View Full Version : Wireless router connection to External HDD, printer, etc.

07-17-2010, 03:18 PM
Hey everyone. I'm slightly tech-savvy but sometimes get dizzy from things as they get complicated (or I make them complicated).

I think I'm trying to do something pretty straight-forward and hoping to get some guidance. I'm on a MacBook Pro OS X 10.5.8 connecting to a cable modem thru a Linksys WRT54G2 V1.5 router. The router is also connected to a phone modem for Vonage.

I'm looking to get an HDD to use Time Machine (or other program) for backing-up as well as using the HDD for external storage, and would also like to hook-up to a printer wirelessly. I was thinking a 1TB drive would suffice, especially if I could later hook-up additional HDDs thru USB/Firewire, etc.

What I'd like to know is:

(1) Can I set-up an HDD to do Time Machine back-up and use as storage for media (music, video, pictures) simply by partitioning the drive? Or is it more complicated than that?

(2) Would I need a powered hub to link my router to the HDD, printer, etc? Do I need an NAS or can I just use a powered HDD to be linked directly to the router and printer, etc linked thru the HDD?

(3) If later on I wanted to link to my TV how would that be done? Can that be wireless too?

Any suggestions on particular hardware, etc would also be appreciated.

Thanks for your help.

07-17-2010, 10:27 PM
I have an apple airport extream base station with two additional switches and a USB hub hooked up to it. There are three external hdds hooked up to it via USB hub. Two of those are partioned for time machine and extra storage. Also a printer wired for wireless printing. The third hdd is for iTunes. So you can do it all.

You will need to probably upgrade you router to one with a USB port. Make sure that the router supports devices hooked up to it. Some routers that have a USB port only support USB thumb drives for transferring the router setup to other devices. If your MBP supports wireless N standard you will want that on your router as well, otherwise you will see a big slowdown in transferring large file and backups. Also during your first backup you should even use a wired connection to the laptop or it could take two days depending on what you have on there. Backups after that won't take as long.

For wireless TV you would need a tv that supports that. Some are wireless ready, which means you need to purchase a wifi dongle. Others have it built in. If that is not an option most blu-ray players now have that.

07-17-2010, 11:09 PM
The one thing I might add is that as far as Time machine is concerned you do not necessarily need to partition the drive. It is perfectly happy with other files on the same hard drive. When connected as you describe Time machine stores its backups in a sparsebundle. The sparsebundle adjusts its size according to the amount of space that it needs. Obviously the more space it has available the further back it can go in time.

Partitioning the drive is one way though of controlling the size of that file. My current TM file is over half a GB and goes back almost a year. It got that large because until recently I didn't have anything else on the drive. Almost wish I had partitioned it.

07-23-2010, 01:26 PM
Thanks for the input, I'll give it a try.