Sharing your USB RAID enclosure through the Apple Airport Extreme?


macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
Has anybody here had any experience sharing a USB RAID enclosure through their airport? I'm considering buying a four port RAID enclosure and sharing it out through my airport but I was wondering if anybody could chime in to say if it's worked well or not for any reason. I did a similar thing before with a single USB drive and that worked fine, but I was wondering if I was overseeing anything by sharing out something such as a RAID5.


macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
In which sense are you intending to use RAID - for speed or for its backup options??

If its for backup, fair enough. If its for speed, then I wouldnt bother. It will be slow due to the USB bottleneck.
Ive only ever shared an external drive through the UAB port on my AEBS, and I didnt like the speed of it very much, although it did work pretty well connectivity wise.

Personally I would only ever recommend the sharing of drives via the AEBS for smaller files. For a RAID enclosure I would recommend you consider an external NAS solution which will connect to your AEBS with Gigabit ethernet. Its both fast, and fault tolerant.

I have a Synology NAS (I have videos of its setup and use on my AEBS on my Youtube channel - link in sig) but you cant go wrong with the offerings from both Synology or QNAP.


macrumors newbie
Sep 3, 2012
Experience with Synology (or any) NAS in Mac Environment

I'll add some feedback from a user that recently purchased a Synology NAS for use in a primarily Mac-oriented home.

My 1TB Hard Disk died in our iMac, which functioned as our central storage device. I opted to replace that HD with a 256GB SSD and wouldn't change a thing - our 2009 iMac is blazing fast. That said, I needed somewhere to store our data as 256GB wouldn't cut it (200GB iPhoto Library, large iTunes Database, etc).

I purchased a Synology DS211j NAS and installed (2) 3TB Hard Disks in a RAID 1 configuration. The NAS seems to function great, it's snappy, and has a bunch of cool tools for managing it. As soon as it was online, we migrated all our data to it. Since doing so, iTunes is slower and iPhoto is almost not usable (Imports no longer work, photos go missing, it's slower than snot). Instead of throwing an error like any decent software should, photos simply disappear. There are messages about this in various forums that iPhoto needs a Journaled Apple File system to work correctly (typical Apple). I'm not really sure what Apple had in mind when it comes to large data storage but they designed the applications so that they only work in a 100% Apple environment while giving users no fault tolerant storage devices.

While I'd really like to get this setup working, I'd have to recommend that anyone wanting to use a NAS with any Apple software to look at other options. From what I can, the only think Apple offers is a USB disk attached to an Airport Extreme. Apple's AFP/NFS implementation seems to be terrible too - I can get 5x the performance on a Windows machine vs any Mac machine on our network when communicating with the NAS.

Short of formatting these systems and installing Windows, I'm not sure what other options there are if I want to continue using a NAS. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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