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Reset network settings on Mac

If you're having persistent networking issues on a Mac, like constantly dropping from a Wi-Fi network, inability to join networks, inappropriately sluggish internet connections that only impact the particular Mac, or other networking related issues, it may be helpful to reset the network settings.

The easiest way to reset Wi-Fi settings is to delete Wi-Fi related configuration files. Please note that by resetting network settings you will need to re-add and re-join any networks and enter the passwords again.

• Disable Wi-Fi by pulling down the Wi-Fi menu and choosing to toggle the Wi-Fi switch Off

• Go to the Finder, pull down the "Go" menu, choose "Go to Folder..." and enter the following path:

/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/

the click the "Go" button

• Select and delete the following files from this folder:

com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
com.apple.network.identification.plist
com.apple.wifi.message-tracer.plist
com.apple.network.eapolclient.configuration.plist
NetworkInterfaces.plist
preferences.plist

• Restart the Mac by going to the Apple () menu and choosing "Restart..."

• When the Mac boots back up, enable Wi-Fi again by going to the Wi-Fi menu and toggling it back On

• Select the network you wish to join

This approach will often resolve many wireless networking issues encountered on the Mac, but if you're still experiencing any Wi-Fi networking issues, you might want to reset the router and the modem itself, which typically involves unplugging those devices from power source for 10-15 seconds and then plugging them back in again, then waiting a few minutes for those to rejoin the appropriate networks.

 

Prevent others from discovering your Mac

Your Mac is pretty safe on your private home network, but what about when you're surfing the Web in coffee shops? Anyone with a computer and rudimentary hacking skills could target you, which is why it's important to make sure your Mac's built-in firewall is enabled and that stealth mode is turned on.

macOS's firewall feature blocks unwanted network traffic coming into your computer, and stealth mode makes your Mac essentially invisible to hackers snooping for computers to target. They aren't foolproof features, but they will keep most people from finding and attacking your Mac on public networks.

First, you need to make sure your Mac's firewall is enabled:

• Go to Apple menu > System Preferences.
• Choose Security & Privacy.
• Select the Firewall tab.
• If the firewall is active you’ll see a green dot and "Firewall: On." If not, click Turn Firewall On. You may have to click the padlock icon and authenticate with your Mac's password to change the setting.

Next, enable stealth mode:

• Click Firewall Options. It's below the button for turning the firewall on and off.
• Check Enable stealth mode.
• Click OK.

"Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections" and "Automatically allow downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections" should already be checked. Those settings let the apps you already have communicate through the firewall without you having to take any extra steps. Leave those checked unless you know what you're doing and plan to manage app network access manually. You should leave "Block all incoming connections" unchecked too, unless all you're doing is surfing the Web.

 

 

 

Use Messages to share your screen in macOS

If you need to quickly offer help to another Mac user you know, there's no quicker way to remotely provide assistance than via Apple's own Messages. Here's how to take control of another person's Mac on their behalf, and how to allow others to do the same to your desktop.

As part of the Messages app in macOS, it is possible to establish a remote desktop session where you have control of a Mac across the Internet or someone else has control over your Mac desktop. What's more, as well as being simple to get going, it also doesn't require any real installation of extensions or other components.

What does Messages' screen sharing feature do? When a screen share is initiated, the screen from the Mac being controlled will be streamed as a live video feed to the other participant, the Mac that will be used for control. This will allow the user on the controlling Mac to see what is on the desktop of the Mac being controlled. At the same time, a FaceTime Audio call is started between the two users, providing two-way audio. This enables the users to speak to each other, such as advising on what they are doing for the other user or additional instructions. The feature doesn't automatically enable the ability to remote control the other person's display by default, but the option is presented. If control isn't provided by one party to the other, the screen is shared but it is not remotely controllable.

To share your screen with another user:

• Open Messages on your Mac.

• Select the conversation with the person you want to share the screen with. If no prior conversation exists, send a message to them.

• In the main menu, select Conversations then Invite to Share My Screen. The sharing and audio call will begin automatically once the remote user accepts the invitation.

To request another user shares their screen:

• Open Messages on your Mac.

• Select the conversation with the person you want to share the screen with. If no prior conversation exists, send a message to them.

• In the main menu, select Conversations then Ask to Share Screen. The sharing and audio call will begin automatically once the invitation is accepted.

Once sharing is enabled, a new window appears called Screen Sharing, which will host the call and show the sharing user's desktop. There are also some options within the window that can be used. Clicking the mouse pointer icon in the menu will send a request to the sharer to enable remote control of the Mac. Clicking on the remote display will highlight elements on the shared Mac, which can be useful for pointing out elements of an app's interface without taking control. When you have control of the remote Mac, you can also control the Clipboard, which means you can copy and paste text and images between the two computers. This is handy to save you from retyping a URL into a remote browser when you have the link locally. You can even transmit files from the remotely-controlling Mac to the shared Mac by dragging and dropping them onto the window.

To end a screen sharing session:

• For the screen-sharing Mac, click the Sharing icon in the menu bar then End Screen Sharing. Alternately, you can select Pause Screen Sharing if you want to stop for a while.

• The remote controlling Mac can do the same by selecting Screen Sharing in the menu followed by Quit Screen Sharing.

If screen sharing doesn't work, make sure the user of the Mac being shared is signed in to iCloud on that Mac using the same Apple ID that they are using for messages. If they are using different IDs, add both Apple IDs to the same contact within the Contacts app and try again. Also, make sure that they are not limited by Screen Time. If one party is restricted and the initial Messages communication cannot be established, that could prevent Screen Sharing from functioning properly.

Speed up internet by using alternate DNS servers

Did you know that Google has their own DNS server which claims to be several times faster than your normal DNS?

DNS server can be described as a phone book for the internet. Every website on the internet has an IP-address (for example Google's is 74.125.95.104), but remembering these addresses for every website you want to visit is a pain. What the DNS (Domain Name Server) server does is translate www.google.com into 74.125.95.104 and direct your browser to that page.

Normally the DNS server is hosted by your internet service provider but Google claims that their server is both faster and more secure, giving you a better online experience.

To use Google’s servers simply open System Preferences and click Network. Select the network connection you use to go online (normally AirPort if you use wireless or Ethernet if you are wired), press "Advanced…" and then select DNS at the top. Now you are presented with two lists, below left one there is a button with a plus sign. Click it and enter:

8.8.8.8

and in a new line:

8.8.4.4

Click OK, then Apply (if the DNS options are grayed out when you try to change them, just click the padlock in the lower left of the Network settings screen and enter your password when prompted). You may have to restart your browser for the changes to take effect.

It is worth keeping in mind that Google will be able to view your browsing habits, so it is a good idea to have a read through their privacy statement (https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/privacy).

Otherwise, if you'd rather not use Google’s DNS server but want faster browsing, you can use a tool such as Namebench (http://code.google.com/p/namebench) which tests a whole bunch of DNS servers (such as OpenDNS or DNS.WATCH) and finds out which one is the fastest for you.

 

Find extended Wi-Fi network details

Did you know that you can quickly access information about your router, and check if your network is performing well? See your BSSID, signal-to-noise ratio, and even the transmit rate between your router and computer. All it takes is a press of a button and a click of your trackpad/mouse.

If you hold down the Option (alt) key and click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, it will  provide you with details about your router and the network you're using. The items in gray (except for "Wi-Fi: On") are all pieces of additional information seen only in this mode.

• IP Address: This is your computer's IP address.

• Router: Your router's IP address. You can type this into your browser to access your router's web interface.

• Internet: This tells you if you are able to access the internet or not. If not, open Wireless Diagnostics.

• Security: Your router's security. Most routers on the market offer WPA2 Personal, and it keeps your network encrypted.

• BSSID: This is your router's MAC, or hardware address. It acts as an identifier for your router that lets it talk to other network-connected devices.

• Channel: This is your WLAN channel, and it determines which radio frequency the router uses to transmit information.

• RSSI: Received Signal Strength Indicator measures how well a device "hears" a signal from the router. It's useful for determining if you have enough signal to get a good wireless connection.

• Noise: This measures how much radio noise is interfering with the RSSI signal. Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels.

• TX Rate: The transmit rate is the speed of the data that is transmitted between your router and your computer. Right now I have a speed of 450 Mbps.

• PHY Mode: This is the wireless protocol that the router uses, according to the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard.

• MCS Index: This number corresponds to the protocols uses to encode the radio signal.