Wireless storage advice sought...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jmdeegan, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. jmdeegan macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    So I am in a bit of a bind, and I wanted some outside opinions before I do anything.

    Here are some details of my setup, needed for background:
    ISP-Verizon FiOS with supplied ActionTec router
    PC-MacBook C2D
    Storage: 2x500gb external for backups and photos, 1x750gb for iTunes.

    So, a while back I had thought of an Apple Airport extreme or Time Capsule because the furthest Apple TV has issues with maintaining connectivity at times. But I skipped on that idea.

    However, now I am just more and more annoyed at having to connect my external drives every time I want to do anything with iTunes, so wirelessly connecting would be nice. Plus, my FiOS provided wireless has been getting worse.

    So I have a few scenarios in my head. Some involve the lower-cost AE option, others use the Time Capsule

    1-Airport Extreme, USB drive, possible WD or other external drive with gig-e capability.
    -this would allow me to have the draft-n abilities and retain my existing drive usablity, and the gig-e drive could come whenever, as needed. I still have 200gb open on the 750gb drive, but that should be gone in 6 months.
    I figure I can connect the AE to the FiOS router via wire (which has been fine), and then connect my drives etc to the airport and use that as my wireless feed.
    Also, I have several smaller drives (160-250gb) which I could use for the backups alone

    2-TimeCapsule 500gb + my 750gb drive
    Figure this would let me use the built in TC drive for my backups, since my macbook is only around 160gb of stuff, less than half permanent. Plus my itunes drive is still usable. But while having it in one nice package with less tethered devices could be nice.....I have more than 500gb available on drives now, so its hard to justify buying a new (small) drive.

    I am honestly leaning toward option 1 at this point, because I can spend 180 for the unit and use all my existing drives as I want to, and expand eventually with some NAS type hardware (synology or drobo perhaps), or just the lower end of the spectrum like WD MyBooks.

    I can deal with a drop in transfer speeds if it means so long as I have my iPhone/iPod cable I can sync it anywhere in my home, and also that I can access iTunes wherever without needing to connect my external drive to my macbook.

    any flaws or better options?
  2. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I use a mini + Drobo - mainly because I like knowing that I have another machine should my laptop decide to take a dump...I also use it as the main library for my AppleTV
  3. jmdeegan thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    So I've done even more thinking on this...and it hasn't helped much lol.

    Here is where I am at.....

    Option one:
    Use the AEBS which is on its way, and just plug in some drives to it. Does not achieve my end-result desired, however it does at least mean I can connect to itunes without the need for a physical drive hanging off my laptop.

    Option 2:
    Go whole hog, grab a Synology or DRobo device to hang off the AEBS, serve as the new larger iTunes repository plus storage. Liking this idea less and less, amazingly enough.

    Option 3:
    Snag a Mac Mini (not sure how important the specs are, if i can skimp and buy a slightly older model). Connect this to the AEBS, and hang any and all drives off of the mini, allowing the mini to serve 2 purposes, first it would replace my apple TV (which I would move to another tv), and also serve as the itunes server for the apple tvs. the second would be the general file server.

    Option 4:
    Take PC hardware I already own-cases, motherboards etc, and configure a machine just for purposes of a server with gobs of storage. Figure between option 3 and this one, these may be the best options, and price-wise probably similar in nature. However, especially option 4, I am likely looking at a solution that will be bigger and noisier than I intended initially.

    I actually see myself going to the visio diagrams to flesh out what all I want to accomplish and how. Problem is I am chasing too many objectives and losing focus. All this started with "I need more storage and something that can grow with me". Then I see Synology and others can drive surveillance cameras, and I want that. Home web server? Sweet. And it grows and grows in complexity....

    I may go with a 1tb or 1.5tb drive from WD or Seagate in the interim. Figure I can repurpose that device if/when a more robust solution is deployed.

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