Help with File Sharing and Servers

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by KettyKrueger, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi All

    Am I right in thinking that if I want to share files between two computers on the same network, I would need a NAS/Server? I'm potentially going to need to share files between a Mac and a PC and maybe stream to an Apple TV. Would a NAS be suitable, or would a network harddrive do the trick?

    Also, if I was to buy a NAS to store all my data on, would I be able to access those files as if they were stored on the computer's own hard drive, i.e. would there be any lag? Basically, all that would be on the computers own HDD's would be the operating system and any applications. All documents, music, photos, videos, etc would be held on the server.

    Please forgive my ignorance, I'm totally new to this...would the NAS need to be connected to a host machine??

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    A network hard drive is a NAS. A full on multi-disk RAID NAS or a single disk NAS both do the same job, they provide storage on your network. Hence Network Attached Storage.

    There will of course be lag in accessing any data over a network connection rather than from a local disk.

    A NAS wouldn't have a "host machine". It's just a storage device that sits somewhere on your network. Most are administered through a web interface available to any computer on the same network.
     
  3. KettyKrueger thread starter macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Thanks for that.

    So, if I was to keep my current set-up (iMac with HDDs attached), will I be able to access the data on those HDD's from a Macbook? From what you're saying, I'm guessing no.
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    Yes you will. You just need to share the drives attached to the iMac out so that others can connect to them. System Prefs > Sharing.
     
  5. KettyKrueger thread starter macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Oh, thanks!

    So if I can share my data from my external HDDS what's the advantage of getting a NAS? Sorry, I just don't get it!
     
  6. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    Well, for the most part none really. The only thing with this set up is your iMac will need to be on whenever you want to access data on the shared drive. With a NAS the disk is always available.
     
  7. KettyKrueger thread starter macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Cheers for that.

    My Mac is on 24/7 so that's not really an issue.

    Thanks again for the replies.
     
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #8
    Total (almost) network newbie here.... but from what I've read I have a networking solution using a old mini. Basically its just tucking the mini in behind the stereo (to play iTunes music) and attaching a couple of external HDDs to the mini. The mini is very low powered so we won't see a great deal of power usage, plus we can set the mini to sleep at night.

    My one question is: Are there HDDs that will spin down when not actually being accessed? (to save power)
     

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