After 12 years of operations, Apple officially shut down its remote access and file transfer service Back to My Mac on all macOS versions. The shutdown was announced early in 2019 but only took effect on July 1, 2019.
Why Is Back to My Mac Significant?
Apple’s Back to My Mac service was introduced in 2007 as a part of its Mac OS X leopard version release. It offered an easy way for users to have remote access to their other Mac devices thought the internet. It was one of the first applications that allowed convenient screen sharing and remote access on Mac devices.
What Were the Features of Back to My Mac?
Back to My Mac had three very powerful features which were significant to enterprises and businesses that need remote access functionality. Below were the three features of Back to My Mac:
One of the convenient features of Back to My Mac was the ability to transfer file between two Mac devices. This means you can get any file you have in your remote Mac desktop and transfer it to your Mac laptop even if you are not at home or in the office.
This feature allowed Mac users to conveniently take data they need without having to carry a flash drive or uploading the files to the iCloud.
Another convenient feature of Back to My Mac is remote access. With remote access, Mac users can control their remote Mac devices from anywhere. Mac users can take control of the mouse and keyboard of any mac device they have remote access authorization to.
This feature allowed users to do tasks remotely or have access to more powerful Mac devices on the go.
lastly, Back to My Mac allows you to share your screen to other mac users. This Back to My Mac feature allows for easier collaboration between officemates and team members.
Back to My Mac supported and mac device with a Mac OS X Leopard version and up. Unfortunately, Apple decided not to bring Back to My Mac support for the macOS Mojave.
Apple’s Alternatives to Back to My Mac Remote Access, Screen Sharing, and File Transfer
In a support document released by Apple, the company provides users some alternatives to the three main features of Back to My Mac:
- Use remote access with Apple remote desktop service
Apple’s suggested alternative to Back to My Mac’s remote access feature is its Apple Remote Desktop app. It’s available in the apple store for $79.99.
The Apple remote desktop has similar features to Back to My Mac’s remote access. It also allows you to gain remote access to your other Mac computers and gain control of the keyboard and mouse.
But it also has unique features like software distribution and remote administration. The most interesting feature is the ability to remotely lock screens, restart, and shutdown the controlled Mac system.
- File Transfer using iCloud Drive
For file sharing, Apple recommends Mac users to use the iCloud drive as an alternative. Files saved on the iCloud drive can be remotely accessed and transferred to another device conveniently. The downside, however, is that files need to be transferred to the cloud. Users don’t have remote access to the files on the Mac device.
The iCloud drive has free storage of up to 5GB. Users can choose to upgrade to get more storage space.
- Screen share using the building screen sharing feature
Many Mac devices today have a screen sharing feature and can be used as an alternative to the Back to My Mac screen sharing service. Unfortunately, the built-in screen sharing works only with other Mac devices connected within the same network and does not allow for remote screen sharing over the internet.
Other Alternatives to Back to My Mac
Though apple provides for other alternatives to Back to My Mac, it tackles each feature separately and does not offer the convenience that Back to My Mac offers.
There is, of course, third-party alternatives like ITarian’s remote access and control.
With ITarian’s remote access and control, you can:
- Have remote administrative controls on devices connected to the network
- Access files on any connected device or server
- Control accessibility rights of other users in the network
With Back to My Mac now unsupported on Mac devices, users will need to find other alternatives for remote access, screen sharing, and file sharing between mac devices. Apple does provide other alternatives that users can use, but it’s too much trouble to set up each device compared to the one-stop solution that Back to My Mac offered.
Luckily, users can choose third-party apps like ITarian. It’s easy to use and has almost the same features as Back to My Mac.