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So I am very confused about the "Screen Sharing" feature on macOS (Ventura or Sonoma).

I can use the Apple built-in Screen Share App on my MacBook where it is possible to enter the Apple ID of someone else.

Does this only work in the same network or does it work no matter where the other person is located as long as I know the Apple ID (no port forwarding, etc.) that can be entered there in the text field within the app?

If I am not wrong when using the IP address instead of Apple ID it only works within the same network or if the other device on another network has port forwarding on its router there.

Was a bit worried that someone knowing my Apple ID could relatively easily connect from anywhere in the world to my MacBook by just opening the app and entering the Apple ID.

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  • Welcome to Ask Different. We strongly prefer one question per question. Can you edit this to ask one question, the first one you need an answer. Then if that learn to one or three follow on questions, that’s encouraged to ask each as a single thread. What’s the main thing you need to do now?
    – bmike
    Oct 2, 2023 at 18:16
  • Specifically it’s possible you’re over estimating the remote capabilities of screen sharing. Are you following this guide or doing a share as part of a FaceTime video that’s already established?
    – bmike
    Oct 2, 2023 at 18:19
  • I am refering to the screen sharing app which is part of macos. You can there connect to another macbook if that device has screensharing enabled by entering the ipadress shown on that device in the settings or via entering apple-id (Thats what i completely dont understand).
    – user506714
    Oct 2, 2023 at 18:25
  • Aah, so that’s a very good clarification and edit. +1
    – bmike
    Oct 2, 2023 at 18:39
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    Screen sharing only works if the request is manually accepted on the target Mac. So I'm not sure what is left here in term of security/privacy.
    – nohillside
    Oct 3, 2023 at 12:22

1 Answer 1

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Apple macOS screen sharing doesn't navigate NAT/firewall traversal or other items and I can't see any case where I'd enter my Apple ID on another computer even though the risk is low that there's a key logger or the password gets saved.

Since Apple doesn't broker connections off the local network, there's little value in signing in with your Apple ID on another computer.

You would want to get this tool that explicitly helps navigate connections across the internet. I've used it and it's very clear about how your password is used when a connection is unilateral (support/guided) and when it's remote, no prompt is needed.

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  • I am refering to the first part of this article (There are many more to explain the same steps). I am not that competent when it comes to tcip/ip and all of that so what do you mean by it does not navigate NAT/Firewall? Does that mean the connection goes via a server like for teamvier for example or is it not possible to watc my macbook screen outside of my network? Sorry if this sounds a bit confusing I am trying to understand the different ways on how someone could access my screen mbsdirect.com/mbs-blog/…
    – user506714
    Oct 2, 2023 at 20:47
  • Thanks @cami - NAT is how your home router and almost every other work / home network uses IP addresses that are not unique and therefore non-routable. No one can come to any home computer unless the "router" translates a request to its address (which is routable) on to your computer. That complicated task is what I refer to as "firewall traversal" or "navigate the firewall". Let me see if I can link to a better explanation and edit my answer...
    – bmike
    Oct 2, 2023 at 21:59
  • The best I can explain is to download and try Screens Express - the steps involved in Firewall / NAT setup are all of the steps in this document - it's quite technical. help.edovia.com/en/screens-connect-4/how-to/… That's why Edovia makes software and charges money to make it easier to set up - they automate and test and provide guidance on your specific network when needed.
    – bmike
    Oct 2, 2023 at 22:01
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    Empirically, Screen Sharing using AppleID does traverse NAT & hops happily through a remote consumer modem/router with zero config necessary, very much like TeamViewer & its ilk. I use it to do remote tasks on my octogenarian parents' iMac. However, it requires the remote Mac to allow you in. It pops a dialog requesting permission to connect. I've tested it to my own ID/account on that remote Mac but that doesn't work, only to my folks' ID. Of course, if Screen Sharing &/or Remote Management is off… there's no way in.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 3, 2023 at 6:42
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    I really did have hopes for it being another way to get Back to my Mac functionality going again. BTW, one additional cool thing is, as it connects to the far Mac, it enables both mics so you can talk.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 3, 2023 at 13:07

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