Network Setup - TC or AEBS?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gruebl0r, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. gruebl0r macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    I just moved and I'm currently setting up all network issues in the new home and wonder what solution works best.

    Since I don't have any old routers or hard disks, it's pretty much from scratch.

    What it should do:

    - Connect an iMac, 2 MBPs, 1 or 2 printers, 1 sound system and phones/tablets wirelessly.
    - Serve as a wireless backup device.
    - Hard disks accessible from everywhere in the network.
    - Ideally media-streaming to the sound system without switching on the computers.
    The iMac is close to the modem/router, the sound system is in another room.

    What I was thinking about:

    - Get a TC 2TB and use it for the network and the backups of all machines.
    - Get an AirPort Express and use it to connect the sound system.
    - Buy external hard drives / a NAS solution for the media and hard disk access.

    My questions are then the following:

    - Will that work as planned?
    - Is there an advantage of an AEBS over a TC in that setup?
    - What is the advantage of a NAS over some external HDDs connected via a USB hub.

    Thanks a lot in advance.
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    I applaud your planned creation of the ultimate mancave ;) (or womancave). One thing about USB drives with the AEBS is that they are very slow due to the USB bottleneck. With multiple concurrent access request, the drive can get bogged down very quickly. Take a look at THIS thread; there is some good info in there about similar things. I recommend a Synology NAS, though. I've loved mine in the months I've had it, and its features are great.

    You get drive redundancy (get a 2 or 4-bay, and when 1 drive dies, your data is still safe and sound), the ability to remotely stream media to PS3 or ATV (it emulates an iTunes server and a DLNA media server). One note - no NAS can play iTunes DRM media without a computer running iTunes.

    One plus side to Synology. Buying one outright along with 2 drives is near the same price as a new baseline Time Capsule. HERE is a link to a review that I wrote about my 4-bay (but the 2-bay uses the same software). And HERE is their 2-bay device on Amazon. I'd recommend the WD Green drives to put into it. Note that if you choose to use 1-drive redundancy, you'll only have the available space of one of the drives. If this is not enough, you can get the 4-bay (DS411j) and 4 drives for just a bit more than the high-space Time Capsule.
  3. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    interested in this as well.

    I currently use my iMac as the WiFi out but want to have a better "system/network"
  4. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    If you want something that will just work as a backup solution, than I think you should consider a Time Capsule. Yes, people here will tell you it is overpriced for what it offers. But, what it DOES do, is provide a seamless, wireless backup of all of your computers that is fully SUPPORTED by Apple. It Just Works. That is worth something.

    The other NAS solutions are not fully supported by Apple. For example, it's my understanding that the Synology Time Machine will be broken by the Lion upgrade, until such time as Synology can provide an update to their NAS that supports the latest version of the Apple File Protocol. If you want to be held hostage to possibilities like this, then get a NAS for your backup solution. If you want something that will be guaranteed by Apple to work for your such a critical function as backups, get the Time Capsule.
  5. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Jun 29, 2010
    1 vote for the 2TB TC + Express + Air Disk External HD.

    You will love this setup and it will do it's thing without you ever noticing!

    I have the 1TB TC and an Express with speakers hooked up for Airplay and it all works great! Now thinking I might move my iTunes external HD to the TC and see how that works.
  6. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    At the very minimum, you're looking at an Airport Extreme and an Airport Express. You could buy an external HDD and hook it to the iMac and share it over the network. I think you can use Time Machine to back up the iMac as well as the MBPs this way. (caveat - the iMac would need to stay on or support wake-on-lan).

    Printers can be shared via the Airports or the iMac (again, the iMac would need to be on or support wake-on-lan).

  7. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    There's a review of Time Capsule on the Apple site (the only review under the new TC) that said if you don't back up for 10 days, it starts the backup over.

    Is this true? If so, it totally defeats the purpose of backup. Isn't backup supposed to be there for when your computer crashes and you have to get a new one and restore? What if that takes you more than 10 days?

    And like the reviewer said, what if I go on a trip or something and don't back up for 10 days, does it reset?

    Here's the link:
  8. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    If that's true, I don't think it's Time Capsule-specific, but rather Time Machine in general. It only resets if the computer connects to run again. It wouldn't just automatically delete the data after 10 days. If, after a month of repairs, you get your computer back you'll be able to restore from the backup no problem. However, if the shop doesn't erase/replace your hard drive, the backup will get erased when the machine connects to run the normal backup routine. For the second part about leaving for 10 days and returning, yes this would appear so; but the only thing lost is a night of backups.
  9. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Jun 29, 2010

    Never had this happen with my TC. No matter how long our MacBook Air is away from home, as soon as you open it and it connects to our home network Time Machine fires up and backs up to the TC.
  10. gruebl0r thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    Thanks for the great answers so far!

    I'm leaning towards a TC 2TB for pure backup issues and providing wireless, using an Airport Express for getting the audio signal to the speakers.

    What I wonder - is there no way to get itunes running with a NAS or something without turning on any of the computers? Can for example an iPad use the data on the NAS or the external harddrives?
  11. Bendy Walker macrumors regular

    Bendy Walker

    Jan 29, 2008
    Manchester, UK
    So you can't share hard drives using the Airport Express? Only a printer? I was considering getting an Express, plugging a USB hub into it and then plugging an external hard drive and printer into that.
  12. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    NAS' with iTunes sharing replication can play any media that is not DRM. For the DRM media, though, and iTunes computer is the only way to do it. If the media is actually stored on the iPad, though, so can airplay it to an ATV2. Or you can do XBMC. Synology also has its own video streaming (not transcoding) app for iOS, but as I use Plex I haven't ever tried it.
  13. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    No, you can't connect a HD to an Airport Express.
  14. gruebl0r thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    just ordered a TC 2TB and an AirPort Express. Found 2 external HDDs which I will use for a while until I made up my mind concerning the NAS. Will let you know what works and what not and might bug you with some more questions.
  15. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Jun 29, 2010
    Are you planning on having your iTunes Library on an external hard drive and connecting that to the TC? If so, let me know how that works out with music streaming and movies if you have them.

  16. mwhq, Jun 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011

    mwhq macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    Seems like this is a topic that is becoming more and more popular. A very relevant one at that and is increasingly difficult to find a solution so I'll throw in my 2 pence to what I have recently done.

    Before I explain, although the chances are minimal and the percentage may be small don't treat storage as a 'backup solution', 2 different things and, my setup might help explain and justify this.

    1. 1TB TC - Used for daily incremental backups of non media documents. e.g. spreadsheets, scanned documents, office files, documents, software, encrypted documents. Also used as my router for home network.

    2. 2TB G-DRIVE - Used to host iTunes movies and music.

    3. 500GB G-DRIVE Mini - For RAW Data i.e. unedited video and photos, images from clients etc. Basically anything kept in it's original state.

    4. 3TB G-Safe - Running daily backup (Carbon Copy) of 2TB G-Drive and 5OOGB G-Drive Mini

    5. 2x2 TB G-Drives creating daily backup of the G-Safe. 1 of these 2TB's are always kept offsite and rotated weekly meaning that if I get robbed, drives die or anything happens to my data, at worst I only lose a weeks worth of data.

    This may be extreme but I literally have my life over the past 6 years on these drives and to lose anything would be quite frankly devastating.

    How do I stream my data over the network you may ask? ATV2 can access my 2TB G-Drive connected to my MBP.

    In all 13.5TB's of love! :)

    NAS is a good solution if you want to really dive into it's features but for me this solution is the most robust I've had to date and fulfils my requirements.

Share This Page