How To Control Multiple Macs With Teleport

It’s becoming evermore common to have multiple computers in the home or office, and even more so to have them sitting next to each other. However, problems arise when you’ve got certain files stored on one, others on another, and when you move between them, you have to change keyboard and mouse. Wouldn’t it be great if your mouse could just zoom between computers?

Teleport, a free preference-pane application from Abyssoft solves this problem by allowing you to use one mouse and keyboard with multiple computers. This how-to will guide you through the settings of Teleport and show you how to make the most out of this great application.

Getting Started

First off, download Teleport on the all of the computers you wish to use it on and install it by double clicking the ‘teleport.prefPane’ file. This will launch the System Preferences and place it in there.

To get it running, check the ‘Activate Teleport’ and ‘Share this Mac’ box. Repeat this on all the computers you wish to use, and you should be ready to go. For Teleport to work, you must have all of the computers connected via WiFi or ethernet cable.

Teleport does not actually replicate turning a second computer into another screen, giving you more screen estate. Instead, it allows you to synchronize the keyboard, mouse and clipboard of two computers. You can’t actually drag windows between the two. For this functionality, have a look at our review of ScreenRecycler.

Layout

The first tab of the Teleport preferences allows you to arrange the other computers around as if they were simply an external screen. Teleport should display all of the available computers that you have activated in the top of this window.

Layout

Layout

To join two computers, simply drag the computer screen you want to include down into the main window and place it next to the main computer as it is on the desk.

Give it a try now; push the cursor off the side of the screen you’ve set up and watch as it jumps across into the next computer. You may be asked to verify that you’d like to share on the computer you are entering the first time you do this. If you click in a text field you’ll notice that you can type on the other computer with your current keyboard as well.

Security Settings

To prevent any anyone taking control of your computer, or even recording your mouse clicks and keystrokes, it can be a good idea to enable a few security measures provided by Teleport.

By enabling encryption, everything you do, from keystrokes, clipboards, and file transfers, will be encrypted. However, you need a certificate to enable encryption, which can be a very easy to make self signed certificate. Upon clicking “Enable encryption” you will be asked if you would like to create a certificate if you don’t already have one.

The ‘Trusted hosts’ box includes all of the computers you have allowed to control your computer. These can be removed by simply clicking them and hitting the ‘delete’ key.

Finally, you can adjust the settings for how other computers gain control of your computer. This includes asking to accept control for new computers, rejecting control if the host is not already trusted, and just automatically accepting all requests.

Security

Security

Options

The Bezel

The Bezel

The Options tab of the preferences has lots of little things to play with. You can make switching less erratic by only doing it when a certain key is held down, after a short delay, or after tapping the cursor on the side of the screen twice. Teleport can even attempt to wake a Mac when it’s asleep if you try to control it.

One of the best features of teleport is the way file transfers work. Once enabled, you can grab a file off one Mac, and simply drag it from one computer, through the screen into the other, and drop it where you’d like to! You can even reposition the file in its new location while it is copying over. To abort a copy, simply drop the file in the menu bar of the shared Mac.

Synchronize pasteboard is also very useful, meaning if you copy something on one computer, if you move the cursor into the other computer, the clipboard will travel with it allowing you to paste anything on the other computer, from files to text. You can however set a file size limit preventing the network from slowing too much as it continuously flings large files across it.

The ‘Show bezel’ option is a nice rounded-rectangle that displays in the center of your screen when you leave it to control another computer. This is very useful as you’ll know why your mouse just suddenly disappeared. It also gives you information such as file transfer progress. Another way that Teleport lets you know where the cursor has gone is by having a cool ‘teleport’ animation occur on the edge of the screen were the mouse ‘teleports’.

Options

Options

If you find the cursor gets stuck in the other computer, which can happen, here’s the emergency shortcut to get you out of this situation: Shift + Control + Option + Esc.

Conclusion

Teleport is a pretty neat and useful application for ‘teleporting’ your mouse, keyboard, and clipboard from one computer to another. It’s great for when you’ve got more than one computer at the desk at a time, or even for collaborating together on a project with someone else on separate computers.

Teleport is free, so give it a try and tell us what you think. Feel free to let us know any other related tips and tricks, or if you’ve found any other similar applications!


  • Simon

    At the time I’m working with 6 monitors and 1 mouse using Synercy, which has all the features except the file sharing which I really miss.

    I think I’m going to install teleport right now :)

  • dynamitejet

    This really is a great little app… and free too! As my ol’ Dad used to say, “How bad, that?”, meaning, how good is that?!

  • Joshua Johnson

    I love teleport! I’ve stopped using it since OS X integrated screensharing but it’s still an amazing app.

  • http://www.photogen.eu Janik Lipke

    Great App and great Tutorial, but is there a way of adding a windows computer or is there a similar app, that has windows support?

    • Simon

      As mentioned before, synergy has mostly the same features.
      It works on every OS but for unexperienced users it may be a little difficult to configure.

      You can find it here; http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

    • Simon

      As mentioned before, synergy has mostly the same features.
      It works on every OS but for unexperienced users it may be a little difficult to configure.

      You can find it here; http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

      • David Behan

        I use Synergy 2 for managing multiple Macs and PCs together. Great app but does take a little advanced configuration. Will give Teleport a try.

  • http://www.bebop-cafe.com BebopDesigner

    Wow! this is wild. Thanks for sharing

  • http://twitter.com/iTomath Thomas Furlonger

    I’ve been using Teleport now for a few years.. when I found the app I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This is by far the most useful and amazing application I have ever used. I can use both my MacBook Pro and iMac side-by-side with just one keyboard and mouse. No more two keyboards and two mice in an unproductive mess on my desk.

    If I had the money I would donate to the developer.. he deserves it.

    I tried Synergy out before and disliked it. It is very un-Mac like and not easy to set up.

  • http://www.mjjdesigns.net Mike

    I agree, Synergy is a more viable option if you’re running more than one OS. I use it across OS X and Linux.

    The “real” Synergy for Mac is a nightmare for those who aren’t comfortable with command line. There’s an alternative available called Synergy KM (http://sourceforge.net/projects/synergykm/), which is basically the same software, with a GUI built it. It just adds an additional Pref pane which allows you to configure things the way you want.

  • http://www.auto-video.com Mike Hobbs

    I started using this app myself a couple of months back. It really is a great app, it has definitely made my MacBook Pro more useful while in the office and increased my productivity too. I just wish it allowed for the transfer of larger files.

  • Vitor

    The file transfer feature seems awesome. But does Teleport support SSH? I would love to try it, but I am thinking about sticking with Synergy here because of the SSH tunnel support.

    • Vitor

      Oops, sorry. Just read the encryption part. Should pay more attention.

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  • http://www.zinedigital.com Matt Moore

    I’m using this now on three machines and it’s awesome, but also somewhat spooky :)

  • Ian

    Looks great but if you need to connect in this way with PCs then synergy is the one for you, not got the polish but works well, I use it all day long.

    http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

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  • http://jashsayani.com Jash Sayani

    THANKS!

    I have a Mac mini and MacBook and this would be awesome!!!

  • http://cubiclegeneration.com/ Cubicle Generation

    You should really feature Synergy, it has the same clipboard copy functionality (no drag and drop file stuff yet between different operating systems) but you can pass control between a Windows, Linux, and Mac machine all at the same time. The only reason I like teleport better is teleport is extremely easy to set up, but Synergy isn’t really hard at all, either.

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  • http://www.martinvaresio.com.ar/tecnicas.html Martin

    because paypal said the merchant can’t receive any payment right now. After this annoying uncomfortable experience

  • http://benlinford.me ben linford

    I have just installed this on both my Mac Mini and MacBook.
    It works a treat but I’m having trouble at the point of enabling encryption…
    Does anybody know anywhere I can get a walk-through for a complete newbie, to create whatever security settings that Teleport needs to function?

  • Goad

    i have mountain lion on my imac and a i have snow leopard on my mac book for some reason the macbook works fine this meaning that the mouse can travel from the macbook to the imac my mouse from my imac wont go to my macbook can somebody help??

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