Back To My Mac is a service that had been included in Apple’s computers as early back as Mac OS 10.5 Leopard. The service automates secure point-to-point connections between Mac computers, and became free when Apple switched the service from MobileMe to iCloud. You may not have realized it, but if you know your computer’s name, your username, and your iCloud account number, you can remotely transfer and move files over the Internet from any other Mac signed into the same iCloud account.
All you need to do is plug in the information into this string in terminal:
ssh -2 -6 username@computer-name.[account number].members.btmm.icloud.com
If you are going to be using this command often, you might want to set up a shortcut. Jack Mottram of One Thing Well suggests editing the ~/.ssh/config file by adding:
From then on you would be able to connect to your computer using the command “ssh mac-remote“, or whatever you choose to name it. You should also be able to plug this information into a visual client like Cyberduck, if you find a Finder-like interface more friendly than the terminal.
One thing to keep in mind is that unlike the local WiFi connection we recommend for transferring files to the iPhone, Back To My Mac uses internet bandwidth. This means that you may want to be mindful about the size of the files you’re transferring, depending on your internet connection.
If you are unsure of your Back To My Mac account number, you can check your account number using the terminal “command dns-sd -E“.
How often do you access your files remotely (either through SSH or through the cloud)? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.