Airport Extreme - Home Server or Cloud Storage

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by alksion, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #1
    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?
     
  2. BreakGuy macrumors 6502a

    BreakGuy

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    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    NZ, South Pacific
    #2
    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
     
  3. Martin29 macrumors 6502

    Martin29

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Quimper, France
    #3
    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
     
  4. christurbo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    Staffordshire, UK
    #4
    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.
     
  5. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #5
    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.
     
  6. BreakGuy macrumors 6502a

    BreakGuy

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    NZ, South Pacific
    #6
    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. :)
     
  7. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #7
    Interesting stuff guys! So this is like the most waterdown form of a home server just without it trying to balance bandwidth and such?
     
  8. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    #8
    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?
     
  9. Babyboi macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2008
    #9
    I too, have this question!
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #10
    AirPorts will automatically configure bandwidth control.

    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.
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #11
    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.
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    #12
    Very good point, I had completely forgotten about that feature, but the method I mentioned does work without iCloud.
     
  13. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #13
    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.
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #14
    If the AirPort is added to the DMZ of the ISP equipment then it will work.
     
  15. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Jan 13, 2011
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    Estonia
    #15
    Good point! Why didn't I think of it 3 years ago, when I messed with my ISP's device :mad:
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    #16

    It is not a commonly advertised configuration because it will still often through a Double NAT error, though it can be safely ignored in that instance.
     
  17. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #17
    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.
     
  18. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #18
    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.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #19
    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.
     

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