How Do I Connect 3 External Drives To My WiFi Network?
November 4, 2011 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I've replaced an aging iMac with 3 external drives hanging off of it with a Macbook Pro with the same 3 external drives hanging off of it. The setup also includes a cable modem and a Time Capsule. Right now the drives are in daisychained Firewire mode. I'm looking for a way to connect the drives to my wifi network so I can eliminate the need to plug the first drive into the laptop? Staying with Firewire would be nice, but it's not a deal breaker.
posted by justcorbly to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
BTW, the cable modem is providing the wifi. not the Time Capsule.
posted by justcorbly at 3:16 PM on November 4, 2011

If you're willing to switch to USB, you could simply connect the three drives to a USB hub and connect that to the Time Capsule's USB port.
posted by lantius at 3:26 PM on November 4, 2011

If you're going to access the drives via wifi I don't think FireWire is going to give you any advantages over USB. The wifi speed will be the bottleneck.
posted by The Lamplighter at 3:30 PM on November 4, 2011

Two drives are for photo backup. One drive is a "work" drive for Aperture.
posted by justcorbly at 3:33 PM on November 4, 2011

For the record, a USB connection from the drives to the Time Capsule doesn't work. Perhaps because the Time Capsule is not used as a router.
posted by justcorbly at 8:04 AM on November 5, 2011

If the Time Capsule is connected to your wifi network (regardless of wether it is acting as a router) it should be able to share drives over your network, and I believe this is going to be the fastest wireless method you're going to find. I would check the Time Capsule's settings in Airport Utility to make sure that its file sharing capabilities are turned on. You SHOULD be able to connect more than one drive using a powered USB hub, as well. I have done this personally.
I am also assuming that the drives are Mac (HFS+) formatted. I am not sure the Time Capsule or AFP (the Apple File-sharing Protocol) plays nice with PC formatted drives.
For your Aperture work files, you are almost CERTAINLY going to want to continue to use a direct, wired connection. Wifi is way to slow to work well accessing large files, even if you've got 802.11n.
posted by raygan at 8:08 PM on November 5, 2011

If you're looking for a hardware solution, I've never used it but I think this might do the trick.
posted by raygan at 8:09 PM on November 5, 2011

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