Speed up iCloud and Ap­ple up­dates

Nick Peers shows how to re­duce in­ter­net us­age with High Sierra’s con­tent caching.

APC Australia - - Contents -

Con­tent caching is, to quote Ap­ple, “a macOS ser­vice that helps re­duce band­width and speed up soft­ware in­stal­la­tion” across all your core Ap­ple de­vices: Macs, iOS and Ap­ple TV.

Con­tent is stored — or cached — on one of your Macs, and other de­vices can pull that con­tent quickly from the lo­cal net­work in­stead of down­load­ing a fresh copy from the in­ter­net. By de­fault, all sys­tem up­dates and App and iBooks Store con­tent are cached, plus there’s an op­tion to in­clude your iCloud con­tent, too.

Con­tent caching works best on a Mac that’s con­nected to your net­work via Eth­er­net rather than Wi-Fi. That Mac needs to be switched on and con­nected to the in­ter­net for the fea­ture to work; when it isn’t, your de­vices will pull the data they need from the in­ter­net. The step-by-step guide be­low re­veals the ba­sics to en­abling, con­fig­ur­ing and dis­abling the fea­ture.


When you em­bark on set­ting up the cache, you’ll no­tice there’s a ‘Share In­ter­net con­nec­tion’ op­tion — this ba­si­cally ex­tends the cache (and your Mac’s in­ter­net con­nec­tion) to any iOS de­vice that’s hooked up to the Mac us­ing a USB ca­ble. If your house­hold has lots of Ap­ple de­vices, and you find one Mac’s band­width is get­ting sat­u­rated, you can en­able con­tent caching on other Macs, too. De­vices then in­tel­li­gently choose which Mac to use to spread the load more evenly.

Go to ‘  > Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Shar­ing > Con­tent Caching’ and hold the Op­tion key: you’ll see the Op­tions but­ton change to Ad­vanced Op­tions. Click this and you’ll see three more tabs: Clients, Peers and Par­ents. These al­low you to fine-tune your multi-Mac caching setup fur­ther. For most peo­ple the de­fault set­tings are fine, but if you’re part of a large net­work, visit bit.ly/con­tent­caching for a guide to op­ti­mis­ing these ad­vanced set­tings for your needs.

Though con­tent caching is new to the Shar­ing pane in macOS High Sierra, the fea­ture has been built in to macOS Server ( bit.ly/mf­mac­serv) for a while. Con­se­quently, even fairly old de­vices that can’t be up­graded to High Sierra or iOS 11 will ben­e­fit from it, as long as they’re run­ning at least iOS 7 or OS X 10.8.2 or later — they’ll au­to­mat­i­cally de­tect the cache on your net­work.

“Con­tent caching works best on a Mac that’s con­nected to your net­work via Eth­er­net rather than Wi-Fi.”

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