TweetFollow Us on Twitter

ShareWay IP Personal

Volume Number: 16 (2000)
Issue Number: 1
Column Tag: Tools of the Trade

ShareWay IP Personal

by Michael Ash

Enhancing AppleShare for the TCP/IP age

Welcome

As many of you may know, Apple's new MacOS 9 ships with the ability to use Personal File Sharing over TCP/IP. Less widely known is that the technology behind this new feature is ShareWay IP, from Open Door Networks, Inc. Open Door has been selling ShareWay IP for over two years, and Apple's inclusion of the product in the latest MacOS only serves to make it even more relevant.

The concept behind ShareWay IP is simple. It takes an existing AppleTalk-based AppleShare server, such as MacOS's Personal File Sharing, and converts it to work over TCP/IP as well. Management of users and shared folders is kept on the original server; ShareWay IP is simply a gateway. This means that most configuration is kept exactly the same as before, making setup a very simple task. ShareWay IP also adds some important security features, an area where Personal File Sharing is very weak.

Open Door Networks offers three versions of ShareWay IP: ShareWay IP Personal, ShareWay IP Standard, and ShareWay IP Professional. The Standard and Professional editions take an existing AppleTalk-based server on a separate computer and makes it work over TCP/IP. The Standard edition serves a single AppleShare server while the Professional edition can serve multiple servers.

The Personal edition works only with an AppleShare server running on the same computer, and is aimed to get a typical Personal File Sharing setup converted over to TCP/IP. Since the Standard and Professional editions are used in only specialized circumstances, they are not covered in this review. When "ShareWay IP" is mentioned, it refers to the Personal edition.

Why ShareWay IP?

In almost any Mac network environment, AppleShare is the most convenient method of getting files from one computer to another. Simply go to the Chooser, log in to the other computer, and a nice shared folder appears right on the desktop. Shared folders act just like any other disk once connected. However, as networks expand to take on non-Mac platforms, the TCP/IP protocol becomes ever more prevalent. On many mixed networks, AppleTalk no longer works beyond the subnet in which it originates.

Apple neatly solved this problem by adding TCP/IP capability to AppleShare. While the IP-capable version of the AppleShare client was free, the only way to run a server on a Mac was to spend several hundred dollars on AppleShare IP. Until Mac OS 9, Personal File Sharing was still relegated to AppleTalk.

Enter ShareWay IP. While AppleShare IP is a one-size-fit-all serving package, including FTP, HTTP, and mail, ShareWay IP concentrates solely on serving AppleShare via TCP/IP. The result is a small, easy-to-use package that gets the job done for a fraction of the price.

First Impressions

My first stop was Open Door Network's web site at http://www.opendoor.com/ to download the trial version of ShareWay IP Personal 3.0. The one-megabyte download is a fully functional version of the program that will run for ten days. It is try-before-you-buy software, and makes for a definite plus in my book. The installer took only seconds to run on both of my test machines. It didn't even require a restart! Being an impatient person, I turned on file sharing and ran ShareWay IP. I clicked the button labeled "Start," and a moment later was serving AppleShare over IP. The entire process took perhaps sixty seconds from starting the installer to having a running, functional server.


Figure 1.ShareWay IP about to be started.

Once I had the server started up, I wandered over to my other test computer and logged in. For those of you not familiar with the procedure, it varies only slightly from logging into a normal AppleShare server. Open the Chooser, click AppleShare, but then instead of picking a server from the list, click the button titled "Server IP Address..." and type in the machine name or IP address of the server. After that, the usual dialog box comes up asking whether to log in as a guest or as a registered user. Log in as normal, and the shared folder is mounted on the desktop without any AppleTalk at all. While this procedure is not unique to ShareWay IP, it is very nice to not have any extra hassle.


Figure 2.Logging in to an AppleShare server over TCP/IP.

The ShareWay IP package comes with a program called "AFP Engage!" It serves as a partial replacement for Apple's Network browser program. Along with being a helper for afp:// URLs, it brings the convenience of the Chooser's AppleTalk server list to TCP/IP servers. It does this by using Service Location Protocol, an Internet standard for registering servers and a plugin that comes with MacOS 8.5 and greater. Unfortunately, MacOS 8.5 and 8.6 have version 1 of SLP, where MacOS 9 has version 2. These two versions are not compatible. However, copying MacOS 9's SLP plugin to an 8.6 machine will allow them to work together. I ran into problems getting this to work; it turned out that the Search Domains field in the TCP/IP control panel must be blank. Unfortunately, the issue is only mentioned in the Read Me for AFP Engage!, not in the main documentation. Once that issue was resolved, everything ran perfectly, but it's something to watch for.

Setting it All Up

Once ShareWay IP is up and running, there's little else to do in the way of setup. Connection logs may be turned on if the administrator desires it. The server can also be run on a different port number, which may be necessary if the server is behind a firewall. AppleShare servers run standard on port 548, which could present problems if a firewall or proxy blocks that port. With ShareWay IP, running on a nonstandard port is as simple as shutting the server down, selecting the appropriate menu item, and restarting it. Once this is accomplished, users will need to enter the new port number at the end of the server's machine name or IP address using the standard notation of machine.name:<port>.

The only other configuration left is that of security. ShareWay IP allows guest access to be turned off, and also has a list of users. This list can function either as an allowed list, where only those users on the list are allowed to log in, or as a disallowed list where the users on the list are unable to log on. This list is particularly useful, because it does not affect standard AppleTalk logins, allowing an administrator to limit worldwide access to only those people who need it. Because of the nature of ShareWay IP, setting up individual users and their access rights falls to the underlying AppleShare server.

If the server has not been used as an AppleShare server before, then users, permissions, and shared folders must be set up using Apple's server software. Fortunately, Apple's experience in human interface design makes this process relatively painless. If an AppleShare server is already set up, then all of its settings transfer automatically and transparently to the ShareWay server. This is convenient, but it also means that the ShareWay server inherets any underlying limitations. In the case of Apple's Personal File Sharing, the main limitation is a maximum of ten simultaneous connections.

Now the choice must be made as to which version of ShareWay IP to run. There are two, a normal application and a faceless background application. The faceless background app is difficult to quit accidentally and will continue running if the current user logs off under MacOS 9's Multiple Users feature, but it must be shut down to make any changes to the settings. The normal program can change settings without shutting down the server (with the exception of changing the port number) but could be easily shut down accidentally and won't function as a long-term server under Multiple Users.

Documentation

Open Door provides excellent documentation with ShareWay IP. It comes in HTML form and is installed along with the program, and can also be viewed on Open Door's web site. The best part about the documentation is that it's not necessary. ShareWay IP is easy enough to figure out without the documentation, which is very pleasant. However, when a question arises or the user wishes to delve into the more complicated aspects of ShareWay IP, the documentation is clearly written and very helpful. The only real problem is the aforementioned problem with AFP Engage!, where a pertinent issue was only mentioned in a Read Me. Otherwise, the documentation is very comprehensive.

So, How's the Speed?

TCP/IP applications have always seemed faster than AppleTalk to me. AppleShare has no equal for convenience, but if the transfer of several hundred megabytes is called for, using FTP or a similar protocol seems to be the way to go. Does ShareWay IP combine the best of both worlds?

Sort of. AppleShare is very CPU-speed dependent; using a fast server will make for faster transfers. It would seem that a midrange 604e would be able to completely saturate a 10Base-T ethernet connection. Indeed, with a good web or FTP server it can, but performance suffers under File Sharing. My two test machines were a PowerCenter Pro (180MHz 604e) and an iBook (300MHz G3). Over AppleTalk, the PowerCenter Pro sustained roughly 370k/sec as the server based on a 25-megabyte file on a 10Base-T network. The iBook managed 630k/sec when serving, a marked increase. Apparently ShareWay IP makes the process even more dependent on the server's speed. The PowerCenter Pro saw a large drop in speed when serving over TCP/IP, down to 215k/sec under otherwise identical circumstances. The iBook pulled off a small speed increase, jumping to 760k/sec.

Unless the server is being run on a midrange G3, ShareWay IP's performance may not be as great as one would expect. The speed on slower machines is adequate for casual use, but for heavy-duty serving, ShareWay IP needs a reasonably fast machine.

But, I Already Have Mac OS 9...

Although built around the same technology, ShareWay IP Personal 3.0 adds some features on top of the version that ships with Mac OS 9. The version that comes with Mac OS 9 is a faceless background application and can't be configured beyond what's in the File Sharing control panel. The full version of ShareWay IP Personal 3.0 adds greater security and more options to the Mac OS 9 version. As an added bonus, the $39 upgrade price from previous versions of ShareWay IP applies to the Mac OS 9 version as well. Aside from being able to change the server's port, the major extra features are security-related. Which brings us to....

Security

Security is certainly not an area where ShareWay IP is found lacking. With a live connection list and comprehensive logging capabilities, there is little left to be desired. Certainly security is one of the major improvements over the MacOS 9 version.

The foreground application has a connection list similar to the one found in Apple's File Sharing control panel. The major difference is that ShareWay's connection list shows the user's IP address along with his name, invaluable information if the server is accessible to the outside world.

More importantly, ShareWay IP has the ability to keep logs of each connection. Though the log file is somewhat difficult to read, it provides a wealth of information. The user's name, IP address, time of connection, whether the attempt succeeded, how many bytes were transferred during the session, which, if any, errors AppleShare returned, and others. The information contained in the log file could be extremely helpful in the event of an unauthorized attempt to access the server.

Conclusion

For users still running versions of MacOS prior to MacOS 9, ShareWay IP Personal 3.0 is a very important product. It allows Mac OS's built in file sharing to run over a TCP/IP network with a minimum of cost and difficulty. Although not as comprehensive as AppleShare IP, it boasts a feature set more than sufficient for most situations. Under Mac OS 9, ShareWay IP Personal 3.0 adds greater configurability and some important security features. While the version that comes with Mac OS 9 is sufficient for casual use, any serious servers could benefit from the added protection that ShareWay IP offers.

ShareWay IP Personal 3.0 runs on any 68k or PowerPC Macintosh running System 7.5.5 or newer. It is available from Open Door Networks, Inc. for $79. Upgrades are available for users of Mac OS 9 and users of previous versions of ShareWay IP Personal for $39. Open Door Networks' web site is located at http://www.opendoor.com/.


Michael Ash is a junior majoring in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. When he's not working with his Macs, you can often find him rollerblading, playing chess, or grumbling about the cold. He can be reached at mail@mikeash.com.

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Monolingual 1.6.2 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Adobe After Effects CC 2014 13.2 - Creat...
After Effects CC 2014 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous After Effects customer). After Effects CS6 is still available... Read more
Evernote 6.0.5 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Airs for...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: iMacs for up to $...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 1.4GHz... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac minis availab...
B&H Photo has new 2014 Mac minis on sale for up to $80 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459 $40 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac Pros for up t...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $500 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2599, $400 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3499, $... Read more
Save up to $400 on MacBooks with Apple Certif...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Save up to $300 on Macs, $30 on iPads with Ap...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iOS and Android OS Targeted by Man-in-the-Mid...
Cloud services security provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. has released, through the company’s Prolexic Security Engineering & Research Team (PLXsert), a new cybersecurity threat advisory. The... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.