In This Chapter
Finding out what you can do with your network
Sharing your files and printers with other Macs
Sharing your files with Windows computers
Accessing files on Windows computers
Configuring the built-in firewall
Remote-controlling your Mac from afar
Here's one of those incredibly complex concepts that you always find in these computer books: After you have your network all set up and ready to go, you can do all kinds of things with it. (Now wasn't that utterly painless?) You can use your network to share files, share printers, remotely control your Mac, or even play multiuser games against other friends. To keep your files safe from unwanted snoops, you can configure the Mac OS X built-in firewall. In this chapter, I cover the basics of file sharing, sharing printers, and using the firewall to protect yourself from intruders.
One of the main reasons for building a network is sharing files between computers. You might even want to set up a server, which is a computer with shared files that are always available to anyone on the network. Think of a server as a common file storage area for the rest of the network. Really, any computer that shares files is technically a server because it's serving, so to speak. But most people use the word server only to mean a computer that's dedicated solely to serving files, printers, and so on for the rest of the network.
Sharing files on your Mac with other Mac users ...