Sharing your QuickBooks file across networks

Have you ever wanted to give your bookkeeper or accountant access to your QuickBooks file while you’re still using it? Maybe you want to be able to work on QuickBooks while you’re away from the office.

There’s a solution! It’s called LogMeIn Hamachi.

LogMeIn Hamachi is an application and service that allows you to easily set up a virtual private network (VPN) between Macs. All of the computers inside the VPN will be able to see one another as if they were all on the same local area network (LAN). This means that more than one computer can access your QuickBooks file in multiuser mode.

LogMeIn Hamachi is made by LogMeIn. It is not an Intuit product. This guide has been written to help QuickBooks for Mac users use LogMeIn Hamachi to solve the problem of accessing QuickBooks for Mac data in multiuser mode across a wide area network (WAN). The definitive guide to setting up and using LogMeIn Hamachi can be found on the LogMeIn web site.

Before you start (Important!)

Here are some really important things for you to know before you start.

  • Intuit technical support cannot help you to set up or troubleshoot problems related to LogMeIn Hamachi or related to accessing your data via a LogMeIn Hamachi network.
  • This set up uses QuickBooks in multiuser mode. This means setting up QuickBooks Server on a computer and sharing your file across the network you’ll create with LogMeIn Hamachi. If you aren’t currently using QuickBooks in multiuser mode, it’s a good idea to get familiar with it first. You can find information on multiuser mode in Help in QuickBooks and our QuickBooks Guide. You can also find more information here on Little Square.

Setting up LogMeIn

To set up LogMeIn, you have to do four things:

  • Set up a user account on LogMeIn.com.
  • Set up a VPN on LogMeIn.com. We’ll explain how to do that later.
  • Deploy Hamachi to each computer that you want to access your QuickBooks file on the VPN.
  • Take it for a test drive! (That’s the fun part.)

To set up a user account on LogMeIn.com:

  1. Visit LogMeIn.com in a web browser.
  2. Click the Products.
  3. Scroll down to Hamachi and click Try It Free. (We’re going to use the free trial so you can try it out.)
  4. Follow the instructions to create an account.
  5. Check your email address that you used to sign up for a LogMeIn account. You will receive an email from LogMeIn with a link in it to activate your account. You must follow that link before you can go on.

That’s it! You should be inside the LogMeIn web site at this point at a page similar to this:

To set up a network:

  1. Click the Create Networks button.
  2. Enter a name and description for your network, choose Mesh for the type, and click Continue.
  3. Now you’re going to specify options for the network. Make the settings I’ve listed below, then click Finish to complete the setup.
    • For security purposes, under Join Requests, choose “Must be approved.”
    • For Network Password, check the box to require a password and enter a secure password in both boxes.
    • If you are trying Hamachi for the first time leave the subscription as Free. This allows you up to 5 computers in the network, which should be enough to start with.

You have now completed setting up the network. The next step is to deploy Hamachi on the computers you want to access your QuickBooks file.

To deploy Hamachi to other computers:

Follow these steps for each computer you want to access your QuickBooks file.

  1. To the left of your screen, under Networks, click Deployment.
  2. Click the Add New Link button.
  3.  Enter a Description and a maximum number of remote installations. Check the network name you created earlier, and click Continue. The default expiration of this link is 24 hours, after that time the link will no longer be valid to set up computers on this network. In the example shown I’ve chosen 5 remote installations since that is the number of computers I plan on adding to this network. You can create as many links to a network as you want but for now it is easiest to share a single link between multiple computers. Keep in mind that the computer running QuickBooks Server will have to be on the Hamachi network and any computer you want to use remotely to access QuickBooks will need to be on the Hamachi network. (If you’re confused by what I mean by QuickBooks Server, be sure you read up on multiuser mode.)

You have now successfully created the link that will easily allow you to add clients to your Hamachi network. Send this link to each computer you want to add to the network. This should include whatever computer is running QuickBooks Server and whatever computers you want to be able to use remotely.

To set up Hamachi on the computer with QuickBooks Server:

  1. On the computer running QuickBooks Server, open the link you created in the previous steps in a web browser. You will see the following page.
  2. Check the box indicating you have received this link from a trusted source and click Continue. You will be taken to this page:
  3. Click Download Now. When the download has finished open the download and run the installer. Follow the steps in the installer and when it has completed Hamachi will open automatically and look like this.
  4. Click the Join network button, then click cancel. Hamachi should look like this. Note that I’m now connected to “My QuickBooks Network” which is the name I gave the network I created.
  5. Repeat the steps in this section on all the computers you want to add to the network (all of the computers you want to use remotely). Make sure that Hamachi on each client shows you connected (green dot) to the network you created earlier.

To take it for a test drive:

  1. Make sure that QuickBooks Server is running on a computer with Hamachi running and connected to your network.
  2. Take your remote computer (I’m assuming you have a laptop for this) out of the office to somewhere with an Internet connection. Perhaps go to the local coffee shop or home or to a friends house.
  3. On the remote computer, make sure that Hamachi is running and is connected to the network.
  4. Fire up QuickBooks Mac. You should see your file show up automatically in the Shared Files section of the No Company Open screen. You should be able to connect to it and use it without any trouble.

That’s it! I wish you the best of luck on your remote adventures!

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About Zack Jarrett

Zack is a member of the QuickBooks for Mac team. He lives in Tuscon where he loves hanging out with his family and friends and figuring out how things work. We don't know what we'd do without him. Honest.

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