Setting up a network - Confused!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ad Pro, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. Ad Pro macrumors member

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    UK
    #1
    Hi, I have worked out a setup for my two macs so they both have backups and external file storage (see diagram). I have decided that I will need to set up some kind of network between the two macs but I am not really sure what to do. :confused:


    View attachment 91652


    I have two questions regarding setting up the network connection:

    1. I believe it is possible to set up a network between the two macs using just a firewire cable. How do I go about setting this up and is there any draw backs / things I should be aware of?

    2. Someone suggested setting up a Gigabit ethernet switch. Could someone please explain this in detail, tell me what it is all about, (I have very little knowledge on this) the advantages and how to set it all up. If this is the way to go could someone please tell me what I will need or give some recommendations on products.

    Also any other suggestions / adjustments I could make to the above diagram to make it more efficient or faster etc.
     
  2. admiraldennis macrumors regular

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    Boston, MA
    #2
    Yeah, you can do this. You'll first need to enable the FireWire network interfaces on both. This is done in System Preferences -> Network by adding another port with the 'Firewire' interface. From here, the easiest way is probably to enable internet sharing from ethernet to firewire on one machine and then simply connect the two with a Firewire cable. You can also do it by manually assigning IP addresses on the same subnet to both machines.

    The drawback is that you (basically) can not have drives on the same FireWire bus (hubs, daisy-chaining, etc) as both computers will try to use it.
     
  3. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #3
    Yeah, I would suggest going with option 2 to make things go the smoothest in terms of setup. Basically it works just like any old network.
     
  4. Ad Pro thread starter macrumors member

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    #4

    err... could you be a little more detailed please. How does the switch work (do i need a switch?). I presume that both machines plug into it and they can then connect, please explain how it all works.


    Does this mean there will be a problem with the file store being accessed by both computers, even though it is over a network?
     
  5. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #5
    Well you'd need a router. For instance, the airport extreme basestation is a gigabit router. You basically plug both computers in to it, turn on filesharing on your imac while setting up the applicable shares and your laptop will see the externals.
     
  6. Ad Pro thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    so am I right in thinking that using a router will enable both macs to access the external file storage with the MBP accessing it through the imac? would a simple firewire cable not do this (would the imac act as a server?)

    with a router would it be possible to attach the drives in another way (so the MBP was not accessing the files through the imac).

    I appologise for my lack of knowledge on this subject, thanks for your help:)
     
  7. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #7
    With an airport extreme you could attach the external drive directly to the airport, that way either machine could access it without the other machine needing to be powered on.
     
  8. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    San Francisco, CA
    #8
    It depends what you need the network for, but you should be able to create an ad hoc wireless network between the two (from the airport menu > Create Network), or if you want something faster, just run a Cat 5e cable between the two (although, this would be a problem if one of them is already using the ethernet port for internet access).

    ...If that's the case, just get a cheap router (or the airport extreme, if you're willing to spend the extra money).
     
  9. Ad Pro thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    The airport extreme does not have firewire though and I really need the speed of firewire. Any alternatives?

    I just need to know that there will not be any problems if both macs are trying to read/write to the HD. A router / airport with the drive connected to it would solve this i understand. Would it not work though if the HD was connected through the imac instead? Does there really need to be a router or can I just have a firewire cable between the two machines? :confused:
     
  10. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #10
    If you're transferring files wirelessly, you'll only get 54 Mbps compared to USB/Firewire at ~400 Mbps. The type of port on the router would not make any difference.

    Yes, I firewire cable between the machines should work fine.
     
  11. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #11
    Frankly I would do a setup like this:
     

    Attached Files:

  12. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    Raleigh, NC
    #12
    Ad Pro
    I'm a little confused by what you are trying to achieve, in a way.
    The fastest form for you on moving data is a firewire connection, but you will have to run a wire between the two computers.
    This kind of defeats the purpose of a laptop so to speak.
    You can use a router 1 wirelessly or wired with both computers too or if you don't want to spend the money, assuming both computers have airport cards you can connect to the desktop via your airport wireless connection with the laptop and vice versa and mount the drives to whichever computer.
    But this will be way slower then connecting via a cable firewire or cat5e.
    I hope this makes some sense to you.
     
  13. Ad Pro thread starter macrumors member

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    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Thanks for all your help. I got rather confused but I now have it sorted. Let me explain:

    On the apple site under time machine it states -
    "You can designate just about any HFS+ formatted FireWire or USB drive connected to a Mac as a Time Machine backup drive. Time Machine can also back up to another Mac running Leopard with Personal File Sharing, Leopard Server, or Xsan storage devices."

    this answers my questions (the one place I didn't think to look) I also found these threads:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=375896&highlight=share+hard+drive+network

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=377283&highlight=external+hd+sharing

    These explain how to use a drive for TM which is connected to another mac which you are connected to via a network.

    This means that my diagram would work and the MBP TM drive would be accessible via the imac over a network.


    View attachment 91725


    My reason for doing this is so that I only have one cable to plug in to my MBP to access the TM backup and other files from the file store.

    One remaining question:
    Will I also be able to mount the file store on the MBP when required so both macs can access my photo librarys at the same time?
     

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