Force Macs to communicate over Firewire


I have a networking question which hopefully applescript can solve.

I have two computers connected to my modem/router, one by airport, one by ethernet.

I would like to transfer large files from one to the other over firewire (ethernet over firewire) while leaving both computers connected to the modem/router.

At the moment, when I connect the two computers by firewire they continue to talk via the modem/router and hence over the airport/ethernet connection which is slow (I only have 802.1g - which is the bottleneck). They seem to ignore the much faster firewire route.

Is there a way of setting network preferences to force the two Macs to communicate directly over firewire while (both) still remaining connected to the internet via the modem/router?

Any guidance gratefully received, especially if there is an applescript command to achieve this.


I’ve not tried it, but presumably you could set up another “location” in System Preferences’ Network panel, so that you have one location with the computer/computer Ethernet set-up and the other with IP-over-FireWire. (You switch between locations using the “Location” submenu in the Apple menu.) I’m not sure if you’d need to do this with both computers or just one.

I think NIgel is right, you should be able to set up a network connection between the two using a new location in System Preferences, but I’m fairly certain you would have to set that up on BOTH computers.

Is this something you plan to do regularly (transfer large files) or is it a one shot deal? I would guess you are asking for an AppleScript that would switch to the FireWire connection when triggered by a file transfer event. Is that correct?

I think if you move the firewire connection above the modem connection in the network preference pane then it will use the topmost connection. I believe the computer tries to use the connection that is higher in the list first. So just drag the firewire connection above the others. I’m not positive but I think that’s how it works.

Thanks for all the guidance. Will test out the various suggestions.


Walt, you are pretty much on the button. When I connect two computers via firewire, it is to transfer large files. Then I disconnect the firewire.

But I also would like this for Crashplan backups. The computers need to have access to the internet (airport is fine speedwise), but for the heavy lifting I want the computers to use firewire.