Just bought new rMBP... Setting up Home Network / Server Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SpokaneJim, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. SpokaneJim macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2012
    I'm planning on setting up a home network & am wondering what will be the best way for my situation for me to do this. Also, will a server benefit me in any way? Here are my particulars.

    I just purchased a new rMBP. I'm planning on this being my main use machine both at home & obviously on the road. Because of a few frequently used windows programs not available on Mac and the fact that my Adobe CS2 suite (Photoshop, etc.) is for Windows, I'm planning on using an external USB 3.0 hard drive to load Windows 7 Home Premium and these programs on it and operate it using VMWare Fusion 5.0. (Will probably eventually purchase a Mac version of the Adobe CS suite and run it directly off of the Mac.) In addition, I have a Windows XP PC that I built in late 2006 with Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor. On it I I have several physical hard drives installed with tons of data. All data is backed to external hard drives. Because of terrible bandwith, I have not yet backed up to the cloud except for critical data. This XP PC actually runs very well as I've done all the necessary things needed to keep it going. As it is fully backed up, I have mirrored & replaced a few hard drives over time as part of my maintenance on the machine. My wife also runs a Windows 7 Pro PC that is 1 year old. We will probably be purchasing another Mac laptop next year as we plan a long term transition to the Apple world.

    Now my question: What will be the easiest / best way for me to set up a home network & why? Using the old Windows XP machine? Using my wife's dedicated Windows 7 Pro Machine? Using the Windows 7 Home Premium machine emulated through VMWare fusion 5.0? Or using a home network set up tool on the MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion 10.8? (Being totally new to the Apple world... is there one?)

    On a side note & this may impact answers to the above question: I'm considering setting up a server to allow me to remotely access home files while on the road (if they happen to not be in DropBox at the time). Any other reasons to set up a server versus simple home networking? Do any of my OS's allow me to access home files from afar without setting up a server? If I set up a server, I'm considering taking my old XP machine and wiping the boot drive & installing Linux, then using Freenas to set up the server. (other recommendations?)

    OK... lots of possible changes here, as well as possible avenues of change. That's why I'm posting these questions here... I could spend weeks reading and trying to answer all of these questions. I bet this posting will get me much further, much faster.

    Thanks for your input in advance!!!
  2. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    All possible, but can often be a pain in the neck, Macs refusing to connect to Windows PCs on occasions (and Windows ones doing the same for that matter). Add to that the number of times a Windows server reboots itself for updates and pretty much just for the hell of it.

    I bit the bullet last month and bought a Synology NAS (and 4 x 3Tb WD Reds to go in it). Tremendous bit of kit, super quick, lots of software included to be media server, itunes server, video server, personal cloud, time machine etc etc. Would never go back to a PC as a server.
  3. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    The easiest way would be to get a read-to-use NAS (QNAP, ....) or if you are willing to spend the time your proposed FreeNAS also would work. Centralize the files also makes the backup easier. Those Linux server also support AFP protocol well which make the integration into Apple easier.

    Your requirement to access the file from the outside is the one which makes it a bit more complicated due to additional security you might want.

    a) you need to have your IP address known when you access; you either need a fixed IP from your provider or services like DynDNS to allow a mapping into a domain name
    b) you need a good firewall which filter the bad guys out (and there are many of those script kiddies and other scanning the net)
    c) You might want VPN connection into your home network to be on the safer side.

    Here is what I use:
    1) fixed IP address
    2) Server with ESXi (free hypervisor from VMWare) running a firewall and a Linux simple file server.
    3) PlexMediaServer is right now in "testing phase"
    4) For the hardcore storage I have a QNAP NAS with 4TB RAID5
    5) single disk for backup

    Connected to this all my Apples. Its a geek setup, I know. But is fun to play with :D
  4. SpokaneJim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2012
    Thanks for replies...

    Thank you for the replies. I'll look more into the NAS options. Figured I'd start with making best use of the hardware in hand... a software add on to existing H/W solution would have been less expensive.

    Now... any comments on my much simpler step one? Which option would you follow to set up a home network?
  5. abhi182 macrumors newbie


    Apr 24, 2016
    Let me add some more geekness to the mix.. Here is what I use to serve a rMB, MBA , a windows NUC ,2 Raspberry based HTPCs and a Tizen based UHD TV

    1) A BananaPi based NAS running OpenMediaVault NAS (like the raspberry Pi but has gigabit ethernet)
    2) A non static IP transaletd to a static URL via NoIP
    3) 2X 4TB disks

    The NAS server connects via AFP to the Macs, SMB to Windows and NFS to the linux machines
    I get remote access to my files.
    Local wireless access hits 30MB/s (240 mbps - USB 2.0 limitation but it is enought for reasonably fast file transfers and certainly enough or any kind of media streaming incl 4K)
    The entire setup has been running with zero downtime for last 2 years and going strong

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4 December 23, 2012