Network Drive over WiFi

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ae82gtm, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2011
    Hello everyone,
    I want to add a networked external hard drive to my home network. The purpose is to store pictures and video, so that it can be accessed via iPad, laptops, etc.

    From doing some research, I think I will go with an Airport Extreme and add external hard drive.

    Here are my questions:
    1. I am concerned about the speed with this setup. Can anyone comment on what type of speed I can expect? From my (very basic) understanding, I think I will be limited by the USB 2.0 of the AEBS rather than the wifi (802.11n for iMac and ipad).

    2. Any suggestions on external hard drive? Is it better to connect via USB or buy a hard drive with ethernet cable (NAS type)?

    3. Any suggestions on brand of ext hard drive? I am leaning towards WD MyBook Studio (or Studio II for RAID).

  2. macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2008
    Wire network like a NAS would work much better. Wifi is ok for occasional use and moving smaller picture files but for accessing large picture files and high definition video you will have hiccups occasionally. Just the nature of Wifi. Your fastest option depending on the type of system you have is USB 3.0 or Firewire.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    Unless there is simply no other alternative to WiFi, I would go with wired.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2011
    Thanks for the feedback. Since I want the hard drive to a available over my home network, aren't I stuck with the wifi option?
    If I connect with Ethernet cable (NAS), I think you guys are suggesting that I connect directly to my iMac instead of AEBS. That would mean other devices (like ipad) would not have access unless my iMac is on or awake.
    I would like to have the hard drive available regardless of iMac status.
  5. macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2010
    Depends how much you want to spend.. A "hard drive" that plugs into USB will need the MAC or an other computer attached.. A NAS (network attached storage) can connect to your network via ethernet and anything on your network can connect to it.. Though I'm not sure how your ipad can access it unless you are running a web server on it..?

    Either way, I use a drobo FS to store all my media and when I want to see something on my ipad I just beam it over using itunes over wifi...

    hope this helps..

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