Resolved Which external drive for AE base station?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kwill, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Kwill, Mar 11, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

    Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    New purchases planned this year:
    • 2 iPhone 5
    • 1 iPad 2
    • 1 AirPort Extreme base station
    • 1 2TB External
    For gigabit network of 2 Macs (G5 Tiger + iMac Snow Leopard), 1 PC (Windows XP) and 6 printers. Obviously, iPhone 5 has not yet been released. I was hoping to hold out for a true 4G but my current iPhone is aging badly (buzzing, no wifi, dead pixels, slow).

    My current AE base station does not support 802.11n. Don't want this to be a bottleneck for iPhone and iPad wifi. The AE guest feature is also nice. However, theres a $320 premium for the built-in 2TB version. External 2TB drives are going for around $90-150. So I plan to get the standard AE base station.

    1. Will I achieve maximum wireless speed on my network?
      Sometimes wifi is necessary to control iTunes via iPhone Remote app.

    2. Which external 2TB drive is recommended for network backups (via CCC)?
      Based on number of votes on NewEgg, Western Digital Elements 2TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive WDBAAU0020HBK-NESN seems to be top pick.
  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    If you're planning to use this drive as a NAS, get a stand-alone NAS. You'll have far more functionality.

    If you're planning to use this drive as a wireless TimeMachine drive, don't. The functionality is flaky at best.

    Don't get the IOMega external USB drives. For some reason, IOMega chose to have their USB drives represent themselves differently than most other USB drives, so non-computer devices don't seem to work properly with them.

    I have one of those 2TB Western Digital Elements drives and it works beautifully, even with non-computer devices.

    Unless your Internet connection is >50Mbps (unlikely in the US) AND your devices will support that speed (iPhone 4 won't even do that!), you may be wasting your money upgrading to Wireless-N. If you're doing a lot of file copying or backups over wireless, Wireless-N will help. An Ethernet network will help more, but I realize sometimes that's not the best solution.

    That being said, I think you're the first person I know that has more printers than computers. :)
  3. Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Thanks. A few years ago I purchased a LaCie Big Disk NAS. The plus was that it supported gigabit EN. It crapped out after a few months though. Thought the AE would be a more reliable option.

    I have an external 750GB HD for the iMac. If the 802.11n will not be any better for iPad/iPhone then perhaps I can get a larger drive and forego the new AE for now.
  4. Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    #4 Results for iPad

    I received my iPad a couple of days ago and am loving it !!!
    I ran speed tests ( to compare iMac with iPad 2 at same location and host.

    iPad 2 via round white AEBS WiFi:
    12.80 Mbps Download
    0.94 Mbps Upload
    41 ms Ping​

    iMac 2.4GHz C2D via Gb EN cable:
    18.00 Mbps Download
    0.97 Mbps Upload
    11 ms Ping​

    Best results on for the area are:
    24.16 Mbps Download
    0.98 Mbps Upload​

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