5 things to do with your network
These days, you’re missing a trick if you’re only using your home network to browse the web, send an email and perhaps share a file or two. Networking has an ever-growing list of possibilities, and by choosing the right hardware you can save both money and space in your home, too.
Other network additions can help improve the quality of your life while making sharing that bit simpler and easier, while a feature that’s built in to macOS makes it easy to access your computer from wherever you are.
Here you’ll find five different ways in which you can make even better use of your network.
NAS drives give you networked storage, and many can do more, such as run a media server or personal cloud. Get one with multiple bays so its capacity can grow. Both AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule allow USB expansion — see bit.ly/airdisk.
Serve your media
Copy your music, movies and other media to a central location, then set up iTunes as a server using Home Sharing (see bit.ly/hmshrng), or choose a third-party option with broader support, such as plex.tv, to stream over the internet.
Shared folders on your Mac are only accessible while your computer’s turned on. See if your router has a USB port that enables a hard drive to be shared so you can provide a resource that’s always on and available to your family.
Why buy printers for everyone when you can share one? If you don’t have one with Wi-Fi, Ethernet or AirPrint, see if you can connect a USB printer to your router and share it through that. Apple’s AirPort devices allow this — see bit.ly/apprint.
On a home-based Mac, turn on Back to My Mac in System Preferences’ iCloud pane (see bit.ly/
bck2mac) and you can connect securely over the internet from your MacBook to grab files and even remotely control your Mac at home.