Advanced Home Wireless Network - Storage - Backup - Music - Stream - Print

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LERsince1991, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I'm very confused at the moment.

    Going to completely upgrade the wireless setup in my house when i have the lounge re-done as I would like to stream everything. The whole setup must me both Mac and Windows 100% compatible. (1 mac, 5 PC's). Would anyone like to help me setup this by recommending sets of products to buy for this.

    I think it would be easier to explain what I'm trying to setup the network for:

    1) Wireless streaming a single iTunes library to multiple laptops and a HTPC
    -This includes streaming videos and music to multiple computers at the same time

    2) Wireless Backup 5 Laptops and a HTPC (Home Theater PC) to a network hard drive.

    3) Backup all my media (Program setup files, videos, music, pictures) that is located on a NAS
    - This is because the media will be located fully on a NAS so it needs backing up

    4) Full access to the NAS as though it was an external HD
    -All computers should be able to add files to the NAS easily

    5) A good amount of storage such as 1TB for media + Space for backups
    - One Media collection, 3 Light usage laptops, 2 heavy usage laptops (including graphic design and large media files) and One Home Theater PC.

    6) I would like the media on the NAS to be able to be streamed to my Xbox 360 which will be wired to the router. (videos & music)

    7) Wireless printing (already have a networked printer setup via ethernet)

    8)* (Additional option, not needed but would be very useful!)
    - The ability to access my entire media folder (not back-up just media) from a remote location such as school, office or 'out and about' via the internet without having to copy files to another disk to use (gets rid of usb drives and is handy if i forget something!)

    9)* (Additional option, not needed but would be very useful!)
    - The ability to process bit torrent files (.torrent) to save power and download overnight without a PC.

    Factors to consider
    This is a home network and costs must be kept low; ~£200 for storage, Networking products are already purchased (N standard). Router will be draft N, gigabit compatible. Printer already purchased, don't include equipment for the lounge (is draft N ready, just treat as another desktop)

    Additional Comments
    I have been on the Belkin website (current networked products are Belkin) and they have a new wireless router (Belkin N+) which has a built in USB port for a HD and gigabit ethernet capable (I will upgrade, don't worry wont cost me anything) but will this be a good idea to use for the NAS.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
    Thanks for your time!
    Sorry for the long post!
    Sorry for the mistakes!
    Luke R.
  2. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Hmm just realized the Apple Airport Extreme Base Station should in theory do all this with a USB hub and external hard drives. Although thats just what apple says.

    A few questions
    1) Will I be able to use this with all its features, with Vista computers. This includes full read/write access?
    2) I have read on google that I need a mac to set up, is this still true, can't I set it up with vista?
    3) Is there any way I can use this router for remote connection to the attached storage from another network (eg. office)
    4) What are the speeds like with the USB NAS?
    5) I like in the UK and have a BT connection... still, can I still use the airport?
    6) How can I make my vista laptop run at draft N speeds, (laptop card, USB device)?

    Thanks again!
  3. blurredline macrumors 6502


    Feb 22, 2007
    Fort McMurray, AB
    This certainly doesn't cover everything, but I have a HP MediaSmart Server connected to my router. It came with 500GB storage and can be expanded(w/the 4 drive bays)up to 2TB. It also comes with a one year subscription to an online service so I can access the server remotely on any computer outside of my personal network. As it connects to my wireless N router I can back up my Mac and Vista laptop to it wirelessly, and since it comes with Home Server software my Xbox360 also recognizes it with no hassle and streams all of my media to it. It is a pricey little device, but it's done wonders for my personal/elaborate setup. Let me know if you have any other questions about it all!:)

    -As for your Vista computer, unless it already has an N chipset for wireless you would be looking at getting a new wireless N card or USB adapter. Those run $30-$120 here in Canada.
    -Oh, and one other thing I forgot to add, the Home Server integrates directly with iTunes so it will wireless stream all of your media located in iTunes to any other computer on your network with iTunes installed.
  4. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    thanks for the reply blurredline.
    I'm afraid a server isn't an option as they are big, loud expensive and just isn't going to happen, however good they are.

    This is where the router, NAS, Xbox 360 and the printer is.
    The NAS I have at the moment is awful and was a waste of money but Ive at least made some use out of it. It is only 250GB so I could use this as the computer backup disk then use a Western Digital Essential Edition 2TB Drive, setup with RAID 1 as the dedicated media drive when attached to an Airport. But Ive heard there's some issues with airdisk and vista. Also I'm not sure what draft N laptop cards are compatible with airport.

    Would I be able to set it up like this and have it work 100% with vista laptops?
    Airport Extreme Base Station --> USB Hub --> 2TB HD - RAID 1 Mirror - Media
    --> 250GB HD - Backup
    Would I also need an external ADSL modem since the AEBS doesn't have one built in, what about using my original belkin G ADSL router as this or should I buy another one, if so what do I buy?
    Would I be able to access the same iTunes library simultaneously from multiple computers?
    Since Vista's built in backup software is awful it doesn't seem to allow a backup to a NAS over network, I have long researched this and still no solution, airport may or may not allow it to work but if not it there some small, good, simple, free, scheduled backup software I can install on the computers?

    This is alot of questions but I really need help, my current NAS is so nearly full and none of the computers are backed up! :eek:
    You can see why I'm confused!

    Eeekk :eek: HELP!:confused:

    Attached Files:

  5. dwright1974 macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2007

    I agree with the above.

    Even though you said you don't want a server the HP jobby is designed as a Home Server and sounds like just what you need. It is a modified version of Windows Server SBS 2003 and has been designed to be used in the home.

    JohnLewis sell them here.

    It is designed to be run headless and can just sit in a cupboard/hallway and serve everything that you need.

    It is actually a neat solution, and is designed almost-exactly for what you need, (Shockingly for Microsoft, I know).

    I would seriously have more of a look at this.

    More information about it on M$'s website here.

    I currently just have a DLink DNS-323 sat on my home network but am finding that I need more. I wish Apple had an elegant solution because I want to go digital with more functionality than an Apple TV, a headless MacMini seems to be the current option at the moment but I am considering the MediaSmart.


    - D

    EDIT: Just seen your other post so I will add to this. WHS allows you to back up the Windows computers using provided software (and schedule it), and Time Machine 'should' let you back up to a network drive, (Mine backs up to my DNS-323).

    Still use your Belkin Router for connection to the interweb (Apple doesn't have any solution that will connect you and hardwire the server into this).

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