NAS and AirPort Extreme?

rambler358

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2014
94
31
Torrance, CA
I have a current gen AirPort Extreme and I want to attach an external drive for NAS. My desktop is a Windows PC, and I have an iPhone and iPad, and soon a rMB. Is it possible to have Windows 8.1, OS X and iOS access the NAS? If so, what kind of external hard drive is recommended and what is involved in the setup procedure? I'm kind of new to this - thanks!
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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8,805
California
Just grab any external 3.5" USB desktop drive you can find on sale in the size you want. It does not matter what brand.

Once you do that use Airport Utility to configure the drive and OS X and Windows devices will be able to access data on the drive. iOS cannot on its own, but there are third party iOS apps like this that will allow access.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204664

This link should also help you.
 
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rambler358

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2014
94
31
Torrance, CA
So how should a USB drive be formatted to work with both OS X and Windows? After looking at some USB drives, the manufacturer says its compatible with OS X after reformatting. Does this mean if it's reformatted that it'll no longer work with Windows?
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
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Elkton, Maryland
So how should a USB drive be formatted to work with both OS X and Windows? After looking at some USB drives, the manufacturer says its compatible with OS X after reformatting. Does this mean if it's reformatted that it'll no longer work with Windows?
To work with both OS X and Windows, a USB drive should be formatted in FAT 32 if directly connected. If you are only using the drive to connect to the back of the router you can use Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The AirPort will make it accessible to Windows clients, but if you ever removed it from the AirPort and plugged it directly into the computer it would only be readable with OS X.

In summary:

USB connected to computer: FAT 32
USB connected to AirPort: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
 
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rambler358

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2014
94
31
Torrance, CA
To work with both OS X and Windows, a USB drive should be formatted in FAT 32 if directly connected. If you are only using the drive to connect to the back of the router you can use Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The AirPort will make it accessible to Windows clients, but if you ever removed it from the AirPort and plugged it directly into the computer it would only be readable with OS X.

In summary:

USB connected to computer: FAT 32
USB connected to AirPort: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
Got it - thanks!
And yes, I would be connecting the drive to the AirPort via USB.