Home-Office Networking for Your Mac Running Mountain Lion

A typical Mac home-office network consists of two Macintoshes, an AirPort Extreme wireless Base Station (or other type of Ethernet hub or router), and a network printer. Check out the figure to see the configuration of a simple network.

In the figure, the black lines between the devices are Ethernet cables; the rectangular device with those cables going into it is an Ethernet hub, router, AirPort Extreme Base Station, or Time Capsule. You need enough Ethernet cable to run among all your devices.


With the setup shown, either Mac can use the other Mac’s files, and both Macs can print to the same printer. If you have a broadband Internet connection, you can also connect the cable or DSL modem to the hub/switch/router so all Mac users on the network can share the Internet connection.

A network can — and often does — have dozens or hundreds of users. Whether your network has 2 nodes (machines) or 2,000, the same principles and techniques apply.