Does this product exist?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by NStocks, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2008

    I'm looking for a product that does a multitude of tasks but to cut right into it, I basically want to connect a few peripherals to my Macbook Pro (soon to be retina), completely wirelessly. That is, the only cable going into my Mac is power.

    Ok, so here goes:

    I have a Western digital mybook 2TB that has USB 3.
    I have a Apple iPhone dock. (USB 2)
    I may have new speakers that will either have bluetooth/airplay or just a 3.5mm audio jack.

    What I want to do it to connect the hard drive to my network wirelessly, that is not using an ethernet port, which I can access like I usually would from finder for time machine and as a general external hard drive. (not having to install a separate application on my mac to access the drive. I'm not really bothered about accessing the external HD from my iPhone)

    I want to charge and sync my iPhone from the dock. I also want to wirelessly play music from my mac to the external speakers. (2 speakers, not one dock style speaker that are commonly used for iOS devices)

    Does this make sense? I'm fine with USB 3 and I know that I can do all of this wired with just one cable if I get bluetooth speakers, however I want only the power cable going into my mac.

    I've seen a few products such as airport express, airport extreme and time capsule, but the latter two are expensive for what they do. I can still return the WD 2TB usb 3 external HD is another solution with at leads 1TB storage presents itself.

    So essentially it's a network 'hub' that connects to my router in another room wirelessly, but also acts as a wifi usb hub for my devices, plus the option to connect speakers via airplay. (unless I get bluetooth 4.0 speakers)

    Thanks for your patience, I look forward to interesting suggestions :)
  2. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    Would a USB hub hanging off an Airport Express work?
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    iphone already syncs over wi-fi

    there are numerous airplay speakers available, spend some time with google. see if anything strikes your fancy.
    You'll get better sound from airplay than bluetooth. Plus if your needs change, you can add more speakers to an airplay system.

    for the disk access, an express won't work. you would have to go with an extreme or a time capsule. since you said you could return that disk, you can get a NAS device and attach that to your current router.
    since you have a westen digital already, something like their my book live would work

    something to keep in mind, the fastest wifi available at the moment (802.11n, 5GHz, wide channels) is about 12-15 MB/s, so that will be the bottle neck in accessing your drive.
    USB2 is about 25 MB/s
    USB3 is about 100 MB/s (will depend on the actual drive, slower drives top out at about 70-75 MB/s so you'll never use all the bandwidth available on USB3).

    you could do wi-fi access, and have an ethernet cable handy if you need faster speeds for transfers to the drive.
  4. NStocks, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

    NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2008
    Thanks for your post.

    the iPhone wifi sync is great, apart from I have to manually turn on wi-fi each time I want to sync (right?)

    Regarding the storage: The reason why I didn't go for a NAS is because the router is in my brother bedroom (next to mine) and I prefer to have my own devices in my own room. I could fairly easily add a 'branch' from the inlet ethernet before it hits the router and drill through to my bedroom which is really easy. If I do this, would it be better to simply go for a NAS WD rather than airport extreme? What other benefits would the extreme give me versus the NAS WD? If I bought say the my book live, can I create the initial backup from USB rather than over the air? My internet speed is 100mb/s wires, however on my mac I get about 70 mb/s... Does this mean that if my book live is 'hard wired' in theory it will be as fast as usb3?

    Regarding airplay speakers. I've not done a great deal of research because I doubt that I will buy any new speakers as I prefer my desk to be 'empty'. However any speakers that I do buy could be mounted under my desk... Can I connect airplay speakers directly to my network or do these also need plugging into an airport extreme? Do I need an extreme or similar device to allow my storage to be wireless, thus employing another router? (so not simply plussing in a ethernet port to the external HD without going through a router first?)

    Thanks for your help!


    That's what I though but I'm not sure. Google searches don't conclude it really.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    a usb hub off an express will not work,the express only allows you to hook up a printer and thats it, no disks on the express.

    if your phone and your computer are on the same wifi, and you plug your phone in to power, it should automatically start to sync. you won't have to turn wifi on, unless you've turned it off.

    airplay speakers will attach to your network, either wired or wireless depending on the particular device. no airport branded device needed
  6. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2008
    I always have wifi on my iPhone turned off, it won't turn itself on when connected to power will it?

    If I go for the WD my book live, do I need another router if I chose to branch off a separate ethernet cable from the inlet before it hits the current router? Would it still be wireless if I plug it in directly? If not, what cheaper options are there to make it wireless, other than the airport extreme?

    Thank you
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Your iPhone will not automatically turn wifi on. But there's no reason not to have it on at home; how else would you automatically sync it? Over cellular networks would be hopelessly slow anyway.

    I'm not sure what you're talking about when you speak of "inlet ethernet." You need a router of some sort. But how you set up your network depends on how you connect to the internet. If you intend to share an internet connection you can still use your own router with a drive attached or a NAS device, but it would have to attach somehow to the residential gateway or cable modem device where your house receives its internet connection, either via ethernet or wifi.

    Since you already have a hard drive, your cheapest option is to use a second router that you could connect the WD to via USB. That router would connect to either your existing router or to whatever you use to connect to the internet, assuming that this device is also a router. You could then essentially have two separate networks, your brother's and yours. Big PITA to set up, but you will learn some networking skills.

    Instead of buying wifi speakers you could use Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil; it allows you to stream any audio on your mac to any device connected to your network. This could be an Airport Express with audio connected. Or it could be your iPhone. So all you'd have to do is connect a line-in from your existing audio setup to the iPhone, turn on its wifi, and stream music to it from your Mac.

    To your original question, does this make sense? Not if you don't want to spend a LOT of money to avoid perhaps three wires that cost maybe $20.

  8. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2008
    It makes perfect sense and earlier today I decided against the whole idea!

    I'm just going to keep my current setup, invest in a better usb cable that looks 'nice' and upgrade my old usb hub to usb 3. (any recommendations?)

    Like you say, in order to go completely wirelessly, I'm going to need to spend a lot of money which can be spent better elsewhere. A new laptop sleeve for my upcoming rMBP purchase for instance!

    Thanks for all your help.

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