AirPort Express Base as File Server

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gman1234, May 23, 2005.

  1. gman1234 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #1
    Hi folks-

    Can the USB port on the AirPort base station also be used to connect an external USB hard drive to act as a file server? If yes, would the drive need an operating system installed? Is it possible to put a USB hub on the base station so I can still network my printer?

    If the answer to all of the above is no, does anyone have suggestions on networking an external HD without connecting an entire computer to the network? I don't even know if that's possible.

    Thanks!

    Gman1234
     
  2. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #2
    Found this in a quick google search.

    [QUOTE/]This is absolutely not possible. There are only two devices you can connect to the Airport Express USB port:
    - a printer
    - the Keyspan Express remote control device for iTunes[/QUOTE]

    However i know companies such a lacie sell ethernet hard drives. Such as this http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10034.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #3
    Sorry but I'm pretty sure the answer's no for the moment. Apple has a little way to go with their AirPort firmware, they still won't allow wireless scanning for multifunction printers. :(

    I can't think of a solution other than connecting the external to a computer that's always on the network, sorry.
     
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #4
    That USB port is for printers.

    Even if you might be able to get a Bonjour/Rendezvous enabled disk to work with some hacking, I think you're better off with a network enabled HD, like this one from Western Digital (this is no endorsement for this disk, its purpose here is only as an example... ;))
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5

    Thanks a million for that, I didn't realise you could do this through the ethernet port. Does this apply for all ethernet external hard drives or just the special network ones like that posted?
     
  6. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #6
    What are you thinking about?

    I think any network enabled HDs with a ethernet port will work over any ethernet network and you should be able to access it with your Mac (the WD disk I linked to above is specified to work with both PC and Mac).

    Edit: and the WD disk should be accessible over an AirPort connection, too:

    [​IMG]

    I have no idea if you could get any Bonjour/Rendezvous enabled HDs to work over the AirPort Express' USB port or if there even are any B/R enabled drives for sale. I only stated that there is a theoretical possibility that you might get that to work and that this probably will involve a fair amount of hacking... ;)
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    I'm just trying to work out whether any external hard disk connected by ethernet will work or whether there has to be some sort of firmware on the disk. The site Mitthrawnuruodo posted implies that special firmware is needed but I was wondering if that's just because they want us to buy their drives.
     
  8. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #8
    if you buy an external hard drive with the ability to work with ethernet it will have the firmware it needs to connect to the network.
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9

    Thanks for that. :)
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    There are some, though, that will only format to FAT32, and you should watch out for that, since you might run into limitations if you want to make big file archives on there. Then again, if you want to share between Win and Mac, you'll want the FAT32.

    Oh, and is there a way for you to hook it into the Airport Express without a LAN port?
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #11
    Thanks mkrishnan, it'll have to be a FAT32 drive because of my PCs. :(



    Is that directed at me? I don't quite understand. I'll be using the second Express on my network - the one without the DSL modem already attached so I don't really mind using up the port.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    Ahhh, gotcha. :eek:
     

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