Network hard disk thru an ethernet hub a good solution?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by motulist, May 7, 2007.

  1. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #1
    I have a powerbook and a desktop. I want a hard drive that will be available to both computers at the same time and also when one or the other may be asleep. And I want the disk available to the laptop without lugging the physical drive around my apartment. If I get a hard drive with an ethernet port and hook it up to an ethernet hub and then run ethernet cables to both computers, is that the best solution?

    The G4 400 mhz sawtooth desktop doesn't have an airport card, so a wireless network solution is out, and it's only got 10/100 ethernet, but I don't need it to be too speedy on the desktop.

    HTML:
    Hard disk's ethernet port
                          |
                          |
                          |
                    ethernet HUB
                       /     \
                      |       |
                      |       |
                      |       |
                 Laptop        Desktop
    
    

    And if this is a good solution, can anyone recommend a good network drive around 500 gig or bigger and a good place to buy it from? Newegg's network drive section is pretty skimpy.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    It'll work fine, although a switch rather than a hub would be significantly better.
     
  3. motulist thread starter macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #3
    Does a switch allow both computers to access the drive at the same time? The word 'switch' implies a one way or the other way connection that can be alternated.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    Yes, a switch and a hub do the same thing. The difference is that a switch is a hub that can create dedicated connections between two devices to communicate, while a simple hub just broadcasts all info to every port, and lets the devices sort out which packets are for them. Because of the higher (irrelevant) traffic on each port, a hub is potentially slower than a switch in a multiuser environment.

    But all modern network hubs are switches now, so the distinction is trivial.
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Well sort of. If you go on Amazon and buy an ethernet hub you'll get a hub, not a switch. Terminology is very important when it comes to technology. I based my recommendation above on the fact that the OP may well have been re-using old kit lying around and could have an actual hub as opposed to a switch.
     
  6. motulist thread starter macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #6
    So whether the box says it's a hub or a switch, it's actually the same thing, right? A switch or hub would also allow me to create a network between the 2 computers at the same time as having access to the drive, correct?
     
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Yes, with a switch providing better performance.
     
  8. motulist thread starter macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #8
    I'd be buying a new device.
     
  9. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #9
    In which case you can buy one of the multitude of cheap switches available today. If I were you I'd pay a little more and get a gigabit switch so as it'll still be good enough in years to come.

    Here's an example of a really cheap one...
     
  10. motulist thread starter macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #10
    Awesome advice you guys! Any recommendation on a good about 500 GB network drive and where to buy it?
     
  11. eldino macrumors member

    eldino

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #11
    Instead of a pre-built solution, I'd buy a ethernet-enabled enclosure and a 500Gb Seagate or Hitachi drive separately and assemble my own..
    there are 2 kinds of lan-enclosure on the market.. the LAN ones and the NDAS ones... The first of the following links explain really well the differences:

    NDAS vs LAN Disk - LAN Disk and NDAS comparison:
    http://www.macpower.com.tw/products/hdd3/m9/ndasvslan

    example of LAN enclosure:
    http://www.macpower.com.tw/products/hdd3/pleiades/pd_usblan

    example of NDAS enclosure:
    http://www.macpower.com.tw/products/hdd3/pleiades/pd_ndas

    LAN seems to me a better solution, more standard etc..
    I hope I helped :)
     

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