Adding a Windows PC to your Mac network? Concerned you won't be able to read your Mac files from Windows? Today we take a look at the basics of Mac and Windows file sharing.
In today’s article we are going to explain how it is possible to have both Macintosh and Windows PCs on the same network without giving up the ability to share files between the two. The ability to share files between Apple's Mac OS X and Windows is often the determining factor when deciding whether to integrate a couple of Windows PCs into your Mac network or vice versa.
Reading Windows Files on your Mac
In many cases when you want to access your Mac files from your PC you will in turn want to also access your PC files from your Mac. The easiest way I have found to do this is to install MacFuse and NTFS-3G on your Mac. These programs extend the capability of Mac OS X to access 3rd-party files systems (NTFS in this example). With MacFuse and NTFS-3G installed you will be able to access and mount your Windows (NTFS) shares as you would any other share. MacFuse and NTFS-3G are fast, stable, and safe to use. The NTFS-3G driver supports read/write access to the Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 & 2008, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 files systems. Nothing more is needed to make your Mac Windows files system friendly.
Windows has Infected my Mac!
As you can see, integrating your Windows PC into your existing Mac network is a very simple process. The minute you do this, though, there is one consideration you must address. This is the possibility of passing any virus present on your Windows PC to your Mac and then on to unsuspected friends, family, or co-workers via your Mac. While a virus designed to affect Windows machines will not “harm" your Mac, it can become imbedded into files on your Mac, those files are then transferred to others (who are using Windows), and their PC becomes infected (thanks to you!). To avoid this I can’t stress how important it is to run an up-to-date anti-virus on your Windows PC as well as your Mac. Share files responsibly, install a Mac anti-virus!