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Computers on a network have an IP address that can be used to identify and contact them. But does this also apply to the computer at home or in the office? Can people access my computer over the internet by typing my IP address into the web browser / file browser? I will answer these and related questions in this guide. The all-clear to start with: It is not so easy to access your Apple Mac, Windows PC or another device from outside via the Internet. But it's not impossible either ...
If all standard settings or even particularly secure settings prevail on the computer and router, then the short answer is: No. Because neither the outgoing IP address (WAN IP) nor the locally used IP address (LAN IP) is it possible to access computer content via the web browser, the file browser (Finder in macOS, Explorer in Windows ) or the like. Most users have absolutely nothing to worry about here.
On the other hand, it may also be desirable for people to access their own computer via the Internet - e. B. if you set it up as a server to provide data. Then it is necessary to create a public wide-area network (WAN) IP address and to open suitable ports on the router. The port is often named 80 or 8080. If someone connects to the external IP and the port, access to the (server) data released with it is possible via the Internet.
However, such a server function should only be used by the computer and router if you are really familiar with it. If too many authorizations are released or additional ports are opened, more extensive access tends to be possible. Intruders could then access the system, modify it, steal data, overwrite it or the like. There is more information on the topic as well as a few background information here.
On the question Can you connect to my computer by typing my IP address into the browser? So you can go with it first No reply. However, if such access is required, you have to deal with setting up a server using the Mac or PC. This tends to be possible with all operating systems such as macOS, Windows or Linux - there are also special versions and exclusive server operating systems.
If you only want to give other (known) people temporary access to your own computer, you can do so by sharing the screen or via controlled remote access. Both Apple and Microsoft offer native means for this. Screen sharing options in Zoom, Jitsi, Skype and Discord or apps such as AnyDesk or TeamViewer be used. Using AnyDesk remote access, I was able to solve two or three computer problems for others during the pandemic - from my own home.
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After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.