External Drive for TM Backups... Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by davidg4781, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #1
    I'm in the market for an external drive and would like some advice from people that have used them before.

    I have a MacBook that I mainly use around the house. I understand the only way to wirelessly backup using Time Machine is using Time Capsule, so an NAS is out (please correct me if I'm wrong). I do sometimes take my MacBook out of town when I travel for work, but mostly for watching movies or browsing/chatting, nothing that would need a backup.

    My concern is, should I get a less expensive desktop model, and just go in my room, plug it up once a day or so, and do a backup, or, should I get a more expensive travel version. Are they worth the convenience?

    I've been trying to find one with FireWire, and came across Western Digital and Seagate drives specifically made for Macs (aluminum, FireWire, formatted for Macs). Of course, they're more expensive, but, I'm assuming I can just plug in the FireWire instead of 2 USBs(one for data, one for power).

    I've thought of building my own, but I've had a hard time finding a decent looking enclosure with the specs I want. I'd want just a normal plain looking one, without lights and advertisements slapped onto the side of it. If anyone knows where I can get a nice looking one from, let me know.

    In total, I'm looking to spend around $150. Anything less would be great, anything more is pushing it.
     
  2. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #2
    Get a Seagate (I have two) firewire and plug it in once a day.
     
  3. iMerlin macrumors 6502a

    iMerlin

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #3
    That is not correct. If you have a Airport Extreme (Or any router with a USB port on it for that matter) you can hook up just about any USB HDD to the Airport Extreme and create a Time Machine drive to back up wirelessly to.
    I spent a little more money than what you want to spend and I picked up a Drobo, but you could get any cheapy USB drive and hook it up and have a wireless backup solution. You could use a NAS, but that puts you over your 150 price tag.
    Granted, it does take longer via wireless. But, it runs in the background and doesnt seem to effect the performance on my MBP.
     
  4. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #4
    So really, I could just purchase an older Airport Extreme and a Seagate FreeAgent Desktop from newegg.com for $87, and I'd basically have myself a homemade Time Capsule? I might do that, I'd be getting an Airport Extreme and wireless backup.
     
  5. iMerlin macrumors 6502a

    iMerlin

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #5
    Yep, pretty much. Although Im not 100% sure that particular Airport has a USB port. But if it does you are golden. You'll need to format the external drive as Mac HFS+. You could even partition the drive and have Time Machine use one partition and make the other partition for your iTunes stuff.
     
  6. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #6
    Well then, that seems like a pretty good idea. Yeah, it has a USB port on the back. It seems like it's going to cost what I was looking at, and at the same time, give me added benefit.

    Now, having a partition of iTunes stuff...this means I'd only be able to listen to my iTunes stuff while at home, am I correct? Even if I could dial in to listen to it away from home, I'd have to have a network connection, correct?
     
  7. iMerlin macrumors 6502a

    iMerlin

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #7
    Accessing your external from a remote location is a little harder than just having a network connection. You would need a static IP from your ISP to set up your remote access. This usually comes at a cost.

    Ive heard of people that have a lot of music, they want it all on an external drive to free up space so they put thier library on the external but then just keep their favorites on the MBP. Reference the library in iTunes to the external then reference the favs to the local address.

    Also, if you decide to put your iTunes on the external, make sure you only copy the iTunes music folder, not the iTunes database files. And, uncheck the option to have iTunes keep your files organized.
     

Share This Page