Connecting a computer to a server

Connecting a computer to a server
Image by Unsplash+

In a network of computers, the server is the computer responsible for providing information and services to client workstations. Generally, it has more storage, memory and processing power than an average desktop or laptop computer.

Connecting to a server is essential for accessing files and resources, performing backups, and responding to system health alerts. This article demonstrates how to connect either Windows 10 PCs or Macs to a server using the Finder, as well as how to automatically reconnect each time you boot up your computer.

How to Connect

Accessing files on a shared network drive or the cloud requires having the capacity to connect your computer to a server. For instance, if you need to ensure you have the latest version of Office or need to access your company’s file servers from another location, knowing how to connect is essential for successful operations.

Thankfully, there are several methods for accomplishing this feat. One of the most efficient options is using a third party application or program specifically designed for this purpose.

Finding the ideal program can be overwhelming with so many available. A reliable source is your best bet when selecting one; additionally, the slickest applications allow you to save settings so you don’t have to remember them all. Plus, many include features like automatic reconnecting and other time-saving tools as well.


Windows is an operating system (OS) that runs a computer. Created by Microsoft in November 1985, it has been continuously upgraded over time to incorporate technological advances such as larger memory and faster processing chips.

Windows family of OSes comprises consumer editions for everyday home use and enterprise versions designed with businesses in mind. Each family offers various features tailored to cater to different audience requirements.

For instance, Windows NT for consumers is lighter in feature set and does not include some of the advanced security or language pack capabilities found in enterprise versions.

Windows 10 for consumer devices is optimized for maximum usability and does not include some of the more sophisticated features used in enterprise settings.

When connecting a client computer to a server running Windows Server Essentials, the Connector software is automatically installed. This makes the computers aware of the server and adjusts their settings accordingly, so they can take advantage of all its features.


Mac users have the advantage of connecting to a server using the Finder application, making the process streamlined and unnecessary for special software. This makes setting up your connection much simpler than on other computers.

The Finder displays all shares you have access to on a server, such as your home folder, public folders and any other disks or volumes that can be mounted. On Mac computers you may create an alias for a shared folder in order to make it easier to locate and connect to.

You can map a network drive to your Mac using File Explorer, giving you direct access to a server’s files and folders.

Before connecting to a server on your Mac, you must know its IP address and computer name. These can be located in either Finder or System Preferences on your machine.


Linux is a trusted open source operating system used by large corporations around the globe. It makes an ideal server platform as it’s immune to ransomware or malware attacks and boasts an extended lifecycle – meaning a Linux server can remain up-and-running without needing reboots for years on end.

Furthermore, it is free and straightforward to set up. This makes it an attractive option for newcomers in IT as well as those with budgetary restrictions.

GNOME and KDE both offer desktop environments that can be tailored to suit the needs of all users, from novice to expert. GNOME offers a more modern aesthetic while KDE maintains more traditional interfaces.

Linux distributions are composed of a kernel, system calls and configuration options. The kernel controls system input/output, permits processes to launch and manages device and file system drivers.