Need a External HDD solution

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jer-78, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. jer-78 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2007
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for some advice on what external HDD to buy. Here's my setup and requirements. Based off of this, what would you recommend?

    My Setup
    1. I have a Mac Mini hooked up to my HDTV at home that I use primarily as my media center. I watch TV shows, movies and listen to music from here but all content resides on the external HDD

    2. I have a Macbook that I use primarily for work

    3. I have an Airport Extreme w/ Gigabit Ethernet that I currently share my printer and 250GB hard drive (running out of room, this is the piece I want to replace) on my LAN.

    My requirements

    1. Share all files from my external HDD over the LAN AND access remotely with my Macbook from work. I currently have it sharing over the LAN but not sure of the easiest way to do WAN sharing. Should I get a USB 2.0 HDD or Gigabit Ethernet one and not use the Airport Extreme?

    2. Backup my systems both at home and from work using Time Machine.

    3. Have some redundancy in this system

    4. At least 500GB, max 1TB needed

    So basically my decisions need to be, what gigabit ethernet hard drives work best with a Mac and allow me to access remotely or should I just use a USB 2.0 drive with the Airport? Which HDD's offer redundancy? Any suggestions? Thanks everyone in advance!

  2. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    From what I understand Time Machine will not work with Airdisk, not sure about ethernet.
  3. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    nowhere fast
    1+2. TM does not currently work with drives attached to the airport (there's a hack to get it to work, but Apple isn't supporting it yet). You can, however, backup over the network to a shared mac volume (ie a drive in or attached to your mini).

    accessing your network from the internet requires port forwarding to be set up in the router. This is sometimes difficult, but I'll assume Apple hasn't made it too hard. As I understand it, this would allow you to mount a drive attached to your mini and use it for TM, however I'm not sure this would be a very reliable technique. I don't have experience with TM in this use personally, but a regular home cable/dsl connection is not only a bit slow for TM if you're working with any sizeable files, but it just doesn't seem like the best idea. Corporate class lines allow this sort of backup and access between offices, but i'm not convinced it translates well to the downscale.

    buying a NAS drive might work for TM, but it seems less likely than a usb drive attached to the APE. NAS drives are also notoriously slow.

    3. if you want redundancy (not including your TM backup) you can buy a raid1 external, or perhaps set up software raid1 with 2 externals.

    4. plenty of options in this range, go to newegg and read some reviews.

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