How to transfer files efficiently between Macs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aznboi91, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. aznboi91 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #1
    Since I'm going to get a new mac soon, I've been hit with dilemma on what is the most efficient way to transfer files between macs? Of course I wouldn't want to move everything to an external and then move it over to another computer... It's not efficient and I think it's kinda dumb.

    So here are the options I've thought of:

    Should I use Wifi + FTP (Cyberduck)?
    Or should I use an ethernet cable connected between both macs and use FTP?
    Or should I connect both macs to a router via ethernet and use FTP client?
    Or should I just use migration assistant?

    Am I on the right track? Thoughts, opinions, theories, pics, ideas, etc... are all welcomed.

    Cheers!
     
  2. elithrar macrumors 6502

    elithrar

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #2
    a) Migration Assistant
    b) Ethernet and AFP/Samba

    Don't use FTP. It's not designed for large file transfers like this.
     
  3. aznboi91 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #3
    Really? I was thinking about just moving photos, music, and videos. Do you have any recommendation on Ethernet and AFP guides?

    Thanks
     
  4. tbolt11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    #6
    If both computers have thunderbolt, I would try that out.
     
  5. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #7
    Target Disk Mode is great for this (Hold T while booting). It turns one machine into an external hard drive. If you do it over Thunderbolt its blazing fast.
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #8
    Migration Assistant during the initial boot and configuration of the new computer. Migration Assistant can copy from an external disk, from another Mac or from a Time Machine backup.
     
  7. bartonjm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #9
    I just used migration assistant with an old PC laptop and my new iMac. Took awhile but woked fairly well. I had to move a few things afterwards because some pics were movied into iphoto and others were not. I'm sure I didn't have as much to transfer as other people though. It took about 8-10 hours, so I'm not sure if this is reasonable or not. Apple wanted to charge a $100for doing this. I'm glad I didn't pay the price.
     
  8. steve2237 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    #10
    Target disk mode is the way to go. If both computers have thunderbolt, and you have access to a thunderbolt cable, do that. If not, FW800 would be your next best bet.
     
  9. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #11
    Mac to Mac is much faster with Migration Assistant.
     
  10. bartonjm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #12
    Can I use mac to mac when transferring from an old Xp laptop to iMac? I'm no expert, and I just did what the startup directions stated. It seemed to work fine except for the length of time.
     
  11. aznboi91 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #13
    Thanks for the comment guys!

    But my question is now: Has anybody tried to use FTP? I would assume it would be much faster in getting your photos/content over to your new mac without having the use migration assistant to set up the preferences and everything. I guess I just wanna start on a clean machine without the excess junk.

    And should I even start my machine completely fresh or do a migration? What are the pros and cons?

    Cheer!

    ----------

    Good idea but I'm coming from a 2009 macbook pro so no thunderbolt yet ;)

    ----------

    Thanks! This will be interesting :)

    What's the benefit of using AFP instead of FTP? I heard AFP was slower .... :/

    ----------

    What about ethernet? I don't have any of those wires :(
     
  12. elithrar macrumors 6502

    elithrar

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #14
    You can't use FTP in the way you want: one of the machines will need to be running an FTP server. You can't just "transfer" the files from one to the other.

    Use AFP/File Sharing and Ethernet/WiFi (WiFi will be slow if you're transferring 50GB+).

    You don't have to use Migration Assistant if you just want to hand-pick the files you want and don't care about pulling settings/application configurations/etc over.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    Why would you NOT use migration assistant? Yes you can use a route or switch but a simple length of cable will work. One cat5 ethernet cable is all you need.

    It will pretty much clone the old Mac one you new Mac.
     
  14. aznboi91 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #16
    I'm not buying that I can't use FTP .... I used cyberduck and got into my own machine... we just need to turn on file sharing and use the username@ipaddress .... :/ So it's kinda like torrenting my files over to my new mac... right?

    I can probably even ssh into my old machine from my new mac and sudo copy the folders/files over right?

    Do you know of any disadvantages of this?

    ----------

    Because don't want extra things in my new mac. I feel that if I clone my Mac over... it will include the unnecessary stuff too... which I'll have to deal with again in the future...

    However there are a few things like python libraries which I wouldn't want to re install...:( ... So I'm kinda stuck in between.... Should I use migration assistant or file transfer the things i need over and reinstall a fresh new mac.
     
  15. elithrar macrumors 6502

    elithrar

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #17
    It's not like "torrenting" at all, as BitTorrent is a completely different protocol from FTP. You could possibly SSH too, but I don't see why you'd want the overhead (it'll slow things down).

    Look, you seem set on doing your own thing anyway (so why are you asking?) but in the hope that you'll follow these instructions:

    - Turn on File Sharing on the old Mac
    - Connect to the Mac via Finder (Connect to Server) if it doesn't appear in the sidebar
    - Copy the files you want.

    This will avoid any "unnecessary" stuff that Migration Assistant might grab. You can just re-install your old Python libraries by doing a `pip freeze` and then running `sudo pip install` against the packages in that list on the new machine.
     

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