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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

AirPort Extreme Base Station / and ftp functionality


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arkoh

 
Member Since: Jun 21, 2009
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Hey there

I am considering bying a "AirPort Extreme Base Station", but I have to figure out if it is possible to attach a portable harddrive to it, and use it as an open FTP server... meaning, so that I can access it from anywhere and from both Mac and PC computers?

I think I have figured out that you can do this and access it from the me.com account, but that would only make it possible to use it as a "storage device" from my own Macs (and not really interested in the me.com account anyway!)... not as a mean of transfering large files between different computers!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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wmprice1240

 
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You can plug one external hard drive in to the provided USB port, or multiple external drives in via a USB hub.

Basically, what the AEBS does is allows you to access the hard drives as if it were a file share on another computer, no FTP is necessary. Windows machines can access the shares just fine as well.

I have this setup at home with 5 external drives plugged into my AEBS. I use this as my media server/hub like thing. Works perfectly.
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arkoh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmprice1240 View Post
Basically, what the AEBS does is allows you to access the hard drives as if it were a file share on another computer, no FTP is necessary. Windows machines can access the shares just fine as well.
Yeah... that is exactly what I am looking for!... I know it isn't like a ftp server, but I want it to function like one... It sounds to me like you only use it as a "media/Server like thing", from within your own private network! Is this correct? I really want it also to be accessible from my work computer as well, so that I can transfer big files from work to this home network "media/Server like thing"! Can you access your files from "outside" your network or??

Really Appreciate your help!
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wmprice1240

 
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Yeah, this wouldn't be a problem. You just need to open the appropriate port mapping in AEBS.

Note, as with any type of service that you open up to the outside world, careful consideration should be maintained for your data. Make sure to use strong passwords, encrypt data if possible etc.

Note, the other approach would be to open up one machine via SSH and copy files via SCP. This is much more secure really but requires a bit of a learning curve at first...however, the benefits will really pay off.
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arkoh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmprice1240 View Post
Yeah, this wouldn't be a problem. You just need to open the appropriate port mapping in AEBS.
Ehhhhhh... Talk english man!! ;-) Do you know of a tutorial/explanation online of how to get this working!? Sounds like a job for someone more qualified than me! Or at least have this person guide me!! ;-)

I have heard that AEBS is so easy to set up!? Well being an Apple product I wouldn't expect less, but is it so simple that even a simple man like me ;-) could figure out how to do what you say I need to do?
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wmprice1240

 
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LOL

Ok, well, first thing would be to look at the documentation that comes with AEBS, this is always a good first step for anything.

However, it's been awhile since I looked at the AEBS configuration utility and it appears that there is an easier way to set this up. When you configure the AEBS you will be given an option to share your disks over a WAN (that's your internet connection), you will simply need to check this off and you should be all set :-)

So, ignore that stuff I said about Port Mappings :-) Again, it wouldn't hurt to read the manual, however, it looks like AEBS does what you want it to do with very little effort on your part.
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arkoh

 
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Sound brilliant... think I'll give a go, and cry out my despair here, if I am about to throw the thingy out the window!! ;-)

Really appreciate your help and guidance!!!
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Skirmish

 
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You can access your files over the internet if you're AEBS is handling the internet connection - I had no luck port forwarding from my dsl modem/router to my AEBS. In my case this meant putting my DSL router in bridge mode and configuring the PPPoE settings in airport utility.
Like wmprice said, don't worry about the port forwarding settings in airport utility: just enable disk sharing over WAN and you should be alright.
I find it handy to use a free DNS provider to link to my home IP address so I don't have to remember the IP number. Then on mac you can enter the address into safari or the OSX connect to server panel "afp://myairport.dyndns.org". Haven't tried this through windows yet but the AEBS uses samba AKA windows file sharing protocol so you should be able to add myairport.dyndns.org as a network place.

On a side note, I've had reliability issues with this setup - the base station often hangs and even airport utility won't connect to it until I pull the power out & restart it. It still gives net access to lan clients but stops providing other functionality.
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