What Are the Best Back to My Mac Alternatives?

Wave goodbye Back to My Mac. As of macOS Mojave, Apple is officially removing a useful file and screen sharing utility built right into the operating system. And while Apple has a few suggestions for what you can now use instead of Back to My Mac, they’re less practical , especially since one “solution” will cost you $ 80 . Pfft.

In this week’s Tech 911 column, I’m going to proactively answer all of the Back to My Mac questions we get in a few months by looking at several alternatives that are better than Apple’s offerings.

Do you have a technical question that is keeping you awake at night? Tired of searching and troubleshooting Windows or Mac issues? Looking for advice on applications, browser extensions, or utilities that you can use to accomplish a specific task? Let us know! Let us know in the comments below or write to david.murphy@lifehacker.com .

If you’ve never used Back to my Mac before, it lets you do two things: copy files from a remote system (which you also set up with your Apple ID and Back to my Mac) and manage that system remotely. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to do with a number of other apps, especially those that are just as useful (if not more) than what you’ll find in Back to My Mac.

Mac system remote control

I’ll start with the second function first, and you’ll see why a little later. Generally, I’m a big fan of the Google Remote Desktop app for Chrome . Even if you’re an Apple purist and can’t stand the thought of what Google uses on your system – and you must be bitter if you have to use the iCloud web interface all day long – the Google app makes it incredibly easy to access your system. from afar. I use it to control my Windows desktop from my Mac laptop when I’m away from home (or I’m too lazy to get up and fiddle with some settings).

The biggest benefit of Chrome Remote Desktop is that it’s incredibly easy to set up, even for computer novices. This makes it even more ideal if you are a tech support specialist for your family or circle of friends. Instead of trying to explain the workflow in detail, you can simply walk the person through the Chrome Remote Desktop setup. They can then use the Remote Assistance feature to generate an access code that you enter into your version of Chrome Remote Desktop to control their system from afar. You can probably solve their problem much faster than if you were trying to explain it to them, but you can always explain as you go, at least to help them understand what you are doing.

The second option you can use is TeamViewer . What I love about this app is that it lets you send Wake on LAN commands to the sleeping system, which Chrome Remote Desktop doesn’t. This way, you can get the best of both worlds: little energy savings when you are not at home, but the ability to access remotely without having to keep your computer running all the time. TeamViewer also makes it incredibly easy to share files between two connected systems , which can also solve this missing Back to My Mac aspect.

Access your Mac’s files from afar

The easiest way to access files remotely is to enable iCloud Drive for your account on all your systems (via System Preferences> iCloud). Do this, and any files you drag to your desktop or document folder will automatically sync with your other systems the next time you turn them on. You even get a (whopping) five gigabytes of free to play with iCloud. Go crazy.

There are many other cloud services out there that do the same, and we’ve already covered most of them ( and their cost ). The only drawback is that if you need a specific file that is not in one of the synced folders, you will have to remotely connect to your system using one of the aforementioned applications and drag and drop it, and then wait while it syncs with your remote system.

You can opt out of the middleman if you get a little crazy and set up your own VPN server at home – usually an option for higher level routers or NAS , or as a standalone accessory to your existing network infrastructure. Type it in with an application like Tunnelblick and your remote system can see all of your other systems on your home network. You can then access the drives you previously shared and get your files that way.

However, perhaps the best option is to just live in the cloud as often as possible . While it may seem a little “aha” to you when you give your files to a third-party service (especially if your company forbids you from doing this, for example, with working papers), it is much easier to access your files when you are not the one in charge. his well-being.


Leave a Reply