What exactly can I do with an airport outside of the usual?

Mojo67821

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 20, 2006
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I know I can hook up speakers, and I know I can hook up a printer, but what is there any other sort of wireless stuff I can do with this?

Mainly I want to know if I can hook up an external drive to the airport to play music from. I ask because I don't have any music on my internal drive, as it's a laptop with bootcamp and not much HDD space left at all.

I also read that you can have a home "network" with the airport express, what exactly does this mean? Filesharing between computers?
 

Ugg

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Apr 7, 2003
1,991
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Penryn
You can't hook up an external hard drive directly to the Airport unless it has wireless capabilities. I've never heard of a hard drive that does.

You can network and yes, it's basically filesharing. I network with my sister's PC whenever I visit in order to directly transfer photos, etc.
 

arcsbite

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Jan 14, 2006
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Ugg said:
You can't hook up an external hard drive directly to the Airport unless it has wireless capabilities. I've never heard of a hard drive that does.

You can network and yes, it's basically filesharing. I network with my sister's PC whenever I visit in order to directly transfer photos, etc.
I know envisage sell wireless hard drives.

well, they take a power cord, which makes them none-wireless, but they are connected to your machine wirelessly...

...never really saw the point.
 

dylan

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2005
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You can also do lots of neat stuff with Apple's Bonjour technology. iTunes Music and Video sharing (with Front Row now too), iChat text, audio and video chats; big bang board games; to name a few.

The best part is there is virtually no setting up required any computer with an airport card configures itself.
 

superleccy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2004
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That there big London
Ugg said:
You can't hook up an external hard drive directly to the Airport unless it has wireless capabilities.
Couldn't you get an External HDD with a network interface (I think LaCie do them, amongst others) and plug that into the ethernet port of (say) an airport express?

I have been thinking about doing this because I have 2 AXs. The Ethernet port of my first one has my ADSL modem plugged into it, but the Ethernet port on the other one is just unused at the moment.

SL
 

blodwyn

macrumors 65816
Jul 28, 2004
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Portland, Oregon
superleccy said:
Couldn't you get an External HDD with a network interface (I think LaCie do them, amongst others) and plug that into the ethernet port of (say) an airport express?

I have been thinking about doing this because I have 2 AXs. The Ethernet port of my first one has my ADSL modem plugged into it, but the Ethernet port on the other one is just unused at the moment.

SL
You sure can, but the ones I've tried are painfully slow - feels about the same as the old USB 1.1 transfer rates. Also because you connect via SMB, you can bump into some occasional illegal characters in file names. It works, but don't expect much in the way of performance.
 

Mojo67821

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Original poster
Apr 20, 2006
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arcsbite said:
I know envisage sell wireless hard drives.

well, they take a power cord, which makes them none-wireless, but they are connected to your machine wirelessly...

...never really saw the point.
The point for me is I have a laptop, and my music is stored on an external HD. Therefore, I want to be able to be using my laptop from anywhere in my apt and be able to hear music, without all the extra wires of an external hdd and speakers.

I can't seem to find these envisage drives you speak of, could anyone point me in the right direction?
 

superleccy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2004
978
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That there big London
Mojo67821 said:
I can't seem to find these envisage drives you speak of, could anyone point me in the right direction?
Here, for example.

I have often considered doing the same thing, but I'm not 100% convinced the performance will be good enough. Airport Express/Extreme will give you a maximum of 54Mbps (compare this to the 400Mbps of Firewire), which you will have to share between the serving of files from the network drive to iTunes, plus the "second leg" of streaming the files back to the AX. Plus, typically you'll be wanting to surf the Internet at the same time too.

Has anyone actually got this working?

SL
 

Mojo67821

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 20, 2006
196
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superleccy said:
Here, for example.

I have often considered doing the same thing, but I'm not 100% convinced the performance will be good enough. Airport Express/Extreme will give you a maximum of 54Mbps (compare this to the 400Mbps of Firewire), which you will have to share between the serving of files from the network drive to iTunes, plus the "second leg" of streaming the files back to the AX. Plus, typically you'll be wanting to surf the Internet at the same time too.

Has anyone actually got this working?

SL

I'd like to know if this setup works before I spent all that money on a drive :)

So essentially you're plugging the ethernet drive into the airport and using it as a network drive? So then you access it wirelessly from your airport enabled computer, and then stream music back to the airport station? Just wanted to make sure I understand this correctly.
 

SC68Cal

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2006
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I'm sure you can take an ethernet NAT and plug it into an Ethernet bridge and bam, wireless storage. Frankly though, it's cheaper and more practical to just have it connected right next to the router anyway. Faster speeds and the whole idea of NAT is to have everything in one location, not have it moving around.
 

pastover

macrumors newbie
Jul 11, 2006
1
0
I've been wondering the same thing, about connecting an ethernet hard drive to my second AX and using it as a network drive, specifically for backing up 3 family laptops. I'd also like to store photos on it. High speed wouldn't be essential with the backups, but I'm curious how slow iPhoto would be with the image files stored on the networked drive (assuming one CAN use the ethernet jack of the 2nd AX for that purpose). Any real-life experience out there would be very welcome...
 

BAspecialCake

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Jul 10, 2006
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0
Live on the IGN Boards
Mojo67821 said:
The point for me is I have a laptop, and my music is stored on an external HD. Therefore, I want to be able to be using my laptop from anywhere in my apt and be able to hear music, without all the extra wires of an external hdd and speakers.

I can't seem to find these envisage drives you speak of, could anyone point me in the right direction?

If you like terribly slow transfer times....
 

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