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Home network - WRT54G, Mac, & a PC


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Okay. I've been messing with this thing ALL day. I've got some things working, but some things still aren't working. I'm frustrated & ready to smash something. Let's take it from the top. Here's what I'm working with and my dilemma:

Computer #1: Mac Power PC G4 Quicksilver 2002 running OS X 10.5.8

Computer #2: Dell "old piece of crap" running Windows XP Version 2002 Service Pack 3

Router: Linksys WRT54G V8 router running DD-WRT v24 (05/24/08) micro - build 9526, restored to factory defaults

Modem: Motorola Surfboard SB4200 flashed with Sigma v1.5b

Printer: Lexmark P4350 color inkjet USB printer, connected to the Mac

Both computers and an Xbox 360 are connected to the router via Cat 5e ethernet cable.

Lastly, I have a Wii connects to this router wirelessly.

The Wii & Xbox work fine, and there are no problems there. My Mac is in the house, and is my main computer. My old Dell is in the garage & I only have it to read service manuals, look up part numbers over the internet & a few other work related things. (I run a small motorcycle repair operation out of my garage.) The Dell is old & slow, but it serves it's purpose & I don't mind if it gets greasy or even ruined. Problem is, I have many manuals & files that I store on my Mac that I would like to access from the garage. I also keep customers' invoices on my Mac, but I would like to be able to update them from the garage. Also, if I'm looking at or working on something on the Dell, I would like to be able to hit the print button and simply walk in the house & grab it off the printer. Finally, if I'm somewhere away from my house, I need to be able to access the files on my Mac via the internet. Before I bought the router, I could use any windows machine, open Internet Explorer and type "ftp://c-75-66-220-210.hsd1.tn.Comcast.net/" and a new window would open. I could log in to my computer using my regular name & password, then have access to my files. I could drag & drop files between the Mac & whatever computer I was sitting at.

Now, plugging everything in allowed both computers & both video games to access the internet, but I couldn't accomplish any of the other things I desired. I started by assigning my Mac a static IP address of 192.168.1.10 in the Network panel under System Preferences (DCHP with manual address). Then, I enabled all the sharing options under the Sharing panel of System Preferences (File Sharing, Printer Sharing, Web Sharing, etc.)

On the Dell, I opened my network connection and manually assigned it the static IP address 192.168.1.11, subnet mask 255.255.255.0, and gateway 192.168.1.1, which allowed me to FTP my Mac at "ftp://192.168.1.10", but I lost my internet connection. I had to manually enter my primary & secondary DNS, so I used the DNS 1 and DNS 2 listed on the router's DD-WRT configuration page (68.87.68.166 & 68.87.74.166). Now I can FTP my Mac from the Dell, and access the internet from both computers, although I think I might should have set the DNS on the Dell to 192.168.1.1

On the WRT54G, the only settings I changed is I changed the login & password, assigned static ip leases to the mac addresses associated with my Mac & Dell, enabled Wake-On-Lan for each, and I unchecked the box "Block Anonymous WAN Requests (ping)"

I still can't access the Dell from the Mac. This isn't a big deal, because there really isn't anything on the Dell that I'd need to access from the Mac, but it just seems that it should work both ways. This may be related to the face that the Mac OS has a built in ftp server, not an ftp client, and the Windows OS is the opposite with a built in ftp client, but no ftp server.

I found an article on using a Mac's usb printer from a remote Windows PC on a home network ( http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20021101062604548 ) and followed the instructions exactly, but it doesn't work. I don't get any error messages when I try to print from my Dell. It just doesn't work. Nothing prints, and the print queue on both computers remains empty.

Finally, I need to be able to access my Mac's files from locations outside my network. I don't know if this works at present or not because I haven't got any idea what to type in Internet Explorer's address bar from a remote computer. If I do it the way I used to, only substituting the new IP address where the old one was, I get my router's configuration page. I imagine I might have to forward a port, or something like that, but I know very little about this process and I still wouldn't know what to type in the remote computer's address bar.

Here are my questions:

1. What settings must I change to access my Mac's files remotely?

2. What do I type in the remote computer's address bar to access my Mac?

3. How can I print from my Dell to the printer that is connected to my Mac via usb?

4. Can I access the Dell's files from the Mac?

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Thanks for the link to the guide. It was written for Mac OS X 10.3/10.4, which is a bit different from 10.5, which I am using. I can't find any program called "Directory Access" on my Mac, but I did find programs called "Directory" and "Directory Utility". Unfortunately, neither of these programs appear to function like "Directory Access" does in the guide. I couldn't figure that part out, but I did follow the rest of the guide & now I am able to access shared folders on the Dell from the Mac, which is nice. That answers question #4.

I've made a little headway on printing to the Mac's printer from the Dell (I think) :tickedoff:. If I navigate my web browser to "http://192.168.1.10:631/printers/" from the Dell, I get the CUPS page and I can print a test page from there. Seemed promising, so I added a network printer "http://192.168.1.10:631/printers/Lexmark__4300_Series", but I still cannot print anything from the Dell. In the router, I forwarded port 35 to the Mac because I read somewhere it had something to do with printing. Didn't seem to do anything, though. Some help with this would be nice. I feel like I'm really close.

As for accessing my Mac from outside my network, still no luck. I went to my router's DD-WRT config page and forwarded ports 21, 22, & 23 TCP and port 22 UDP, but that doesn't seem to help anything. I really need some help with this. I have no idea how to access my Mac from outside my network, and I really want to be able to to that.

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They move things around sometimes, and rename them. Why ? dunno. Anyhow to get to to directory access utility,click the apple Menu, goto system preferences.

goto accounts, then login options. click edit, to the right of "Network Account Server and you should see the directory access utility there.

You shouldn't have that much of  problem with the printer, just instal it, and share it, so long s your on the same domain as the rest of the machines, windows will see it. You might have to install new printer, on the XP machine, and search for one that way , if that doesn't work, make sure the printer is shared, then use bonjour to get it up and running. Set it as default printer, Iv'e not had to open any special ports for this. Of course check the firewall.

To access your files remotely, you could just take that static IP, and get a dyn-dns name, or no-ip name, download there updater, and set the files, and users you want to allow to see/ share whatever in the "share" in system prefs. You can also try setting up apples built in remote desktop feature. Or you could use the VPN in there.

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On the Mac make sure you have Sharing enabled naturally.

If you do decide to go the Remote desktop route and for some reason it gets stubborn checkout http://teamviewer.com/download/index.aspx .  It works with Mac and PC and is free for personnal use.  Very easy setup.  Even has a module for unattended access use.  Requires no port forwarding or opening of firewalls.

Everything should work as you want.  Just a matter of getting the settings right.  I"m new to Mac and mudman won't steer you wrong.

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They move things around sometimes, and rename them. Why ? dunno. Anyhow to get to to directory access utility,click the apple Menu, goto system preferences.

goto accounts, then login options. click edit, to the right of "Network Account Server and you should see the directory access utility there.

Still can't find it. I went to System Preferences > Accounts > Login Options, but I didn't see Network Account Server or anywhere to click edit.

Here's a screenshot: http://marcleonti.com/SysPrefs.tiff

I am using Mac OS X 10.5.8

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You shouldn't have that much of  problem with the printer, just instal it, and share it, so long s your on the same domain as the rest of the machines, windows will see it. You might have to install new printer, on the XP machine, and search for one that way , if that doesn't work, make sure the printer is shared, then use bonjour to get it up and running. Set it as default printer, Iv'e not had to open any special ports for this. Of course check the firewall.

I've installed the new printer on the PC I don't know how to use bonjour. I don't even know what bonjour is.

Here's a screenshot of my printer sharing preferences on the Mac:

http://marcleonti.com/PrinterSharing.tiff

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I appreciate the advice. I'm reading everything on the internet that I can find, and I think I'm getting a decent idea about networking basics. I can now access my Mac's files from my Dell, and I can access the Dell's files from the Mac, so that's a big part of my problem solved. I can't print to the Mac's printer from the Dell yet, but I've been playing with Bonjour on my Dell, and I think I'm getting close. Printing from that machine isn't super important right now, so I can continue plugging away at that until I figure it out.

What I really want is to be able to access the computers on my network, specifically the Mac, from outside the network. I wish there was a simple answer, but there doesn't seem to be. It used to be rediculously simple, but now that I have to go through the router, it seems to be impossible! If I could access the Mac before, then I imagine all the settings on the Mac should already be good. Let's just take this one simple question and answer at a time. I will post this message to the thread so it can be read by all.

What do I need to type in the address bar in the web browser of a computer outside of my network to access files on my Mac?

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Like I say, you can do this several ways, one would be to go get yourself a free dynamic dns name from somewhere such as dyn-dns, or even better no-ip , set the folders / files you want in the permissions to the user.

You might also use the dd-wrt's VPN settings, I dunno exactly which distro you have flashed, but many of them are capable.

I'm going to have  few minutes tomorrow, and I'll set this up on mine so I can help you get there. I usually store my files on a remote ftp, but it's time to play with this I suppose :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay. I've been working on this thing for a while now. I've read everything I could get my hands on, and I found many answers. Unfortunately, I still cannot access my Mac's files from outside of my network.

From my Dell computer, which is a part of my LAN, I open Internet Explorer and type "ftp://192.168.1.10" in the address bar, then click "File > Login as..." and enter my login name and password for my mac, then just like that I have access to all my files that are stored in my personal folder on the Mac. I can even log in with my wife's name and password instead and have access to all of her files. It works EXACTLY the way it's supposed to.

How can I do the exact same thing from outside my network? I put my Mac in the DMZ on the NAT/QoS page of my DD-WRT setup, which should direct all incoming traffic to my Mac, but it doesn't work. I tried using no-ip.com, but that doesn't help either. I can keep up with my IP address, so that's not the issue. What am I missing?

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First off your either going to have to set u a VPN, use, SMB , or use http and open the correct port , I would never put any machine I cared about in the DMZ, many will not agree with that because it can be configured to another level of security by port closure, whatever on that.

If you set up no-ip properly, and you have the DNS name pointing to your wan IP , the updater tracking the dynamic IP from your host , have the correct pots open in the mac, and the router, have the static IP on the mac same as the one in the router forwarded to the mac, and the files shared to the account you are trying to access, then you should be a go. Watch out for the firewall in leoaprd, it may be holding you up.  Does this soud anything like what you've done ?

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This sounds like everything I've done. I put the Mac in the DMZ to eliminate the port forwarding issue. I know the Mac is set up correctly because if I eliminate the LAN and plug the router directly into the Mac, I can access the Mac from anywhere. With the router between the Mac & the modem, I get nothing, even with the Mac in the DMZ. Am I missing something?

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This sounds like everything I've done. I put the Mac in the DMZ to eliminate the port forwarding issue. I know the Mac is set up correctly because if I eliminate the LAN and plug the router directly into the Mac, I can access the Mac from anywhere. With the router between the Mac & the modem, I get nothing, even with the Mac in the DMZ. Am I missing something?

Never assume that just because you are connected to the DMZ port , ESPECIALLY when using DD-WRT, that the ports are open, never ! Using that firmware, I don't believe the DMZ port is wide open as it was before the change. I dunno, i never relied on DMZ for the simple config issues of it alone.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Post what you do to access the files, and what you see, in what format. FTP ?  HTTP ?  see what i mean. Depending on how you are accessing the files, may depend on what you have to do to allow the files on a local disk to be accessed. You may just have to map the drive (finder may do, I use pathfinder, beats the daylights , I mean whipps the shit out of finder , ) then set your permissions and or shares.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally! I've got it!!!

From any windows machine, I can open Internal Exploder... oops, I mean Internet Explorer, and type ftp://75.66.xxx.xxx:21//Volumes/Secondary%20Hard%20Drive in the address bar to access the files in my secondary hard drive. A message is displayed saying I don't have permission to access the page, but I can log in with my user name & password (File>Login as...), and VIOLA, all my files are available to me. I can drag & drop files between my machine and the machine I'm sitting at, or even edit the files remotely. PERFECT!!! Hooray!!! It was so simple. I just didn't know to type the port number after my IP address, then a double forward slash before "Volumes". Also noteworthy is the fact that everything is case-sensitive, and "%20" must be used instead of spaces (since in HTML %20 is the equivalent to a "space") Alternately, I can type ftp://...:21//Volumes/Primary%20Hard%20Drive to access the files on my primary drive.

No need for no-ip.com, or other similar sites. All they do is slow my computer down & make other funny things happen. All I need to do is keep track of my IP address. It's dynamic, but it doesn't change unless I unplug my modem for a few days. Not a big deal there.

No virtual network required. In fact, ann the settings were already set. The Mac is designed to just work the way you want it to. Unfortunately, all this time I just didn't know what to type in the address bar of the remote computer's browser!

Thanks so much, mudman, for all the help! If you've got any questions about my setup, let me know!

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