Shared storage/backup: airport+usb HDD vs. NAS vs...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jdavtz, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    We have an iMac and a MacBook in the house, and would like some shared storage and backup.

    Currently there's an (old, small) USB external hard drive which gets connected to either computer for backing-up important stuff (Aperture/iPhoto/Documents). This is done manually as I haven't found a backup program that will do it automatically when the drive is connected (any suggestions?)

    We don't have any shared storage at the moment. Some stuff is duplicated onto both machines; some stuff is just shared as and when both machines are on.

    What I'd like ideally (I think) would be to get the music/movies/(maybe photos?) off both computers, freeing up disk space, and onto a shared storage space. This would then need to be backed up - ideally automatically.

    I don't have much knowledge of the solutions available at the moment, and was hoping some MacRumors-ers could help me.

    It sounds to me like I basically want a network-attached RAID-ed pair of HDDs.

    Or, a network-attached disk with a USB/FW and an appropriate external HDD, and software somewhere that backs up the networked disk to the networked-and-USB'd disk.

    Or can I do something useful with an Airport Base Station thing? (Currently have Linksys ADSL modem/router/wireless - need ADSL connection for internet, which I believe the Apple Airport thing doesn't have - I presume I can connect it's 'WAN' port to a 'LAN' port on my current modem/router?

    Any ideas/options/specific hardware/software recommendations would be great.

    Cost is a consideration too. I'd be hoping to spend around £200 in total? (Not sure if that's realistic though). That's supposedly US$400, but probably actually only US$250 in real life prices! :)

    Thanks everybody!

  2. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    How do your machines connect to the internet now?
  3. jdavtz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    They connect wirelessly through the Linksys ADSL modem/router (which also has 4 ethernet ports).
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The lowest cost, most simple solution would be to connect a drive to the iMac, have the iMac "share" the drive over the network and then the MacBook could access the drive over the network. The only down side is that the iMac would need to be powered up all the time.

    If you don't like kepping the iMac on 24x7 then you need to find something else to connect the drive to the network. Apple's new router will do that but it costs $200. An old G4 Poser mac from eBay can do the job too. and they make disk enclusers with built in file servers (NAS). For light duty home use, just pick one. If performance is an issue or if you need LOTS of storage then the router or NAS enclosure is out

    I'd just run the iMac 24x7. With the LCD screen blanked to cost of the power is not much, lless then buying more hardware.
  5. kinesin macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2006
    One solution you might want to look at is the Linksys Nslu2 StorageLink for USB drives. It will turn any external USB drive into a NAS device, plus will a little bit of playing can 'upgraded' to provide extra functionally:D
    I basically followed the guide here to install a modified firmware and the itunes server. All my music has been copied on the NAS, and now I alway have my music available without having the master computer on. It just shows up as another itunes shared library - great for my Roku SoundBridge.

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