Airport Express and Wireless External Harddrive

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jph99, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. jph99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    #1
    I am looking to setup an external harddrive for my computers to access over a wireless network. Is it possible to connect an external harddrive to the USB port on the Airport Express and use it as a wireless harddrive?? Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.
     
  2. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #2
    Wow, good question. I can only assume that you can, since printers work just fine, all you need are the drivers. Since all external hard drives are easily recognized by Mac OS X, I don't think there should be any trouble accessing it wirelessly. Just make sure you're aware of the slower speeds when accessing the drive wirelessly. Even with 802.11g, sending large files (a few gigs or more) could take hours depending on how far you are from the router.
     
  3. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #3
    No. AirportExpress doesn't know squat about USB disk drives. And why on earth would you want to access a shared hard drive over WiFi? The best you're going to do is about 6 MB/sec, and it will more than likely be a good bit slower than that. That's a fraction of what your hard disk can deliver. Anyway, it's a moot point, AirportExp won't do it.
     
  4. dav macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2004
  5. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    #5
    Whoops... :rolleyes: I was just guessing :)

    Would anyone with an Airport Express and an external USB hard drive be willing to test this out for us so we can get a definitive answer?
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #6
    It will not work. There are no device drivers on the Mac for anything other than printers over the Aiport Express/Extreme USB ports.
     
  7. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

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    Mar 3, 2004
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    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #7
    NO it won't work. The only possiable way i can see it is - A Ethernet disk from lacie, hooked up to a router - connected to Airport Extreme. I wouldn't recommend it.


    kyle
     
  8. jph99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    #8
    Thanks

    Thanks for the feedback on this. I guess i will just have to purchase an external harddrive with ethernet connectivity and connect it to my router. Does anyone know which ones are good for that? I am guessing that the Lacie would probably be the best?

    Thanks
     
  9. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

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    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #9
    ??

    I guess I'm fundamentally missing something. Why don't you simply plug a firewire/usb2 drive into one of your machines and share it on the existing network that you apparently have? You can obviously share it among all your systems. What is so special about the disk being standalone on the network? It seems that you are making an everyday network file sharing scenario into some very complicated deal.
     
  10. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #10
    Perhaps he lives in a laptop-only world? My house is slowly moving that way, so I could easily understand wanting to have drives available over WiFi.

    It's cheaper to have a small box with a big disk in it (esp electricity-wise) than it is to build/use a computer just for sharing a single drive. It's much simpler, too.
     
  11. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

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    Montana
    #11
    The point is you obviously already have a computer - more than one, actually. Anyway, it's not the way I would go, but that's just me. I'd rather have the performance and flexibility of a firewire drive.
     
  12. j_maddison macrumors 6502a

    j_maddison

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Location:
    Nelson, Wales
    #12
    Uh not really, with G you could comfortably be hitting 20mbs if your close enough to the base station. And 100mbs ethernet doesnt run at 100mbs, chances are its running in the mid 30mbs, so for most tasks you wont notice much of a speed difference between wired or wireless networks.

    It makes perfect sense to me to have a shared hard drive that is accessed over wirless, in fact I can think of several companies who use such an infrastructure to access sql databases, even a small company called Ernest and Young for example access server information for read write purposes over wireless.

    jason
     
  13. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #13
    What? What is 20 mbs for 802.11g? It can't be 20 Mega Bytes Per Second, since that's 160 Mega Bits Per Seconds, which is obviously more than twice the stated 802.11g spec of 54 Mega Bits Per Second. So, I have to assume you mean 802.11g will deliver, on average, 20 Mega Bits Per Second, which is equal to 2.5 Mega Bytes Per Second, which is less than 10% of the performance of a *cheap* disk drive.

    Next, where on earth do you get 30 Mega Bits Per Second (3.75 Mega Bytes Per Second) for 100TX wired ethernet? Switched (meaning no collisions) 100TX ethernet, which is full duplex (if you know what that means), is giving you a minimum of 10 Mega Bytes Per Second simultaneously in both directions (send, receive).

    I really don't think you know what you're talking about. E&Y accessing a SQL database that uses disk drives that are remote over a 802.11g network? There is not fricking way they would do that! I believe you are confused. There may be clients (Windows, browers etc) that access the database over 802.11g, but I can guarantee you the the disk drives for the database are directly connected to the SQL server with either SCSI, Fiber Channel or the latest SATA channels. There is such a thing as SCSI over TCP/IP, but they normally use wired 100TX, at a minimum, or 1000TX (gigabit ethernet).
     
  14. j_maddison macrumors 6502a

    j_maddison

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Location:
    Nelson, Wales
    #14
    Yes I meant bits, Apologies for omitting the little ‘p’. Typo. I would have thought it was obvious I had made the error of omission otherwise I’d just created a new 802.3 standard when referring to Ethernet.

    Secondly, have you ever really done a test with Ethernet and tried to drive it as fast as it will go between two points (not theoretical), not switched but a direct drive. You’ll be lucky to get close to 50 ‘mega bits per second’. Not quite sure where your getting your 10mbs from (or 80mbps). And lets not forget you are likely to have a mass of switches on your network, which slows things down.

    The point is that for most tasks the speed difference between a fully wired drop to the desktop and a wireless delivery to the desktop is just seconds, not minutes or hours but seconds. So its hardly noticeable.

    And yes I do know what full duplex means. It replaced legacy Ethernet, which was half duplex. Half duplex meant that data could only move in one direction at any given time. Full duplex allows end devices to transmit to the switch at the same time as the switch transmits to them. This means the achievement of a collision free environment.

    And yes your right the disk drives would be connected via a fibre channel or 1000TX (not sure as I never asked that question, but my guess is that in Canada it was 1000TX because he talked about a Gigabit backbone), but we weren’t talking about the disk drives being connected to the server in this example. We were talking about a guy connecting to an external hard drive. So my point held, as it wasn’t a description of how a server accessed information from a disk drive. I was just referring to how a user sitting at a terminal accesses information across a network. The confusion was on your part, reading to much into what I said and looking for an argument (get a life, get laid soon!, or stop taking so much caffeine! That’s humor, so don’t throw your toys out of the pram, your supposed to smile).

    I didn’t give a lengthy description of their network, I gave a brief statement specifically talking about how the end user was accessing and sending data from one point to another; namely a terminal to an access point. I know a little about E&Y’s network because I used to work with their former assistant IT director (Canada). As I’m sure your aware; their backbone is 1000TX. Their LAN is Cisco based, their main switch is a 3500, they have a Cisco Call manager PBX linked to a Nortel Option 51c & 81c (depending on which office your in) and runs on a dual processor server. And before you say call manager cant run on a dually, if you get the right server remove one of the processors and tweak it a bit - the software will load. Once the software has done its diagnostic to load onto the system, you can put the processor back in and install extra RAM etc etc and the software will still run.

    Lighten up, I don’t mind you correcting my error in regard to mbs and mbps, but honestly to try and make an argument and read into things that weren’t inferred or implied is just plain silly. I didn’t claim to be a CCIE, and I’m sure your not either.

    Jason
     

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