best way to set up this network?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by thumb, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. thumb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    #1
    Hi all,

    I would love some help setting up the following network.

    I have a mbp (SantaRosa), a Core duo mini, and two older powerbooks.

    At the moment, we have this running on an airport express, connected to speakers and a printer. attached to the mini is an external drive, that is not currently networked. I also have an older Extreme sitting around that is not being used.

    We would like to have a the external drive hold all of our music and photos, with the ability to access them from the laptops (including using aperture to edit the photos).

    I know the new extreme has the networked drive ability, but is the there a good way to do that without it. Essentially using the mini as a router with the drive? Will the speeds be doable?

    I am not thrilled about the price of the new extreme with so man b/g devices using it.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I asked today at an apple store, and they looked at me very very confusedly.

    Cheers

    thumb
     
  2. bleachthru macrumors member

    bleachthru

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #2
    You can do it, just enable sharing on whichever mac the HD is currently mounted on. Keep in mind the transfer speed of the HD over the network will be limited by your wireless card(s). The Airport extreme is only capable of 54 megabits per second, I don't know how old the powerbooks you have described are, but most pre 2004 books shipped with 802.11b airport cards, so the speed will be reduced to even less at 11 megabits per second. The optimal way to do what you describe would be with hard lines. If this is the route you choose, it is worth the extra money to get cat 6 cables as opposed to cat 5, and make sure the router supports gigabit ethernet too! (10/100/1000) This will elimintate any bottle necking from the external HD, cause if it is hooked too the mini, which is only FW400, you can not transfer faster than 400Mbps anyways. As a side, if all you want is to share music between the computers from the external HD, and maybe a few documents, the wireless would work fine, iTunes sharing is a wonderful thing : ) But for any serious work, or large file/media transfers, the limitations of speed will get annoying. I hope this helps. Good luck, we are all counting on you!
     

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