Airport Extreme - Max number of Drives

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by OldMike, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #1
    I've searched both here on MacRumors forum, and on the internet in general, but never found a solid answer as to how many drives an airport extreme can handle. I know that Apple states that it is possible to attach a USB hub, allowing the connection of printers and multiple drives - but is there a limit as to how many drives that can be attached?

    I am looking to attach a printer and four external drives. Currently I have them attached to my iMac, and I have network shares setup to allow connections from an Apple TV, MacBook Pro and an HP PC. I would prefer to be able to shutdown/reboot my iMac without having to worry about knocking the other devices off of the internet. I am also temporarily using my iMac to provide wireless internet for both the Apple TV and the MacBook - but I would prefer to utilize the improved security offered by the Airport Extreme (WPA/hidden SSD).

    The Airport Extreme seems like it would be a perfect addition to the home network, though I just want to make sure that I don't spend the extra money on the Airport Extreme, open and set it up, only to find out that it can't easily handle four external drives plus a printer. I'm curious to find out how many drives forum members here have been able to successfully attach and share through their Airport Extreme.
     
  2. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #2
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2421

    Using a powered hub and keeping the cable length reasonable, four drives and a printer should be no issue whatsoever.

    Per the USB spec, a maximum of 127 devices—including hubs—may be connected to the USB host controller. All Apple states (depending on which particular model you have) is that "several" hard disks or printers may be connected using hubs. The actual number will be somewhere in the middle, depending on a number of variables.
     
  3. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    #3
    I tried to connect to 7 USB and then stated to have lagging issue.
     
  4. OldMike thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldMike

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #4
    Thank you. That is more than the enough for the number of drives that I would be hooking up. Now the only issue I have been reading about is a method to backup those drives.

    Ideally I would like to hang about 4 drives off of the AEBS, and have some drives on my iMac that I would be able to run time machine and back up the externals on the AEBS to the externals on my iMac. From what I read, this cannot be done. I have read that time machine will not back up disks mounted as airdisks, which is a big problem for me. I like the fact that the time machine backups are in a format that allows me to easily grab and view files from the finder, otherwise a solution like CrashPlan might work.
     
  5. hualon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #5
    I have been mounting a hard drive using my AEBS and I just have SuperDuper make a custom image of my local drive and write it to the AEBS drive. I can easily mount the image and pick out files at my leisure. Obviously it doesn't have the history features of Time Machine but I have a locally connected drive as a Time Machine backup anyway.

    I also use Carbonite. I've lost my drives before and I'm not doing THAT again!
     

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