Get Leopard and Windows to play nice

Mac OS X and Windows machines don't get along, right? Wrong. Try our tips for cross-platform happiness on your network.

Configuring a Mac to participate in a Windows network, step 2: In the Advanced Network Options dialog, click the WINS tab and fill in the NetBIOS name and the workgroup name. If a WINS server is used on the network, fill in the address.

Configuring a Mac to participate in a Windows network, step 2: In the Advanced Network Options dialog, click the WINS tab and fill in the NetBIOS name and the workgroup name. If a WINS server is used on the network, fill in the address.

Keeping things secure in a dual-platform world

A Mac that runs Windows is as susceptible to viruses, Trojans and spyware as any Windows PC. And it's not just Windows and files created using Windows that are in danger; malware can affect any files and folders that are accessible to Windows and its applications. That means that if you use MacDrive or shared folders with a virtualization tool, your Mac files may by vulnerable too.

There are a couple of ways to help secure files on a Mac's hard drive against damage. The first and most obvious choice is to ensure that you are running solid and up-to-date antivirus and antispyware tools for Windows. Also, you should ensure that the built-in firewalls included in both Windows and Mac OS X are properly configured to secure access to your machine.

You should also consider antivirus and anti-malware tools for Mac OS X. Commercial offerings are available from Symantec, Sophos, Intego and McAfee. At the very least, you should consider the open-source ClamXav. These programs can provide protection against Windows viruses propagating into files on your Mac partition or hard drive, as well as against potential Mac virus threats.

You can also limit the access that Windows has to your Mac's hard drive. Virtualization tools let you designate shared folders as read-only from Windows, thus preventing viruses from being able to alter or contaminate them.

Another approach is to create just one shared folder that contains only files that you need to transfer between operating systems, rather than allowing full-scale access to the hard drive or your home directory. While this will enhance security, the flip side is that it will also limit usability.

Once your Mac is set up and secured for optimal use with Windows, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Ryan Faas is a frequent Computerworld contributor specializing in Mac and multiplatform network issues. You can find more information about him at

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windowsleopard

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ryan Faas

Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?