Wireless external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rkosturczak, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Can anyone recommend a good 2TB wireless hard drive other than the time capsule? Is the time capsule worth its price?

    Would use hard drive for storing music, films and photos to allow me to access them wirelessly. Don't want a usb connected hard drive

    Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Do you really need a "wireless hard drive"... or do you need a hard drive (HDD) that you can access from your "wireless laptop"?

    You can get a USB HDD, attach it to your router (assuming it supports USB HDD attachment)... and still have wireless access to your data.

    One problem you should think about is that any drive that is on your network (either a wireless drive, or a USB drive on your router) will not be part of your time machine backup. That means that when (not if)... that HDD fails (they all do eventually)... then you will lose that data. If you read though these forums... you will find a new post every couple of days of some teary eyed soul who permanently lost all of their data because of a HDD failure. You can get a nice RAID NAS device that has built in redundancy, but they are quite expensive... and they still are generally not able to be part of a larger backup strategy (such as Time Machine).

    Regarding your question on Time Capsules. I am a fan of them for local TM backup. I have not found a better solution. I do not store anything other than TM backups on any of our Time Capsules.

    /Jim
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Thanks Jim. Well i want a hard drive but don't want to connect it directly to my macbook pro (ie: via usb 2.0), so i just thought i would need a wireless hardrive. Sorry but i'm a novice when it comes to this. Can you connect it to your router? I have a router (virgin media uk), but there are no usb ports. Ideally I want to have access to my media wirelessly as i'm looking at purchasing a sonas music system whereby i can play my music wirelessly. Also was thinking of getting the apple tv so i could then play my movies through that.

    thanks
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    It is a common misunderstanding that if you have a wireless computer... then your networked peripherals also need to be wireless. You are not alone!

    Your computer connects wirelessly to your home network. Anything on your network (independent if wired, or wireless) would generally be available via your laptop.

    I generally preferred wired devices for things that do not need mobility. Therefore I prefer networked printers, drives, Apple TVs, etc to be connected to my home network via wires if at all possible. They share the common trait that they do not move around... and I think that wired connections are more stable than wireless. Sometimes it is not possible because of the difficulty of getting a wire to a specific location... in which case wireless is often sufficient.

    What you are looking for is called Networked Attached Storage, or commonly referred to as NAS. You can buy drives that have built in NAS (either wired or wireless)... or you can buy NAS storage arrays (they hold several drives, and often support RAID redundancy). You can also attach a standard USB drive to certain routers, or other network devices and then the USB drives are part of your network.

    You had asked about Time Capsules. One thing you can do is get a Time Capsule and use it for automated backup of your MBP. You could also use it as a place to keep some of your data per your post. The TC also does support the addition of USB drives and they are also on your network.

    One thing to consider is your backup strategy. Many backup solutions (include Time Machine) will not back up network attached drives. Hard drives fail all the time, and you have to determine if you are willing to take that risk. For that reason, I like to keep all of my primary data on a computer (vs a NAS) that has backup running on it 24/7.

    I actually own several NAS devices, as well as a windows home server. I have pretty much stopped using all of them because I do not want to keep primary data on them because of the backup limitations that I mentioned.

    /Jim
     
  5. rkosturczak, Dec 19, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5

    Thanks Jim. So basically rather than getting a wireless external hard drive, i'm better getting a NAS drive and attach it to my router whereby i could access all my media data and then stream them to the various devices (e.g; sonas and apple tv)? Done a little research, some NAS drives are cheaper than external hard drives, thereby i suppose it's a no brainer if they are cheaper and also have better performance. Do you have any recommendations re: specific NAS drives?

    After some more research - could I just use a media centre with hard drive and connect that to my router?

    Thanks, again
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #6
    Just an FYI, the Apple TV can't stream files from a NAS without being Jailbroken.
     

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