iChat 6.x: Chat on your local network

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Chat on your local network

You can use Bonjour to chat with other iChat users on your local network without using an instant message account or server. Each computer communicates directly with its neighbors.

Important: Before using Bonjour to chat with someone, you may want to verify the person’s identity. The names shown in the Bonjour window are based on the login settings for computers, and may not match the person’s actual name.
  1. If you don’t show buddies for all your active accounts in one window, choose Window > Bonjour List. (If all your buddies are shown in one window, Bonjour users are listed under “Bonjour” in the list.)

    The Bonjour list shows other iChat users who are on the same network segment (”subnet”) as you.

  2. Double-click a name in the Bonjour list.

    Each character you type is sent to the recipient as you type it. If you want others to see your message only after you finish typing all of it, choose iChat > Preferences, click Accounts, click Bonjour, and then deselect “Send text as I type.”

To turn off Bonjour messaging, choose iChat > Preferences, click Accounts, select Bonjour, and then deselect “Enable Bonjour instant messaging.”

If you connect to the Internet using Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) or Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE), you won’t see other Bonjour users. If you connect via a shared network segment, which is common with cable modems, you may see other iChat users.

If your computer is protected by a firewall, you might be unable to receive messages from other Bonjour users. To use Bonjour, you need to change your firewall settings to allow activity on port 5298.

A network administrator may be able to adjust your network settings if you have trouble using Bonjour.

Last Modified: Sep 3, 2015

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