How to Connect Mac to a Windows Network

More and more companies are approaching the Apple world to enjoy the many advantages. Many find themselves connecting Mac to Windows network for the first time.

In this article, we will see how this procedure is much simpler than you might think. Let’s get started right away!

How to domain a Mac with Active Directory

There are several ways to connect a Mac to a directory server and then be able to use network accounts:

  • By configuring the connection from System Preferences> Users and Groups.
  • By installing a configuration profile with directory settings using Mobile Device Management (MDM).
  • Using the Director Utility.
  • Starting the Terminal and entering the dsconfigad command.
  • Writing a script.
  • Using Enterprise Connect.

In this article, we will see in detail only the first method listed. It is a path that can be used by both an expert user and a newcomer to macOS.

Connection preliminaries

To connect a Mac to Active Directory, it is essential to have the necessary credentials, namely:

  • The domain name of the Active Directory server.
  • The Active Directory credentials (username and password) of an account that has permission to connect audits new computers to Active Directory.

In addition, it is advisable (although optional) to change the ID of the computer associated with the Mac.

To change the name of the computer associated with a Mac, simply go to the System Preferences> Sharing screen. After changing the “Computer Name” field, macOS will automatically update the local hostname and Mac ID.

If, on the other hand, you want to change the computer ID but not the computer name and the local hostname, the Users and Groups screen, also in System Preferences, allows you to change it when you log in to Active Directory.

How to connect a Mac to Active Directory

  1. Open System Preferences and enter Users and Groups.
  2. Unlock the bottom left padlock with the username and password of a user who has Mac administrator privileges.
  3. Select “Login Options” at the bottom left.
  4. Click the “Login …” button.
  5. Enter the Active Directory domain name and select “OK”. When the Mac identifies the Active Directory server address, the window expands to show the Active Directory settings fields.
  6. If desired, you can change the ID of the client computer that you want to use as an Active Directory server.
  7. Enter the username and password of an Active Directory user who has privileges to add computers to Active Directory and select “OK”.

Once connected, the Active Directory domain will be displayed at the bottom with a green status indicator.

Log in with a network account from a Mac

The macOS login window lists the local user accounts on the Mac. To log in to a network account:

  1. Select the item “Others…”.
  2. Enter the Active Directory account username, and password and press enter to login.
  3. Respond to the installation wizard instructions if prompted.

With Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, you can use network services while on the go by preventing access by unauthorized users.

To set up a VPN, you need to have the following information:

  • VPN server address
  • VPN type
  • Name account VPN
  • User authentication information

Visit this page for a comprehensive guide on setting up a VPN connection on Mac.

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