AirPort Disk vs. NAS - What's easier for outside access?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by loudguitars, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. loudguitars macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2004
    I've been trying to straighten this out for a couple days now, but I'm still a bit turned around, so I was hoping to tap this group's collective expertise to help me. I'll try and keep this as simple as possible.

    What I want to do:
    Attach a drive to my home (wireless) network so I can back things up. Make this drive available via FTP from anywhere on the internet (with un/pw protection, obviously) so that I can sync folders between work and home, or get files I left at home when I'm on vacation.

    There are two ways I think I can do this:

    Option 1:
    Purchase the new n-enabled flat Airport Extreme and put my current external HD onto the USB port for use with AirPort Disk. The only question I have here is whether I can port-forward the router so I can access the drive from outside my network.

    Option 2:
    Buy a small NAS and port-forward it using the ethernet port on my spaceship/boob shaped AX. I'm relatively sure this is possible, but I don't have any way to test personally, as I have not yet bought an NAS.

    Cost isn't really the issue here (the AX is actually more expensive than the little NAS I'm looking at, but I'll likely end up getting one anyway when I get a new MBP when Leopard comes out), ease of use is.

    So, the question is: Can I do what I want? Which method is easier? Or is it six of one, half a dozen of the other?
  2. markjewiss macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Dunmow, UK
    Bearing in mind that I'm still struggling to get my new Airport Express to do what I want it to do (plug and play my arse!) I'd say it's six of one and half a dozen of the other...

    I've got a NAS which I'm hoping to replace with a hdd on the AE as it's an old one, nearly full, and very slow. In theory though, if you have a NAS that supports Gigabit ethernet, and an ADSL modem/router that supports Gigabit ethernet, you should get a better response time from the outside world as opposed to an hdd on the back of the 100Mb ports of the AE...

  3. 4np macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    The Netherlands
    With both options you still don't have an FTP server. What is going to provide the FTP service in your setup? A PC on your LAN? Because -as far as I know- both a NAS and the Airport don't provide this...

    Portforwarding your SMB port (135) will allow you to connect from the internet but so can the rest of the world. As this is extremely insecure you should never do this.
  4. jane doe macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2004
    You should be able to access the drive from the outside. I have not tried it but so far what I have tried seems to work fine.

    When you join the network the drive shows up and when you leave the network it goes away. No need to connect to server or anything like that.
  5. 4np macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    The Netherlands
    This would only be true if you would have a Gigabit synchronus internet connection; ADSL downstream is max 8 Mbit and upstream is max 1 Megabit. If you just want to access your NAS/Harddrive from the internet even a 10Mbit switch is sufficient. But for use over LAN 100Mbit or 1Gbit is fine.
  6. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    Another option for you to consider and something I have done (on windows network but works for mac's to).

    Buy a synology caddy and stick in 1 or more drives.

    Can be used as an ftp server, web server etc - all it needs is the section in the os turned on and the ports forwarded for external access.
    Runs on a power pc chip and linux/unix based os :D
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    There is no need for an FTP server.

    The AEX allows you to share connected drives on the WAN port, aka. the internet, and it works. I know this uses AFP on the Mac side as I help a fellow MR member set his up and I connected to his drive over the internet with Finder. We didn't try the Windows side of things, but from what I understand, the included Bonjour install may allow Windows users to map drives over the internet as SMB didn't seem to work.
  8. 17MBPC2D macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    Kingjr3 assisted me personally over the phone from Chicago and was able to access my HD from his Mac using afp://(my ip address)

    When "Enable via WAN" AEX opens port#548 which is: AFP over TCP

    However, PC/Windows cannot remotely access my HD as I discovered that Earthlink via Brighthouse Cable Company made ports 135-139 stealthed which makes it impossible for a Windows machine to connect to the HD/AEX remotely using smb://(ip address)

    I live in Central Florida and currently looking at other ISP options that doesn't block this ports....not much options here where I live.

    btw, Thanks Jeremy (Kingjr3)!!!

  9. wakerider017 macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2006
    US of A
    How about Verizon Fios?

    That stuff is all over Tampa.
  10. 17MBPC2D macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    I checked and it's not available where I live....would love it though.

    Do they blocks ports?

    My method of checking is using a totally unprotected (no firewalls) connected directly to the internet connection directly and run port scan "Shield Up" via website to check/see which port is open, closed and stealthed.


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