When you enable file sharing in OS X by checking the File Sharing service in the Sharing system preferences, your system’s various shared folders will be available to those with access. These file sharing routines are fairly secured; however, the sharing services are broadcast so your system will end up in the Finder sidebar of all Macs on your local network.
If you would like to keep your Mac from showing up in other Macs’ Finder sidebars, but would still like to access and share files, then you can do so by using the “SFTP” protocol that is part of the Remote Login service:
- Go to the Sharing System Preferences
- Check the box next to Remote Login
With Remote Login enabled, you can now access your Mac via SFTP; however, the Finder does not support this protocol, so you will need to use another means of accessing your Mac. This can be done via the “sftp” command in the Terminal, but this will require familiarity with the Terminal. Therefore, it may be best to use a remote access tool such as Cyberduck, which supports SFTP connections along with others like FTP and WebDAV.
One of the benefits of using SFTP and Cyberduck, is that the SFTP protocol is broadcast via Bonjour, just like Apple’s standard networking services. As a result, even though the SFTP server will not show up in the Finder sidebar, it can be browsed in Cyberduck without needing to enter any addresses other configuration options to make the connection. Simply open Cyberduck and click the Bonjour tab along the top of the window, where you will see all available computers with sharing services that Cyberduck can handle. You can then double-click your destination Mac and supply your password to log in.
In Cyberduck, you can transfer files back and forth by dragging them from the Finder to the Cyberduck window, or vide versa.