005 - 00:25 EST #54
First thing I'd try at this point is using a real crossover cable. It won't cause any problems, but if the auto-sensing is at ALL flaky, NOT using a crossover cable may be giving you giant headaches.

Omar T · July 3, 2005 - 17:49 EST #55

I just wanted to let you know that I did buy the CAT5 crossover ethernet cable today. Nothing worked. Still same issues under the same circumstances. I will try to attempt downloading other server and client software.
Kumar S. · July 13, 2005 - 01:29 EST #56

I have two systems and i don't have any modem connections and any server. I have only ethernet card. How to share my files without networking. May i connect to ethernet card via. If it is possible kindly you advise me. This is great help of me.

I expect for your favorable reply.

Thanks and regards,

ATPM Staff · July 13, 2005 - 01:33 EST #57
Kumar - ah, but sharing files is networking.

Are both your computers running Mac OS X?
R.Sekar · August 20, 2005 - 00:55 EST #58
client system is connecting through the's pining from server.but client machines wasn't getting shared files from server.
can u give the some solution for this problem?
Paul A. · August 22, 2005 - 17:58 EST #59
I would like to know if it's possible to set up a peer-to-peer network between a Mac (OS 8.6) and a PC (XP professional) without the use of server and client software (Fetch and BlackMoon) as instructed above. Security is not an issue since they both belong to me and are sitting next to each other. I want to set up the network to exchange some graphic files between the two computers. I have connected them with an Ethernet crossover cable and set up each with a unique IP number but they still don't seem to communicate. Please help. Thanks
oliver standford · August 24, 2005 - 14:59 EST #60
hi, im running an iMac G5 with airport extreme and xp on my desktop connected via cable to a wireless d link adsl router. can i share files and internet conection wirelessly using the same process as above, and is there anyhting extra i must set up to accomadate the wireles conection?
ATPM Staff · August 24, 2005 - 17:32 EST #61
If both computers are already connected to the internet, you should need no other "extras." In fact, it's even better. Instead of installing an FTP server on the PC, now that we have OS X, you can turn on either FTP or SMB sharing on your iMac and your XP machine can connect to it via your iMac's internal (LAN) IP address.
JS · September 20, 2005 - 18:42 EST #62
Connecting TWO MACS.

Is it possible to connect a PowerMac G4 (AGP graphics) running OS Tiger with an iMac 266 running OS 8.6.

I want to transfer files to the G4.

Sorry if this is basic or off-topic, I'm a complete Mac newbie. thanks
ATPM Staff · September 20, 2005 - 23:33 EST #63
JS - sure. Easiest way is to turn on Personal File Sharing on the OS X machine. Then you either directly connect the two with a crossover ethernet cable, or both machines are connected to one of the numbered LAN ports on a router. Then, on the iMac, open the Chooser from the Apple menu then select the AppleShare icon. The file server name of your OS X machine should appear on the right, and you can connect to it.
beaner · September 21, 2005 - 23:53 EST #64
so here's a switch... i know how to use windows pretty well... i have a desktop and a laptop hooked togher with a hub type network right? .... i have an OLD power mac 5400. i would kinda like to use it on the internet... not so much with the fileshareing thing...
this old mac has an eathernet port on it but i have NO CLUE as to how to find it or activate dosent even light up my hub... any suggestions?
ATPM Staff · September 22, 2005 - 00:27 EST #65
Beaner - this Dartmouth web page should step you through setting up internet access on a Mac OS 8 or 9 machine. Obviously, toward the bottom, you'd want to use settings appropriate to your internet provider and not those for the school.

On a different topic, depending on your internet connection, you may need a router and not a hub. If you're using something like Windows internet connection sharing to give your second computer access, it may not work for a third computer. A router would allow you to share an incoming broadband connection among multiple computers.
David Witty · October 26, 2005 - 17:08 EST #66
I'm using a mac running 10.3 to conect wirelessly to an airport extreme which acts as a wireless internet router. I'd like to be able to connect another non-wireless mac or PC to this computer to share the internet connection using the ethernet link and crossover cable as described above. There is a setting in the 'sharing' icon in the prefereces panel which suggests this is possible but I can't work out how to do it - any thoughts?
ATPM Staff · October 26, 2005 - 21:55 EST #67
David - there's really not much to it. From the Sharing preference pane, click the Internet tab. Then, on the line that reads "Share your connection from" you'll see a pulldown menu. It'll probably already be set for the source of your currently active internet connection (e.g. AirPort) but you can change it here if you need to. Then, in the window below, you checkmark which ports you want to provide access to. You cannot select the same item that your source internet connection is using. In your case, you'd select Ethernet. Last, attach your nonwireless computer via an ethernet cable and configure it to get network settings automatically (via DHCP). That should do it.
Duston Scudder · December 18, 2005 - 16:30 EST #68
I am going to be setting up a Mac Mini on a Windows network. This Mac is going to be located in the kitchen so my wife can view all her scanned recipes that she has stored on her PC in the home-office. I want to be able to setup a shared folder on the PC so that the Mac Mini can view these files and images in the kitchen. Where should I start? I have setup many Windows based networks and know how to share files and create network folders and drives on the Win network, but am I really going to have to setup a FTP client/server to access folders across platforms? Please advise, all recommendations are appreciated...
dan · January 11, 2006 - 06:14 EST #69
Thanks mate this was a massive help.
Sney Noorani · February 8, 2006 - 14:38 EST #70
Thank You Thank You Thank you!

I didn't follow all your instructions exactly, i used different ftp clients etc, but basically you're article helped me a lot. Thank you.

I'm networking my powerbook with my home PC network as I edit video and design motion graphics across both platforms, frequently switching from one machine to another.
tarek moustafa esma · February 16, 2006 - 15:17 EST #71
thank ,very thanks for understanding ftp,
i want more
Richard · February 20, 2006 - 18:17 EST #72
Thank you Lars...

Lars Huttar April 07, 2003 - wrote:

"Dear ATPM, thanks for this very helpful article. My wife (Mac OS X) and I (Win XP) got networking set up with a minimum amount of trouble. Your readers may wish to know that we did not find it necessary to have any kind of FTP client or server (at least nothing explicit)..."

You are quite right! Found info on how to connect to my LAN through my iMac (OS X 10.1.5) and see a shared folder on my PC (Winsows XP). I found a great site with simple instructions on how to do it.

Check it out...
Paulita · June 20, 2006 - 10:26 EST #73
Thank you for sharing such a good information.

I am trying to set up a network between 3 Mac OS X (two of them are laptops) and a Win XP. The desktops (1 Mac OS X and the Win XP) are connected to a wireless router by Ethernet, the laptops are connected to the same router by air; they all have access to Internet, but they don't see each other. I also have a printer connected to the router that it's been used by the Win XP computer. I would like to share files and the printer with all the computers. Do you have suggestion?
Nicholas Longcroft · August 11, 2006 - 09:55 EST #74
Paulita, did you have any luck in figuring out how to do this?
Andrew Ross · July 10, 2007 - 03:56 EST #75
Thanks ATPM - This article was extremely helpful as I have no real experience with networking Macs. We have a 2 PC network in our flat - A WinXP machine and an iMac G3 running OSX 10.3.9. The file sharing side of things is working fine, but I cant connect to the internet on the Mac. The PC is connected to the net through a router via onboard ethernet, and the Mac is connected to the PC via a secondary PCI ethernet card and cat5 w/ a patch(crossover?) cable.

These are the settings for the Mac-PC connection -

These are the settings for the PC-Router connection -

The Mac is set up to use DCHP with a manual address of .
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
David_Don · October 19, 2007 - 15:13 EST #76
This are the things i learnt while trying to use ftp(flashfxp)to access my Mac (osx 10.4.10).
U will need to activate ftp access on ur Mac by going to, this is the pATHWAY
Tick FTP Access.
I also noticed here all along was the WINDOWS SHARING!!! Option. this enables you to access your mac from a browser by typing in you ip address\username. easy u can transfer and use
files. hence
Tick Windows Sharing
Tick Personal File Sharing
Using windows sharing i was able to play movies and music from the Mac on my PC.
Can't figure out how to access my pc from my
Mac still though!
Jeffrey Bragg · March 31, 2008 - 19:42 EST #77
After ten happy years with a beige Mac G3 300MHz (pre-USB, pre-Firewire) running Mac OS 8.6, I finally got a new-to-me Mac Pro 2.66 GHz DP dual core Intel Xeon machine running OSX 10.5.1. I still love the old Mac and its OS -- everything so straightforward, simple, transparent. But IE Mac 5.1 was the last OS 8.6 browser and it's just about obsolete, unsupported on much of the web now.

Well, the Mac Pro is great -- but I need to TRANSFER MY FILES from the G3. The trouble is, I cannot make either Mac see the other one for file sharing. At the moment I don't have an FTP client on the G3 (let alone a server app); that may be what I'll have to try (FTP). But I find it incredible that one Mac cannot share files with another, regardless of age or OS. I have a Linksys broadband router that I can use to connect the two.

I've Googled around, but few people seem to make this ten-year OS jump! The Canadian forum already struck out on this one; no one could offer a direct solution. Can somebody familiar with both OS's walk me through exactly what I have to do? I just have very little networking experience -- and a lot of files to transfer. THANKS for whatever help you can give!

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