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  1. #1
    Setup options for ideal communications b/t iMac, NAS, AirportExp/Ext, & TM for backup

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    Lightbulb Setup options for ideal communications b/t iMac, NAS, AirportExp/Ext, & TM for backup
    I am new to networking and need some schooling! System: iMac late 2012 model, 3.2Ghz i5, 24gb RAM. Just recently purchased a LaCie 2big-NAS (running their newest 3.0 OS) and currently have the most recent model Airport Express/MC414LL/A. Current connection path: Motorola SB6121 modem-->AExpress-->LaCie NAS. I am considering upgrading to an Airport Extreme since I am experiencing very slow back up times using Time Machine to the NAS (10+ hrs), but I don't even know if this is the cause of the slow speeds. I am trying to gain a better understanding of the setup and understand if there are any benefits, and/or if I am missing a piece of the puzzle to understand how these devices work. If I replace the AExpress with an AExtreme (5th gen or the newest??) and connect the modem-->extreme-->NAS, and then also connect an ethernet cable from one of the gigibit ports on the Extreme directly to the iMac's gigabit port, will Time Machine back up faster via this connection, rather than backing up over wi-fi as it seems to be doing now? Or do the gigbit ports on the extreme only supply "internet speeds" to the iMac? Would this type of connection actually act as a "direct" connection (via gigabit) from the HD/NAS to the imac since I am technically going via the express, or will I see better performance connecting the NAS to the iMac via USB for TM backup? I also have an AppleTV (3rd gen) in one room and an older model AExpress (1st gen) plugged in to my stereo system downstairs for airplay-ing music; not sure if these devices would benefit or interfere in any sense of the matter.


    When/if I do need to upragde to the newest Extreme base station model, for what purpose/how would I best use the Express to still get a benefcial usage for it??...connect to appleTV for some added connectivity? Since it doesnt have an audio line input like the older express I am using to stream music, I don't see the benefit in replacing the plug-into-the-wall express downstairs. If the AppleTV gets plugged into the Express directly via an ethernet cable, does this create a direct connection? Man, I feel like a noob right now....

    Now, I know that "The only NAS solution approved by Apple for Time Machine is Time Capsule" but honestly my previous Time Capsule died after 2 yrs, 2 mo after Apple Care expired; the thing burned up and wouldn't even power on. Luckily I was able to salvage the HD inside, which I now have in an external closure. So Time Capsule is not the ideal set-up currently for me, since I do not have a great sense of security in the device


    Other Apple products within the home: Late 2008 MacBook Pro is collecting dust on my sidetable, but occasionally connects via wi-fi from within my home, as well as 4th gen iPad and iPhone4S use the wi-fi connection. Old skool printer is plugged in via USB hub directly to iMac--not wireless capable.


    Suggestions for best setup, wiring, cables, equipment, etc and a bad technical spanking greatly appreciated ;-)

  2. #2
    Setup options for ideal communications b/t iMac, NAS, AirportExp/Ext, & TM for backup
    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sda56336 View Post
    Current connection path: Motorola SB6121 modem-->AExpress-->LaCie NAS. I am considering upgrading to an Airport Extreme since I am experiencing very slow back up times using Time Machine to the NAS (10+ hrs), but I don't even know if this is the cause of the slow speeds.
    Impossible to say without investigation the connection speed/interference/quantity of data/write speeds and cpabilities of the NAS etc.

    If I replace the AExpress with an AExtreme (5th gen or the newest??) and connect the modem-->extreme-->NAS, and then also connect an ethernet cable from one of the gigibit ports on the Extreme directly to the iMac's gigabit port, will Time Machine back up faster via this connection, rather than backing up over wi-fi as it seems to be doing now?
    That's very likely yes. In almost all situations a wired connection will provide a more robust and quicker connection.

    Would this type of connection actually act as a "direct" connection (via gigabit) from the HD/NAS to the imac since I am technically going via the express, or will I see better performance connecting the NAS to the iMac via USB for TM backup?
    Most NAS drive don't support data connection over USB. But a gigabit connection will provide better throughput than a USB2 connection (though it's to be noted that the type of data/disk speeds/other network traffic all play parts in this. There are few absolutes)

    I also have an AppleTV (3rd gen) in one room and an older model AExpress (1st gen) plugged in to my stereo system downstairs for airplay-ing music; not sure if these devices would benefit or interfere in any sense of the matter.
    If a G rated device is using an N rated wireless network the speed will drop to the lowest common denominator. Using a dual-band device like the Extreme will negate this as the G devices and N devices can be separated.

    When/if I do need to upragde to the newest Extreme base station model, for what purpose/how would I best use the Express to still get a benefcial usage for it??...connect to appleTV for some added connectivity? Since it doesn't have an audio line input like the older express I am using to stream music, I don't see the benefit in replacing the plug-into-the-wall express downstairs. If the AppleTV gets plugged into the Express directly via an ethernet cable, does this create a direct connection? Man, I feel like a noob right now....
    No benefit to connecting it the the AppeTV that has gigabit ethernet/n wifi already.
    Not sure I understand your audio connectivity comment. The Airport Express has optical and 3.5mm analog audio out for audio streaming. This is the same as the gen 1. The gen 1 doesn't have an audio input. In fact using it to replace your gen 1 gives you N rated wifi.

    Suggestions for best setup, wiring, cables, equipment, etc and a bad technical spanking greatly appreciated ;-)
    I'd get an extreme, connect the modem/NAS/iMac by cable.

    Replace the gen1 express with the newer airport express or use the newer express to extend the extremes wireless network if you have wifi deadspots.

    You may even consider connecting the printer to the extreme to make it available across the network
    External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post

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