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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TunnelBear 3.5.1 - Subscription-based pr...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
Typinator 7.4 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
Fantastical 2.4.5 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
Monosnap 3.4.9 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Features Capture Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel... Read more
Skim 1.4.32 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
ForkLift 3.1.1 - Powerful file manager:...
ForkLift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client clothed in a clean and versatile UI that offers the combination of absolute simplicity and raw power expected from a well-executed... Read more
Direct Mail 5.2.1 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for macOS. Create, send, and track great looking email campaigns that get results. Start your newsletter by selecting... Read more
Direct Mail 5.2.1 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for macOS. Create, send, and track great looking email campaigns that get results. Start your newsletter by selecting... Read more
Skim 1.4.32 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
ForkLift 3.1.1 - Powerful file manager:...
ForkLift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client clothed in a clean and versatile UI that offers the combination of absolute simplicity and raw power expected from a well-executed... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

What mobile gaming can learn from the Ni...
While Nintendo might not have had things all its own way since it began developing for mobile, one thing it has got right is the release of the Switch. After the disappointment of the WiiU, which I still can't really explain, the Switch felt a... | Read more »
Programmer of Sonic The Hedgehog launche...
Japanese programmer Yuji Naka is best known for leading the team that created the original Sonic The Hedgehog. He’s moved on from the speedy blue hero since then, launching his own company based in Tokyo – Prope Games. Legend of Coin is the... | Read more »
Why doesn't mobile gaming have its...
The Overwatch League is a pretty big deal. It's an attempt to really push eSports into the mainstream, by turning them into, well, regular sports. But slightly less sweaty. It's a lavish affair with teams from all around the world, and more... | Read more »
Give Webzen’s new billiard game PoolTime...
Best known for producing hugely popular MMO titles, South Korean publisher Webzen is now taking aim at a different genre altogether. PoolTime is a realistic eight ball pool simulator, allowing you to compete in real-time matches against players... | Read more »
Let Them Come Guide - How to survive aga...
Let Them Come is all about making it as far as possible against overwhelming odds. Check out some of these tips to help you last a little longer in your unwinnable fight: [Read more] | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Happy last day of the week. I hope you've been having a good one. I have. I saw ten doggos today. So because I'm in a good mood, I thought I'd round up all of the best games that are currently on sale on the App Store. [Read more] | Read more »
The very best games that came out for iP...
We're getting to the end of the first real, full, proper week of 2018. And in that time we've seen some pretty awesome games landing on the App Store. Of course, we've seen some absolute duffers as well. The sort of games that you look at and... | Read more »
Rusty Lake Paradise (Games)
Rusty Lake Paradise 1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.4 (iTunes) Description: Jakob, the oldest son of the Eilander family, is returning to Paradise island after his mother passed away. Since her... | Read more »
Antihero Guide - Sneaky tricks to get ah...
Games of Antihero start out small and streamlined, but they quickly turn into long strategic conquests as you fight for control of the Victorian-era streets. If you find yourself struggling in the skullduggery department, here are a few things you... | Read more »
Here's why Niantic pulling Pokemon...
If there's one thing that Pokemon GO did well, it was bringing people together. I still remember seeing groups of people around the marina near where I live in the weeks after the game came out, all of them trying to grab some water Pokemon. There... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

10″ iPad Pros on sale for $50-$75 off MSRP, n...
B&H Photo has 10″ and #Apple #iPad Pros on sale for up to $75 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only. Note that some sale prices are restricted to certain... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available startin...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished Mac minis starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP – 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Amazon offers Silver 13″ Apple MacBook Pros f...
Amazon has new Silver 2017 13″ #Apple #MacBook Pros on sale today for up to $150 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB Silver MacBook Pro (MPXR2LL/A): $1199.99 $100 off MSRP – 13... Read more
Sale: 12″ 1.3GHz MacBooks on sale for $1499,...
B&H Photo has Space Gray and Rose Gold 12″ 1.3GHz #Apple MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 12″ 1.3GHz Space... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished 2017 iMacs...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $350 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: – 27... Read more
13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $120-$100 off MS...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ 128GB MacBook Airs on sale for $120 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $... Read more
15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
Adorama has Space Gray 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NJ and NY only: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2199, $200 off... Read more
21″ 3.4GHz 4K iMac on sale for $1399, $100 of...
Adorama has the 21″ 3.4GHz 4K #Apple #iMac on sale today for $1399. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NJ and NY only: – 21″ 3.4GHz 4K iMac (MNE02LL/A... Read more
B&H offering 13″ Apple MacBook Pros for u...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $75-$120 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (... Read more
B&H continues to offer clearance 2016 15″...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 15″ #MacBook Pros available for up to $800 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Site Reliability Engineer, *Apple* Pay - Ap...
# Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Pay Job Number: 113356036 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 12-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
UI Tools and Automation Engineer, *Apple* M...
# UI Tools and Automation Engineer, Apple Media Products Job Number: 86351939 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 11-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
UI Tools and Automation Engineer, *Apple* M...
# UI Tools and Automation Engineer, Apple Media Products Job Number: 113136387 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 11-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.