"Local" networking
September 26, 2006 5:33 PM   Subscribe

File transfer from mac to pc. How to SSH or FTP? Simple explanations please. (Alternate solutions accepted).

I had a CD wallet stolen from my car while on vacation in Chicago. My son owns and has ripped many of these albums. As the scale of the data that I need makes it impractical to transfer by disc or by flash drive, I'd like like to connect to his computer and shift the files.
We both user routers (Logitech), that disguise our IP addresses, and my son has been stymied in attempting to set up the port forwarding required for bittorrent and soulseek (partially because my computer needs to have a dynamic IP address to connect to the university I work for).

How can I set up either FTP between our two computers, or some sort of SSH secure pipe access?
While neither my son nor I is completely computer illiterate, neither of us knows a tremendous amount about networking or terminal (as my son is writing this in an odd third-person, he also stresses that he doesn't know what the Windows equivalent of terminal is. Telnet?)

Basically, I'd like to transfer huge amounts (several gb) of data from a mac to a pc. Please help.
posted by beelzbubba to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What do you mean by local? Are you both in the same room? If so, you can connect your computers together directly with an ethernet cable, then assign manual IP addresses to each computer. I would give the Mac the IP address and the PC the address The Mac will have to have "Remote login" enabled under the "Sharing" control panel. Then then use something like winscp to connect from the PC to the Mac. To connect, type the Mac's address ( in, enter your name and password, and you should be good to go.
posted by procrastination at 5:45 PM on September 26, 2006

On further review, it might go faster if you use FTP instead of SCP, due to the lower overhead without encryption. Same deal, just enable FTP on the Mac "Sharing" control panel, then use something like Filezilla to do the transfer. Remember to disable the things you enable on the mac when you are done.
posted by procrastination at 5:49 PM on September 26, 2006

Hey, I learned something new today!
posted by procrastination at 6:00 PM on September 26, 2006

Response by poster: How "local"? About 150 yards. Just down the block, which makes this more annoying somehow.
So... no direct link between the computers.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:32 PM on September 26, 2006

Alternate option: does one of you have an iPod? I know you said the scale was outside discs or flash drives, but if you have your music on a 'Pod, there are many excellent programs (for mac as well as PC) for getting music from the iPod to the computer.
posted by rossination at 6:38 PM on September 26, 2006

Buy a USB2 external HD, copy the files, walk down the block, copy them to the other computer, and optionally return the HD if you're a cheap bastard. Or keep it for a backup device.
posted by kcm at 6:49 PM on September 26, 2006

Assuming that you are doing this over broadband...SFTP should work.

If the Mac is behind a firewall you'll probably need to open a port (usually port 22) or enable port forwarding.

Go to System Preferences in the Mac.
Turn on Remote Login.
Write down the ip address it displays.

Install Filezilla on the PC.
Enter the Mac ip address, username and password, in the SFTP Quickconnect Bar.

You'll see a directory tree if you're successful.

Turn off the Remote login and close the firewall port when you're done.
posted by laptop_lizard at 12:59 AM on September 27, 2006

Several GB of data will take a very long time even over a fast broadband link...
You would be probaby better off using a sneakernet : burn it onto a CD/DVD (or an external USB HDD or large flash key) and walk it from one PC to the other... Much much easier than worrying how to set up filesharing via home routers!
posted by nielm at 9:33 AM on September 27, 2006

Would target disk mode work for this?
posted by eleongonzales at 9:37 AM on September 27, 2006

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