How to set up ideal Mac Network

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by GRuizMD, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. GRuizMD macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    I need advise on how to set up the ideal network solution for a big home:

    1 iMac
    1 Mini
    1 MacBook Pro
    2 iPhones
    2 iPads
    2 ATVs
    1 Printer

    I need to be able to set up a network that:

    1. Provides internet service to all devices
    2. Has only 1 (one) site where files are stored (Documents, Music, Movies etc)** I want to have only 1(one) itunes: and be able to watch videos or listen to music in all three computers from the same library: So far I have only the iMac with an external HD and music + Videos there and the macbook/mini can not see that External HD.
    3. Provides Network access to the printer to all devices (iPad and iPhone included when the Printer app is up)
    4. computers (laptop mini and iMac have their own Time machine back-up) and the central Hard-drive is backed up by Time machine

    What is the ideal set up for this type of networking needs?

    only conditions:

    Use of Apple devices
    No cost restrain.... Thanks
    No Hacks --> can it be done out of the box with the Airport stuff or the Time capsule or both?
  2. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    How many stories is the home? Range has a lot to do with the final solution. I have many devices using just Apple products like what you suggest and even in my smaller home since I am on 4 small 'floors' I had to do a lot of boosting of signals and use repeaters as I had very poor coverage.

    Are we talking wood, concrete, metal? Fireplaces in between room? All make a huge impact in my experience.

    Short answer, a Timecapsule with some external storage, some Aireport Express around the house you should have no issues. Although there are a few caveots. But if the bandwidth and signal strength is good, you are good.

    Let me know more details and I can give you specifics.
  3. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    Not sure this is ideal, but...

    ...I have the following set up:

    -External Firewire Drive
    --iTunes Library
    --external drive is shared

    --iTunes Library is set to the shared folder on my iMac
    ---No media is stored locally on the MBPro
    ---Before Opening iTunes, I make sure I am connected to the share (also works remotely via Back to my Mac)

    -Synced on the iMac

    - Synced to and streaming from the iMac

    AirPort Extreme
    -Provides Routing and Wireless

    Time Capsule
    - Extends the Wireless N Network
    - Provides Time Machine Backup for MBPro
    - I expect this device to fail eventually as it's well past 18 Months old.

    So, by sharing out the itunes folder on my iMac and setting my other Mac's iTunes location to that shared drive, I am able to have a single location for all of my media. The problem is that new purchases on one computer do not automatically get added to the library on the other; so if I buy a new album on my iMac, I would have to manually add the files to iTunes on my MBPro before they would be listed. On the iMac, I have iTunes set to manage files. On the MBPro, I have turned off copying files when added - this keeps me from getting duplicates in the shared drive.

    This works OK for me. One issue is that I can only have one iTunes account accessing everything, but that would also apply with Home Sharing.
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I do this with a setup using a mini with Snow Leopard Server. It has four external drives and a printer attached. It serves:
    1. Shared Media: Video (usually through Plex), Music, Photos
    2. Printer -- SLS does print spooling which gets the print file off the client faster
    3. Time Machine backups for all other Macs.
    4. Scheduled SuperDuper! backups of the server itself.
    5. Calendar and Address book for Macs and our iTouches.
    6. VPN for remote accessing of local network.
    7. DNS and DHCP

    I use my Internet service provider's router (with DNS/DHCP services disabled) and an Airport Extreme in bridge mode for my WiFi access point.

    Clients include 2 iMacs and a Windows XP system on Gigabit Ethernet (along with the server, Airport, and router), a G5 iMac, a MacBook, 2 Mac minis as entertainment centers, and two iPod Touches all over WiFi. It all works fine although occasionally the minis will hiccup because of the WiFi bandwidth limitations.

    The gear is all central to the house and the WiFi doesn't need to travel more than about 50' to get to any location (2200 sq ft house on one floor).

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