Airport Extreme - Home Server or Cloud Storage

alksion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
1,703
102
Orange County CA
Just picked up an Airport Extreme today (old Linksys died) and was welcomed by the USB port. Plugging an external into this would just make it like an extremely watered down home server correct?

Other than that, why do people set up home servers?
 

BreakGuy

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
818
0
NZ, South Pacific
AirPort Extreme can turn your external USB hard drive into a drive you can share with all the users on your network and access securely over the Internet. This feature — AirPort Disk — is a simple and convenient way to share files among everyone in your family, office, or class.

How does it work?

Just connect the external hard drive to the USB port on the back of your AirPort Extreme and — voilà — all the documents, videos, photos, and other files on the drive instantly become available to anyone on the secure network, Mac and PC users alike. It’s perfect for file sharing, collaborative projects, and more.

You can set up password-protected accounts for everyone on the network or allow read-only access to certain files and folders. If you’re using OS X Leopard or later, you’ll see the drive in your Finder sidebar, where it’s always available for accessing files and folders. For OS X Tiger and Windows users, a simple-to-use AirPort Disk Utility provides a variety of setup options, including setting the disk to become available whenever you connect to the network.

Extracted from Apple.com
 

Martin29

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2010
280
25
Quimper, France
This is an interesting idea..

At the moment I'm running an iMac & a 13" Air. Most of my files are saved to the iMac and shared back to the air.

My wife also has an Air 11" and I'm thinking about the best way to offer her more disk storage capacity.

Using the above idea with an external drive connected to the extreme, is it feasible for her to use the external drive as her primary storage (including iTunes music files) and for me to use the same disk as a back up for my machines (including my separate iTunes music account tunes)

I hadn't thought of this possibility before, but it seems an attractive solution if it is possible.

Thanks
 

christurbo

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2009
175
0
Staffordshire, UK
To the above poster - yes it is. I am going to do the same thing next week when the AEBS arrives. iTunes/iPhoto libraries will be migrated to the external and referenced from my devices.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
This is an interesting idea..

At the moment I'm running an iMac & a 13" Air. Most of my files are saved to the iMac and shared back to the air.

My wife also has an Air 11" and I'm thinking about the best way to offer her more disk storage capacity.

Using the above idea with an external drive connected to the extreme, is it feasible for her to use the external drive as her primary storage (including iTunes music files) and for me to use the same disk as a back up for my machines (including my separate iTunes music account tunes)

I hadn't thought of this possibility before, but it seems an attractive solution if it is possible.

Thanks
Yes, it's possible. But I would advise you to get two separate disks for iTunes media files and backups. Just get a USB hub and it's all good in terms of number of USB ports.
 

BreakGuy

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
818
0
NZ, South Pacific
Yes, it's possible. But I would advise you to get two separate disks for iTunes media files and backups. Just get a USB hub and it's all good in terms of number of USB ports.
Absolutely. Keeping your back ups separate from your access files ensures there's no 'cross contamination' so to speak. Additionally, having a USB hub allows you to connect a USB printer so all those on the network can print wirelessly. :)
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
1,703
102
Orange County CA
Interesting stuff guys! So this is like the most waterdown form of a home server just without it trying to balance bandwidth and such?
 

macbook123

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2006
1,859
81
Does this really work as cloud storage even if I'm away from home? What's the procedure for accessing the airport disk via the internet?
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,090
444
Elkton, Maryland
Interesting stuff guys! So this is like the most waterdown form of a home server just without it trying to balance bandwidth and such?
AirPorts will automatically configure bandwidth control.

Does this really work as cloud storage even if I'm away from home? What's the procedure for accessing the airport disk via the internet?
Yes. You need to configure a dynamic DNS service to give you a consistent way to access the AirPort. Anyhow you would connect to it as any old file server on your network.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,666
9,296
California
Yes. You need to configure a dynamic DNS service to give you a consistent way to access the AirPort. Anyhow you would connect to it as any old file server on your network.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204618

As long as you are using a Mac to access the remote disk, you can just configure Back to My Mac on the Airport and you won't need a dynamic DNS service.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,090
444
Elkton, Maryland
As long as you are using a Mac to access the remote disk, you can just configure Back to My Mac on the Airport and you won't need a dynamic DNS service.
Very good point, I had completely forgotten about that feature, but the method I mentioned does work without iCloud.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,573
453
Estonia
Very good point, I had completely forgotten about that feature, but the method I mentioned does work without iCloud.
In my experience, BtmM requires, that AirPort be your outermost router and have a routable IP address. Depending on ISP that may not always be possible. Behind NAT BtmM will not work.
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,391
1,547
DFW, TX
None of my Macs are behind AEBS anymore, on Ubiquiti and Meraki hardware, and I can BtmM.
I just enable screen sharing and turn on BtmM on each I want to remote into.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,573
453
Estonia
None of my Macs are behind AEBS anymore, on Ubiquiti and Meraki hardware, and I can BtmM.
I just enable screen sharing and turn on BtmM on each I want to remote into.
So this effectively means that the iCloud login on AEBS is actually only good for it's own disk- and printer sharing. And that OS X manages to advertise it's services without external help. Interesting.
Although all necessary services to run BtmM are indeed rendered on Apple's servers.
I also have the impression it is run on IPv6 so all endpoints are directly addressabke.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,090
444
Elkton, Maryland
None of my Macs are behind AEBS anymore, on Ubiquiti and Meraki hardware, and I can BtmM.
I just enable screen sharing and turn on BtmM on each I want to remote into.
Back to my Mac is a service on both OS X and the AirPorts. If you use Back to my Mac, it will essentially VPN you into the network. If you use it on just a Mac, it will give you file sharing and screen sharing remotely.