External hard drive for multiple macs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by uptowngirl, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. uptowngirl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I have an iMac and a Macbook Pro 13' and need an external hard drive for back ups.

    I was looking at getting a refurbished time capsule but these are still relatively pricey (although i probably wouldn't rule it out). Can anyone suggest alternatives? I don't really know what i need for two macs and whether i should be looking out for any particular features.

    Thanks
     
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    I think the best way to do this is to get an external drive and hook it up to a computer and then share the drive. On all your other computers connect to the drive on startup and aim TimeMachine at it. Boom, all done!

    EDIT: Maybe not the best way, but definitely a way to do it without a Time Capsule.
     
  3. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    +1

    Cheapest and easiest option! Time Capsule would work very well for what you need, but compared to the above option, very pricey!
     
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    Though if you have a lot of files on the MBP. You may want to upgrade to an 802.11n router assuming your have not yet done so to speed up the backup process.

    You may also want to separate the external into two partitions. So that the iMac and the MBP are not competing for time machine space.
     
  5. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    The only issue with that suggestion is that the computer that has the hard drive attached will need to be on when in order for the other computer to access the drive.

    You could either buy a NAS drive (which are getting cheaper) or if your router supports it, plug a USB drive into it.
     
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #6
    As far as the NAS goes one might as well just leave the iMac on and allow the screen to turn off when not in use, most people I have seen disable the energy saving features anyways and leave the computer on 24/7. Though with most NAS' I have seen it would be cheaper to build one yourself.
     
  7. uptowngirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #7
    Thanks. Will firewire make a noticable difference over USB? I will have a few videos and photos and design files to backup.
     
  8. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    If you have the choice, go with Firewire. Its much faster at sustained read/writes
     
  9. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #9
    Yes! Especially if you get FW800.
     

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