Wireless internet, back-up and AirTunes

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sionharris, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. sionharris macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    #1
    I have asked a similar question before but our situation has changed and we would appreciate some guidance.

    We have two Core 2 Duo MacBooks at home which we want to be able to back up wirelessly when Time Machine is released. We also want wireless internet and AirTunes. Wireless printing would be advantageous but not essential.

    It is worth bearing in mind that we have a modem that “doesn’t work with Intel Macs”. I don’t know whether it will work with an Airport base station that is connected to an Intel Mac.

    Now, it seems to me that we have three main options:

    1. Airport Extreme and external HD.

    Pros: should be fast. Also supports wireless printing.
    Cons: no AirTunes, all-in-one means we will have to keep the external HD and printer near a phone socket. May also need to buy a new modem.

    2. Airport Express and external HD.

    Pros: supports AirTunes and wireless printing.
    Cons: can’t see how we could back-up wirelessly. May need to buy a new modem. All-in-one means we will have to keep the external HD and printer near a phone socket.

    3. Somebody has suggested that a wireless server may solve the internet and back-up problems, but I don’t know how much they cost, what they do, or whether it might be difficult to sync with Time Machine.

    Not knowing much about option 3, the second seems most sensible, since in choosing option 1 we would be paying quite a lot of money to gain wireless back-up but lose AirTunes.

    Any thoughts? I have been trying to solve this for months!
     
  2. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #2
    Why doesn't your modem work with Intel Macs? Does it connect with Ethernet or USB? If it connects with Ethernet, it should work with your Mac despite what the manufacturer/ISP says unless you have to run some special software with it (which should run in Rosetta :confused: ).

    I think that your best bet would be to get the AirPort Express and then get a stand-alone hard drive server.
     
  3. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #3
    First, tell us what modem you've got! :D

    Then, how about a new Airport Extreme AND an Airport Express? OK... this is just a theory, hopefully someone here with a bit more sense can verify that this could work... here goes...

    Connect your ethernet Modem (assuming you have a suitable one) & external USB HDD to your Airport Express. This will give you a draft 802.11n wireless Internet and storage (I think you'd find 802.11g annoyingly slow for HDD access). Then, connect an Airport Extreme to your Airport Express by ethernet cable, but turn the wireless on the Extreme off (so as not to slow down your 'n' network). Then plug your HiFi and USB Printer into the Airport Express.

    Disclaimer... I have absolutely no idea if this would work.

    An alternative option would be to wait for Apple to release a proper version of the Airport Express with 802.11n, Airtunes, Gigabit Ethernet and multiple USB ports. Next Tuesday? (joke).

    SL
     
  4. sionharris thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    #4
    We have a SpeedTouch 330 USB modem as per link below. Stupid me should have realised that as it is a USB modem it won't work with an Airport base station anyway.

    http://www.speedtouch.co.uk/products/Details.asp?ProductID=471

    Airport Express + Airport Extreme + New External HD = expensive! Also too many cables and it means the printer, sound system and external HD will need to be kept in close proximity.

    I like the sound of a 'stand-alone hard drive server', but what exactly is it and what will it do? Also will I be able to find one with 'n' capability?

    Yeah, I wish. *taps fingers*
     
  5. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #5
    Buy this for backup; buy an airport express for airtunes. Your total cost is $190, or $10 more than an airport extreme.

    You'd have to check to make sure it's compatible with Time Machine, but otherwise I don't see why it won't work. Only drawback is that you don't get high-speed networking. That's probably only a problem if you're regularly editing large files.

    edit:
    The real question is how valuable your time is. Looking at the reviews of the Linksys device, it's non-trivial to set up, and especially so with a Mac. So if you'd rather save $90 than have a system you KNOW will work, this is the way to go.
     
  6. sionharris thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    #6
    Thanks for the replies thus far. I don't want anything that is difficult to set-up (time is at a premium and I am not patient), so the Linksys device is a no-no.

    I would like to know more about stand-alone hard drive servers. Can anbody give me some guidance? Thanks.
     
  7. sionharris thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
  8. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #8
    The NSLU2 doesn't have any wireless buit-in - right?

    To put some figures on that, you'll be connecting via 802.11b, which maxes out at 54Mbit/s (typically much less). Compare that to a 400Mbit/s Firewire hard drive.

    Might it be easier to use an Airport Express + one of these? Again I don't know if it will actually work. Also, you're still stuck with < 54Mbit/s. :(

    Or... get an Apple TV and a new 'pre-n' Airport Extreme (and a USB hub so you can connect your HDD and your printer into the single USB port). But that's expensive again, and it won't give you AirTunes as such.

    One problem you've got is that the only device that is capable of doing AirTunes is the Airport Express - and until Apple release a 'n' or 'pre-n' version, you're stuck with low speeds, or having to buy an additional pre-n router.

    Hmmm... well you could always buy a Mac Mini and set that up as a server... but I don't think that'll meet your budget and simplicity requirements.

    FWIW, I don't think your requirement is particularly crazy. I hope Apple release a suitable device soon. :confused:

    SL
     
  9. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #9
    You beat me to it. In theory - I think it would - but I'd rather speak to someone who's already tried it before I parted with my cash. Also, if you are thinking about hooking it up to an airport express, see my earlier comments about speed.

    SL
     
  10. sionharris thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    #10
    SL, thanks for all the time you've devoted to this thread. I think I will print it off and give AppleCare a call to see what is possible.

    I find it amazing how difficult this is. I have been trying to find the right products since November!
     
  11. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #11
    I know you're investigating another solution, but I wanted to add my two cents in regards to the quote above, just in case someone else uses this thread for research.

    Although the new pre-n Airport Extreme produces some great WiFi speed (at least with Macs that have a pre-802.11n card), the USB read/write rates of any drive shared by the Extreme is surprisingly slow.
     

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