network setup help

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by sophie999, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. sophie999 macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Hi all,

    I want to set up reliable home network using MacBook and Apple routers. Here is what I want to get out of it.

    1. I want to have additional external storage (either hard drive connected directly to the router (cheap version of time capsule) or NAS or any other option) where I can store all of my digital files. I need to be able to configure password protected access so that some folders can be accessed only by me (documents) and others by everyone else at home.
    2. I want to dump all of my video and music files so that everyone at home can access them and stream to the phone/tablet/TV. Built-in audio/video player would be nice but not necessary if there are other access options. I plan to add wifi capability to the TVs (maybe chromecast or something like that) to allow video streaming from my own storage.
    3. I would like to have outside access to the media files when I travel so that I can play them from outside of my house.
    4. Need to have security so that others cannot easily access the data.

    I currently have MacBook 2009 with the latest OS and will be buying several new apple routers to cover the entire house. I am willing to spend some money on this project. However, this is not for work, just play, so I would like to keep the budget within reason. Also, I am not IT guru. Simplicity is important, although I can learn a few new tricks.

    Any ideas?

  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    A few thoughts
    1. Since you want file protection it will require a device with some form of access control lists. That usually means a NAS or an OS X server. I like Synology NAS as they are very easy to setup and administer. Either option can serve as an iTunes server so the media files can be shared.
    2. My rule is to hard wire any device that sits in a fixed location instead of using wireless. At last count I have 12 wired clients vs 4 wireless. Makes it faster and fewer problems. It can also reduce the number of access points needed to cover the house. I have a single Extreme in the middle of the house that covers the main floor, basing, and outside areas. Main floor is 2,000 sqft.
    3. Either the Synology or OS X server can provide remote access. Just make sure you have good security since you are opening things up to the world.
    4. Think about backup, both on and off site. Think about all your possible disaster scenarios and how you will recover from each.
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    @sophie999 Depending on the quality of your movies, music, etc. you may want to consider a full NAS rather than an AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule. For the AirPort Extreme, you can expect about 22 MB/s average read/write to a USB 2.0 hard drive. For the Time Capsule, you can expect anywhere from 26-28 MB/s average read/write to the internal hard drive. This is ample for my uses, but may be too slow for your needs so plan accordingly.

    1. The AirPort file server only supports protecting the entire drive. There are three modes available when securing disks on an AirPort: "With device password", "With a disk password", and "With accounts". Choosing "With device password" or "With a disk password" requires that all users know the same password and there is no partitioning of data. If you choose "With accounts", you can give users read & write or read only access. Furthermore, each user will receive a private folder which is NOT accessible from any other account. For example, if your volume is "Storage" and you choose your AirPort from the sidebar in Finder, it will mount "Storage" and "John Doe". Files placed into "Storage" would be shared and accessible by anyone with an account, while files in your "John Doe" mount are protected and not accessible without your credentials. This is the extent of customization in the AirPort's file server.
    2. Generally, a NAS acts as a hard drive connected over the network and therefore files will open in respective programs on the local machine, but remain stored on the NAS's drive.
    3. The AirPort line offers sharing disks over WAN as well as Back To My Mac, a basic VPN service which will let you access files on the AirPort Disk with little configuration. If you chose to share disks over WAN, you will either want a static IP or a dynamic DNS provider.
    4. Most any NAS solution is secure by nature provided you do your part by keeping them up to date and passwords secure. Furthermore, keep the network configuration safe by not opening ports to the public.
  4. sophie999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Thanks both of you for the reply. I am probably going to try first OSX server, as it is a cheaper investment to begin with.

    Another question: I will probably need 5-6 wifi access points to cover the entire building (it's a large triplex). I plan to put Airport Extreme in the basement and hardwire it to the cable company modem. Then my plan was to hardwire multiple Airport express routers in different rooms (via the patch panel in the basement that terminates all in-wall cat6 cables) to the main router to achieve full house wifi on a single network. The problem is that I need 4-5 of them, but there are only 3 LAN ports on the Airport Extreme. How do I hardwire additional "slave" routers to the main one? Do I need to buy a wired router to expand the LAN connectivity? Any links?

    Thanks so much.

  5. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    Get a switch or switches, and place them where needed. There are many to choose from. I use Netgear GS108Tv2, which can be set up as managed or unmanaged.

    I have a 2 floor place, and in my wiring closet on the 2nd floor there's the Airport Extreme (Time Capsule actually) connected to one of the GS108Tv2 switches, and a patch panel to make the connections. One of the connections runs downstairs to another GS108Tv2, which then feeds the downstairs patch panel. It works well.

    However, none of our computers will make an AC wireless connection downstairs, so I'm thinking about another access point. But it has to be AC.

    I'm doing a lot of remodeling right now, so for me the possibility of moving the wiring closet to another room is a real possibility -- walls are open, and it's doable, and that might put the TC in a physical position to cover downstairs with AC.

    Anyway, what you need are switches. There are many brands. I chose the managed ones because they weren't all that expensive and can be more flexible, and they have POE ports. They can be run out of the box as unmanaged switches.
  6. sophie999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    --- Post Merged, Jan 14, 2016 ---
    Thanks. Last question.

    The guy who did the wiring said he pulled RG6, cat 5e and cat 6 to each TV location and two cat5e and one cat6 cables to each internet location. However, the wall plates terminate in single F type connector at the TV locations and single RJ45 plate for the internet. Are the other cables just in the wall left behind the plate without termination? Is that the standard? Why not terminate all 3-4 cables on a single or dual plates? If I need to use another cable in the future (land line let's say), I have to remove the plate and replace it with another that allows for multiple terminations? Seems like doing work over again.

  7. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I'd say your guy was forward-thinking and knew what he was doing by pulling those additional cables. I'd expect that they are in the box behind the plate. You can get two-outlet plates for single width boxes, if you want to use those cables (and you may well want to). Then you just pick up a CAT 6 or 5e jack, wire it, and snap it in. Every jack I've seen in modern times comes with a plastic punch-down tool.

    Yes, it's doing work over again, but the expense is very low in relation to having another cable or set of cables run. Cable is cheap and labor is not, as you know. Typically I'll pull two cables to each box when everything is all open and it's easy, because why not?

    The reason that this is good for you is that you can now pick a location where the Airport Extreme may or can cover the whole house. Without the two cables, you're restricted in where you can put the AE (if you want to use its own ethernet ports to connect to a switch).

    With two jacks available, you can bring the signal from the cable modem up to where you want the AE, plug the AE into that port, and then run a single additional cable from the AE to that second wall port, and thus back down to the wiring closet, where you can place a switch or switches.
  8. hmmfe macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2003
    Is that the standard? Sadly, it is the way some people do it (and will insist that it is standard). But, no it is not standard. If the cable is pulled it should be terminated. My guess is the guy pulled a "composite" cable that included the RG6/Cat5e/Cat6 within a single jacket. Not a bad choice if your runs are short (and it is much easier for the installer). But, all of the cables should have been terminated. Yes, it is doing the work all over again. Or, more likely, calling the installer again so he can have another payday.

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