Home Networking my Mac & PC - Airport Extreme?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by chelseybun, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. chelseybun macrumors newbie

    chelseybun

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Location:
    Gander, NL
    #1
    Hi everyone! I am hoping someone can guide me in the right direction. In my house I currently have an iMac and a Dell PC (Windows Vista). We have the PC for my husband for his games. Trust me, if I had my way, he would have a Mac :)

    Currently these two units are separate. My Mac connects to the wireless router that is connected to the PC. I want to finally create a home network between the two machines and share files from an external hard drive (iTunes, photos, documents, etc.) as well as the one printer we have. The Dell does not have a wireless card, but I will be purchasing that as my first step. I am looking at the Airport Extreme base to be my router between the two machines. Has anyone had any experience with this device? Or has anyone done something different to connect a Mac and PC. All advice and guidance is welcomed. Have a great day!
     
  2. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #2
    I recommend an Airport Extreme for your needs.

    In my setup i have 2 desktop macs, a macbook,, an apple ibook an ipad, iphone, a windows and linux laptop and a Wii running through it wirelessly. Also have an xbox, ps3 and media player box plugged into the ethernet ports and a USB hard disc plugged into it for my girlfriends wifi time machine backups and some file sharing. All of this was dead easy to setup, couldn't recommend it more
     
  3. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #3
    I also have an AEBS, and it's served my mixed environment very well. Two Macs (see my sig), a self-built XP machine that occasionally boots to Linux, two Apple TV 2's, my wife's iPod touch and her Compaq XP box, all with excellent signal range and no hiccups.

    My self-built machine uses an old WiFi-G adapter, and my wife's touch also uses WiFi-G. Thanks to the current model's Simultaneous Dual Band, neither of them slow down my other WiFi-N clients.

    The AEBS is a little more expensive than the majority of WiFi routers out there, but has rock-solid reliability and is comparable in price to other units that claim dual-band capability. I highly recommend it if you can spare the money.
     
  4. scotsomuni macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #4
    I'm in the same boat and would like to get an AEBS. Any thoughts on if the AEBS will be upgraded soon? I saw that it was last updated in Oct. 2009.
     
  5. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #5
    Some consider the Time Capsule as an upgrade. However, I'd recommend the current AEBS over it any day; it's a fine bit o' kit as it is.
     
  6. scotsomuni macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #6
    I don't plan on getting the Time Capsule as I already have a few external hard-drives that I plan on connecting to the AEBS USB port through a powerered USB hub. Has anyone had experience doing this? How is the performance compared to direct connecting the external hard-drive to my MBP?

    Also - I did a quick search and did not find any articles or rumors on AEBS updates in the near future (even though it's been 2 years since the last update)...has anyone here seen anything?
     
  7. winglet69 macrumors member

    winglet69

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    #7
    I run the AEBS with two printers and a Drobo (hard drive array) plugged into it through a non-powered 4-port USB hub. Works fine, the read-write speed isn't fantastic but I think that has to do with the Drobo not the AEBS. At any rate it's plenty fast enough to stream video without ever stuttering.

    To the OP, yes the AEBS will do fine for a cross-platform network - your computers won't know the difference! :) I generally have a Mac Mini, MB Pro, iPad, iPhone, WinPC, Synology NAS and other odds and ends connected all at once, no dramas.

    I don't use Apple gear because it's made by Apple, I use the best tool for the job and the AEBS was the only router I tried (of three brands) that was able to penetrate all of the concrete in my apartment. FWIW.

    Not sure what people are wanting in an "update"...? It's already 1000base wired, wireless-N, offers printer and drive sharing...? Not sure what more you can expect until the next generation of standards is rolled out, but for me it has been rock-solid and offered great wireless range which is about all I can ask from such a device.
     
  8. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    Since these computers are desktops I would recommend hard wiring them to the router via Cat 5e or 6 Ethernet cable. It will make a monumental difference in transfer speeds. Even 802.11n is pretty slow transferring files between computers. At the very least connect your Vista computer to the router with an Ethernet cable while the Mac connects by 802.11n.

    I have found that file transfer performance by computers running Windows Vista/7/2008 are greatly hindered when connecting to a network by a wireless card. Even if it is the only wireless machine on an 802.11n network in close proximity to the router. While they can max out gigabit Ethernet connections it is rare for me to get over 2 MB/s when using 802.11n. This is after trying all the SMB tweeks I could find online and performing a test transfers of DVD rips from one RAID 0 array to another.

    As for actually getting the Vista computer and Mac to see each other and be able to talk. It takes a few more steps than Mac to XP. If your husband's Dell is running the Home edition it will be more difficult due to the lack of the Group Policy Editor. You will need to change some registry entries with Regedit. Here is a link to a multi-page article giving a step by step guide of connecting 10.5 Leopard to Vista. These steps will be nearly identical with Snow Leopard and similar to Windows 7.
     
  9. Pengapine macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    #9
    Not to jack the thread, but I also am contemplating similar setup. I have a AE at home. I recently just bought a 15" mbp as my desktop replacement. I am looking to get a WD My Book Studio II and hook it up to my AE via USB.

    I mainly would want to drive to perform backup via time machine and also serve as a centralized media storage so I can streaming movies to my win 7 htpc.

    Anyone have experience with this particular drive/setup? Would this work for streaming purposes?

    Thanks!
     
  10. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #10
    Streaming should work great. However, using AEBS + USB drive for Time Machine may be iffy. Do a search in these forums for "Airport Extreme Time Machine" for some more details.
     
  11. Pengapine macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    #11
    Great! Just a follow-on question....

    Using the WB Drive above, is there a certain format that it needs to be in order to for the HD to be recognize by both my win7 htpc and mbp? I tried looking up formatting issues with external hds and all replies were pre-2008, so I was hoping these issues have been somewhat resolved since then.....

    My understanding is that the external drive will come formatted HFS+ since it's mac-friendly right out of the box. So if I sit that on top of the AE and make it NAS capable, do I need to format it to FAT32 in order for me to move media files back and forth between my win7 htpc?
     
  12. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #12
    If the drive is indeed HFS+ capable, then yes, I would recommend reformatting to FAT32. Both platforms can read and write to FAT32; HFS+ is native to the Mac, and NTFS is native to Windows (for each to use the other format would involve third-party tools).
     
  13. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    The Airport Extreme is outstanding, handles all Wi-Fi devices in my house with no problem.
     

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