Recommended ext hard drive for Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ttate01, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. ttate01 macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2012
    Hi all,

    New to the forum.

    I just picked up an Airport Extreme Base Station to pair with my Verizon Fios Actiontec modem/router in bridge mode.

    I'm very much interested in hooking up an external hard drive and enabling the network disk for our mac products in the house. I will ONLY be hooking up one hard drive - no printers, no multiple drives, etc.

    If I'm only looking to power one thing - what's the pros and cons of powered vs. non-powered? I'd like to get something I can plug in and leave plugged in, preferably a reliable drive that will go to sleep when not in use...any suggestions, mac-friendly brands, potential issues to be aware of, etc.?


  2. RedCroissant, Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012

    RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I'm a big fan of western digital. Not one of the hard drives of theirs has failed on me. And the externals that I am using now are all older than 3 years. SO I would recommend the WD MyBook Live. Ethernet connectivity and at $199.99 for the 3TB version at Best Buy.

    And the main pro of having a powered external is the fact that you can get higher capacity drives than the ones powered through usb. And since you want this to be a media hub thing for all your mac products, then you'll want a lot of storage. I am currently using my 1TB WD external with A/C power to store my iTunes library and have about 300 movies on there. I even accidentally dropped it when I was rearranging my room and it kept working just fine.
  3. ttate01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2012
    Does anyone know if the My Book 1, or 2 TB for Mac drives play well with the AEBS?

    Any major horror stories?
  4. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR

    I use them with my airport extreme, but I had issues with the "crapware" that makes a virtual CD that you can't unmount. After I used there smartware software to shut it down, and then removed all the traces it left in my system files (changed my USB icons) it was finally a useable drive, and works good.

    That being said, it was a major pain.
  5. ttate01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2012
    Thanks for the info, Red and Richdmoore!
  6. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    I would recommend powered as well, both for size/cost, and reliability.

    Also, for reasons I don't really understand, my AEBS will not recognize even individual powered drives (WD or my own HD put in a rosewill enclosure) if they're not hooked up via a USB hub. It makes no sense to me, but is consistent across every drive I've tried with it. Just a heads up in case you run into that problem.
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Many laptop hard drives (if you aren't careful) actually require more power than USB is spec'd for. My guess is that is the case you are running into. The external USB Hub is most likely powered and allows for a higher current draw than standard USB 2.0 specs. I have hooked about 4 portable external drives to my Airport Extremes with no issue.

    Edit: With that said, I recommend Powered preferrably with either a metal case or an active fan for drive longevity. Many cheap plastic cases cause hard drives to overheat killing the drive just after the warranty is up (in my experience).
  8. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    All of the drives I've plugged into the AEBS have had their own power supply (and were plugged in). That's why it's so confusing to me...
  9. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    I have three 2TB drives attached to my Airport Extreme, via a USB hub.
    One Hitachi USB2 2TB
    One Western Digital MyBook USB2 2TB
    One Western Digital Essentials USB2 2TB

    These drives did NOT work with the Airport Extreme, with or without the hub:
    One IOMega eGo 1TB USB2
    One Western Digital Green 1TB drive in cheap-ass USB3 case
  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    That is very strange then!
  11. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Did the other two not work because they're designed to be ultra energy efficient?
  12. Jayhova110 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2012
    how do I install the Western Digital MyBook Live 3TB on my macbook pro, since I dont have a cd drive on it?

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