Using a network drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ajo, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. ajo macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2006
    I currently have a main computer which is on a wireless network and I am using it also as a network drive to access and view files over the network.

    I am planning on keeping this PC just for that use once I get an imac, what I am wondering is, is weather viewing files wirelessly over the network on a network drive will be slow on the mac.

    Im talking about for instance iPhoto, all my photos will be on the networked drive but viewd on iPhoto (i am currently doing this with picassa).

    Will this slow things right down and effect performance?
  2. PYR0M310N macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    well i'm not sure how to intend to link iphoto and picasa, but good luck!

    It shouldn't slow it down to much, but depends a lot on your connection. I'm on a 8mb now but when it was 2mb it seemed fine, so wouldn't worry about it.
  3. Kelmon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2005
    United Kingdom
    OK, I think that there are 2 questions here.

    Firstly, can you connect your Mac to the PC which is acting as file server? Yes. Basically, you setup a shared folder under windows and then use the Mac's Finder to Go To Server (it's under one of the Finder's menu items or, I think, Command-Shift-K) to open a connection to the URL "smb://yourPCsIPAddressOrDNSName/shareName" after which you will need to enter a valid Windows username/password combination to log onto the shared directory.

    Secondly, will performance over a wireless network be slow? Almost certainly, although it depends on the size of the pictures and the speed of your network. A remote connection will always be slower than a local disk and a wireless network will almost certainly be slower than a wired ethernet network. As far as I am aware, however, there is no performance penalty from using a Mac - a wireless PC connecting would be just as slow.
  4. MikeTheC Guest


    Apr 26, 2004
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    Sharing is not an issue, and as the steps to do it have already been discussed above, I won't repeat them here.

    However, you absolutely will take a performance hit in accessing it remotely.

    Actually, you take two performance hits. The first one is that network access, short of using Gigabit Ethernet, will impose a penalty right there. On top of it, wireless is (or can be) painfully slow, especially when dealing with large files, or large numbers of moderately-sized (or bigger) files.

    However, there is a saying, which bears repeating here: "Your mileage may vary."

    The only way that you'll know if the transfer speed will be either accetable or unacceptable for you is to set it up and see what happens. Now, having said that, there are some options.

    The absolute least expensive one is to used a wired connection from your PC to a router, and then from the router via a wired connection to whatever computer(s) you want to have access. Even if you have to buy a Gig-E card for your PC (someone correct me if I'm wrong, but don't all Macs at this point come with Gig-E standard?), it's likely still going to be a fairly inexpensive option.

    Note: This assumes your router itself supports Gig-E. If not, then you'll have to find another solution.

    Alternatively, you could buy an 802.11n card for your PC, and (when they become available) an 802.11n adapter for your Mac, and use that. It should, from what I understand, help a local WiFi network boost data throughput. However, this is going to cost you more, since you're buying two adapters, and the one for your Mac will inevitably be some kind of external adapter. You should also keep your ear to the ground for third party Mac drivers for the various and assorted adapters out there, since there is something of a cottage industry that's grown up around supporting various non-Mac-supporting network-related products.

    Again, you won't know how desperate (or not desperate) you'll be for any of these alternatives until you actually try it out.

    Good luck!

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