Connecting three Macs...

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I have read network related posts here, but need more info anyway...

We have three macs, all sharing same "router" (modem?) – the modem is an ATT BGW210 (whatever that means...)
I'm typing this from a MacPro 3.1 running El Capitan (10.11). In another room we have an iMac running Catalina and next to me I now have an iMac (18,3) running Ventura.
It'd be "neat" if we could easily send files directly between these three machines without e-mailing files or using thumb drives...

The MacPro is connected to modem via ethernet cable and it works very well. The iMacs are both wirelessly (wifi) connected to the modem and that too works well. – Is there an elegant way to connect these three machines...?
Appreciate any illuminating info regarding this conundrum....
 
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I have read network related posts here, but need more info anyway...

We have three macs, all sharing same "router" (modem?) – the modem is an ATT BGW210 (whatever that means...)
I'm typing this from a MacPro 3.1 running El Capitan (10.11). In another room we have an iMac running Catalina and next to me I now have an iMac (18,3) running Ventura.
It'd be "neat" if we could easily send files directly between these three machines without e-mailing files or using thumb drives...

The MacPro is connected to modem via ethernet cable and it works very well. The iMacs are both wirelessly (wifi) connected to the modem and that too works well. – Is there an elegant way to connect these three machines...?
Appreciate any illuminating info regarding this conundrum....
The straightforward solution would be a NAS (Network-Attached Server), which you connect to your wifi router and will make its hard drive(s) accessible to everyone on your network. If you can get your hands on an Airport Time Capsule, you can use it as a network extender and the internal drive will be the shared storage. I have an oldie but goodie Airport Extreme which I use as a Time Capsule with a couple of hard drives attached to it.

But before looking to add more hardware, you should try good old file sharing. I assume the protocol will be compatible with all the versions of macOS that you are running. Finally, there’s iCloud Drive, or any of the cloud drive services like One Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
 
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The straightforward solution would be a NAS (Network-Attached Server), which you connect to your wifi router and will make its hard drive(s) accessible to everyone on your network. If you can get your hands on an Airport Time Capsule, you can use it as a network extender and the internal drive will be the shared storage. I have an oldie but goodie Airport Extreme which I use as a Time Capsule with a couple of hard drives attached to it.

But before looking to add more hardware, you should try good old file sharing. I assume the protocol will be compatible with all the versions of macOS that you are running. Finally, there’s iCloud Drive, or any of the cloud drive services like One Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
Thanks for reply. – Yes, one of the things that I definitely did not intend to do was "buying new stuff" to make file sending/receiving possible between these three Macs....and also out is anything distant "cloud"...I hate the very idea of "cloud storage" – it's downright insane (as a way to "secure" one's files or data...in my opinion)
So "thumb drives" will remain the "most elegant way" to transport files between a couple of computers...and for small files e-mailing...
I have a 256GB Slate USB 3.1 compatible "stick"...and that seems to be what I will have to "stick" to....
Thanks for replies to my query!
Gunnar (in LA)
 
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Thanks for reply. – Yes, one of the things that I definitely did not intend to do was "buying new stuff" to make file sending/receiving possible between these three Macs....and also out is anything distant "cloud"...I hate the very idea of "cloud storage" – it's downright insane (as a way to "secure" one's files or data...in my opinion)
So "thumb drives" will remain the "most elegant way" to transport files between a couple of computers...and for small files e-mailing...
I have a 256GB Slate USB 3.1 compatible "stick"...and that seems to be what I will have to "stick" to....
Thanks for replies to my query!
Gunnar (in LA)
You didn’t say anything about “good old file sharing.” No need to buy anything. You can turn it on and off with no harm to the system. I used to use file sharing to get access to my “headless” Mac mini that served as my beta test platform for a long time. Not only could I move/copy files back and forth, I could even do full-blown macOS installations over file sharing.
 
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You didn’t say anything about “good old file sharing.” No need to buy anything. You can turn it on and off with no harm to the system. I used to use file sharing to get access to my “headless” Mac mini that served as my beta test platform for a long time. Not only could I move/copy files back and forth, I could even do full-blown macOS installations over file sharing.
...wow...that does sound very good....I have been aware of "file sharing" for a quarter of a century or so, but always thought it somehow complicated and to this day, I do not know how to go about it...."turn on, turn off" you say...I just looked at "file sharing" under system preferences on my MacPro running 10.11 (el capitan)...and...I didn't discover how to actually send or receive anything from another machine...it seemed to say that "my machine" could be reached under a certain name....but how...? (My other machine runs Ventura and so far, I can't say I like it...seems like Apple is making a lot of things just a little more "obtuse" with every new "system"...Snow Leopard was very, very nice...El Capitan downright "dangerous" in some respects...)
Thanks for reply!
 
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...wow...that does sound very good....I have been aware of "file sharing" for a quarter of a century or so, but always thought it somehow complicated and to this day, I do not know how to go about it...."turn on, turn off" you say...I just looked at "file sharing" under system preferences on my MacPro running 10.11 (el capitan)...and...I didn't discover how to actually send or receive anything from another machine...it seemed to say that "my machine" could be reached under a certain name....but how...? (My other machine runs Ventura and so far, I can't say I like it...seems like Apple is making a lot of things just a little more "obtuse" with every new "system"...Snow Leopard was very, very nice...El Capitan downright "dangerous" in some respects...)
Thanks for reply!
Okay, since I’m running Ventura right now, I can tell you how to enable File Sharing from Ventura (or Sonoma, much the same). I can only boot back to Monterey, and System Preferences is probably similar to El Capitan.

So in Ventura, open System Settings > General > Sharing. Click on the slider switch for File Sharing. It will probably prompt for your password of fingerprint. Done! Then from your El Capitan Mac, Finder, go to Computer and when the window opens, the bottom row should show Remote Volumes > Network. The next window should show your Ventura Mac with all its available volumes. Open any one and it will be the same as any other Finder window on your side. You can now copy or upload files over the Network.

From El Capitan, System Preferences, look for Sharing (I can’t picture how to get there exactly). From the Sharing window, you probably have to click on the padlock to open it, I think, then you can turn on sharing for all the elements you wish to share. Try this in case you are unable to view the shared volumes from Ventura.
 
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Okay, since I’m running Ventura right now, I can tell you how to enable File Sharing from Ventura (or Sonoma, much the same). I can only boot back to Monterey, and System Preferences is probably similar to El Capitan.

So in Ventura, open System Settings > General > Sharing. Click on the slider switch for File Sharing. It will probably prompt for your password of fingerprint. Done! Then from your El Capitan Mac, Finder, go to Computer and when the window opens, the bottom row should show Remote Volumes > Network. The next window should show your Ventura Mac with all its available volumes. Open any one and it will be the same as any other Finder window on your side. You can now copy or upload files over the Network.

From El Capitan, System Preferences, look for Sharing (I can’t picture how to get there exactly). From the Sharing window, you probably have to click on the padlock to open it, I think, then you can turn on sharing for all the elements you wish to share. Try this in case you are unable to view the shared volumes from Ventura.
Sorry to let so much time pass...I just attempted to follow your description. – So I started with my iMac, went to system preferences (or whatever they call it now), went to "file sharing" and opened and yes, there was the slider button which I clicked to "on"...so far, no problem...
But then I went back to my MacPro 3.1 running El Capitan and you prompted me to go to "Computer"...this was puzzling – if you're in the finder window there is no "computer" to go to, so I had to figure out what you meant and I assumed you meant my startup drive (I have three startup drives on my MacPro 3.1) ...and yes, there to the left, at the bottom, my iMac appeared...when I clicked on it a window opened that showed a button up right to connect to the iMac....so I clicked on it. – NOW it asked me to type my name and password....! – ...what...? – ...and that's where it all died...I tried the passwords I have assigned for the computers and "names"....? – ...what was meant...? – ...my "name"...? – ..the computer's name...? – ...I tried all possible combinations and nothing would work, so I had to give up....
Yes, there was the option of connecting "as guest" – I didn't try it, it felt like such a defeat...but if that's what I have to do, then I will...
So, I felt I was close...but it wouldn't work, with what I knew...there is something I need to know, that I'm not aware of...
 
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I am late to the party here. But this is something that I do on a regular basis. I have several computers that I run without displays on them.

I use Apple Remote Desktop to accomplish this.

I have Remote Management enabled in the Sharing settings (Prefs) on all Macs. In the Remote Management Options, I have everything checked, and then using Remote Desktop I can either screen share (View or Control), or send files between computers.

Take a look at the Remote Desktop User Guide at https://support.apple.com/guide/remote-desktop/welcome/mac, and see if this will do what you want.
 
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Sorry to let so much time pass...I just attempted to follow your description. – So I started with my iMac, went to system preferences (or whatever they call it now), went to "file sharing" and opened and yes, there was the slider button which I clicked to "on"...so far, no problem...
But then I went back to my MacPro 3.1 running El Capitan and you prompted me to go to "Computer"...this was puzzling – if you're in the finder window there is no "computer" to go to, so I had to figure out what you meant and I assumed you meant my startup drive (I have three startup drives on my MacPro 3.1) ...and yes, there to the left, at the bottom, my iMac appeared...when I clicked on it a window opened that showed a button up right to connect to the iMac....so I clicked on it. – NOW it asked me to type my name and password....! – ...what...? – ...and that's where it all died...I tried the passwords I have assigned for the computers and "names"....? – ...what was meant...? – ...my "name"...? – ..the computer's name...? – ...I tried all possible combinations and nothing would work, so I had to give up....
Yes, there was the option of connecting "as guest" – I didn't try it, it felt like such a defeat...but if that's what I have to do, then I will...
So, I felt I was close...but it wouldn't work, with what I knew...there is something I need to know, that I'm not aware of...
I can only go back to Monterey on my Studio, so I hope this will clear a couple of things up. Let’s call your iMac18,3 the “master” and your MacPro the “slave.” To go to Computer, in Finder select Go and select Computer. (In my Monterey system, the keyboard command is ⇧⌘C). It should open a window listing all of your connected volumes, including the iMac and the MacPro.

Screen Shot 2023-07-08 at 05.34.05.png
Screen Shot 2023-07-08 at 05.49.53.png


Yes, I have a good number of volumes, and that’s not counting my clone drives which are automatically ejected after scheduled backups/clones.

I realize now that there was no need to turn on Sharing on the iMac but that’s okay, you don’t have to change it. Now on the slave (MacPro) open System Preferences and select Sharing. Click on the padlock to allow changes. Enable Screen Sharing AND File Sharing, making sure Administrators are allowed, which reminds me, your user account on the iMac should be an administrator.

Screen Shot 2023-07-08 at 05.31.33.png


Screen Shot 2023-07-08 at 05.31.17.png


Under Shared Folders: you should have the root (MacPro) volume included. In my example, “Monterey HD”.

Go back to the iMac and go to Computer and at the bottom, click on Network. It should open a new window and select the MacPro which is up and running. If we were lucky, a window should open with the MacPro desktop under your full control. Let me know.
 

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