Creating a Home Network: Best Way?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sikkinixx, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. sikkinixx macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
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    Rocketing through the sky!
    #1
    Since Boxing day sales are almost here (after that thing... ummm... Christmas? is over :p) I wanted to pick up a decent sized/priced external drive to FINALLY create a home network.

    Basically I want to have my soon-to-be-owned Macbook Air, girlfriend's iMac, my PC and my Apple TV (2nd gen) to all be able to share music/video.

    My PC is hooked up to the router (a Linksys simultaneous dual-band N model with a USB sharing port) while the iMac, Apple TV and Macbook will (obviously) be wireless.

    Do I hook it up to the iMac via firewire and share it from there? Or to the router and share from there. I know the Apple TV is a bit picky about that stuff. Will I need to pour ALL the media to my gf's iMac and then use her iTunes to sync with the Apple TV?

    Each of us has a little external used for time machine back up's so this is basically just a media drive.

    Or should I get something like a Drobo? They are big bucks (ugh) but I like the idea of expandability and ease of use.

    Any help would be awesome :D
     
  2. zachsilvey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Battle Ground
    #2
    You could share the drive through one of your macs but that would mean that computer would have to be on at all times.

    If your router supports it I would recommend using that to set up sharing.

    As far as I have experienced Apple TV only can receive content from an iTunes library.
     
  3. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #3
    Attaching the USB external drive directly to the USB port on the router is the most efficient way to share the drive. All clients would only have to make one wireless "hop" to the router to get the data.

    If you attach it via FireWire to the iMac, you could dedicate your gf's iMac as an always-on iTunes server, and the iMac would have top-speed access to your movie and music data. The advantage of this type of connection cannot be understated, especially if the iMac will be used to convert movies into iTunes format (by HandBrake, for example. The iMac could be set to share the drive, and other clients could theoretically use it, but they would have to make two wireless "hops" (e.g. notebook to router, router to iMac) and thus the effective throughput would be cut in half. It would be enough to stream audio to another client, though.

    Quick questions to the OP:
    • Are all your devices (Air, your PC, etc) WiFi-N capable?
    • Does your Linksys have simultaneous dual band?
    • Does your gf's iMac have Snow Leopard?
     
  4. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Location:
    Rocketing through the sky!
    #4
    Yeah... I wish it could just suck it off an external drive.

    All devices are WiFi N. The set up as it stands is my PC/PS3 hooked up via ethernet cable to the router, while iMac/soon-to-have Air/Apple TV/iPad all connect via WiFi N, and finally Wii/Xbox connect via WiFi G as the Linksys router is simultaneous dual band N on one, G on the other.

    The PC doesn't REALLY need to be able to share any content, it's a gaming rig and nothing more. I really just want the Apple TV and my Air to have access to all the media. The only "always-on" computer is my gf's iMac so thats why it will need to have access to everything (I assume) and yes it does have Snow Leopard (only 2 months old)
     
  5. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #5
    Thanks for your response. Based on it, I can refine my recommendation:

    Attach the external directly to the iMac, using whatever is the fastest connection. Then keep iTunes open on the iMac; you can let it go to sleep if you wish.

    Explanations:
    • Your Linksys is simultaneous dual band, so your consoles won't slow your iPad's and Air's connections down.
    • Thus, your iPad and Air can still reach your iMac and the attached external with enough speed to stream music and video, even though they make two wireless hops.
    • The iMac has Snow Leopard, which has the "Wake On Demand" feature. This will wake it from sleep if another network client requests data shared by it. Thus, Apple TV will be able to wake the iMac from sleep to play a movie, and allow the iMac to go back to sleep afterward, saving energy.
    • The direct connection will allow you to rip CDs and/or HandBrake DVDs straight to the external quite quickly-- much faster than if it were attached to the router instead.
    Hope my explanation makes sense. Questions?
     

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