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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Command Performance: Connect to Server

Back in my earliest days of using networked computers1 I quickly learned the glories of connecting to other computers, whether it was via telnet, gopher, or eventually a web browser like lynx.

While I still spend plenty of time using the command line for these tasks, macOS has some powerful networking capabilities built right into the Finder that I also end up using quite a bit. I speak, of course, of that old workhorse: Connect to Server.

Hidden away in the Go menu, Connect to Server is actually an impressively versatile command, since it accepts a wide variety of URLs that you can plug into it. While I frequently use it to make file-sharing connections with other devices on my network—in olden days, via Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) and, in more recent times, SMB (Server Message Block)—Connect to Server goes far beyond those meager capabilities.

Connect to Server

For example, if you’ve ever wanted to quickly initiate screen sharing via the Finder, you might be tempted to navigate to the Locations section of a Finder window sidebar, click on the computer you want to view, then find the Share Screen button.…

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