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AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule gain MobileMe sharing support

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
New versions of Apple's wireless base stations supporting USB shared hard drives -- AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule -- have gained remote file sharing features via MobileMe. A firmware update is also expected to extend the feature to previous-generation models.

Back to My AirPort

"Say youre traveling and you need a file on your Time Capsule back at home. If youre a MobileMe member using a Mac with Mac OS X Leopard, no problem," Apple says. "You can now access all the files on your Time Capsule drive over the Internet. Simply register your Time Capsule with your MobileMe account, and its drive appears in the Finder sidebar of your Mac just like any other attached drive. Its like having your own personal file server wherever you go."

A firmware update is soon expected to extend the new feature to existing models, in addition to the revised versions introduced today. Both units actually shipped with support for Wide Area Bonjour, but Apple didn't explain how to configure the systems, a procedure that requires setting up a public Dynamic DNS account and registering the base station with it.

With Mac OS X Leopard, Apple packaged a series of technologies together under the marketing name "Back to My Mac," including a Dynamic DNS service added to .Mac (now called MobileMe). Access to Dynamic DNS allowed Mac OS X to register its shared services, such as file shares and screen sharing, with MobileMe, making them discoverable, via Wide Area Bonjour, to any other Mac registered with the same MobileMe account.

Without the Dynamic DNS component, users would have to keep track of their home IP number (which is subject to change), manage port forwarding in Network Address Translation records for every system that was performing sharing, and supply the IP address and port numbers whenever they wanted to share files from a home system to a remote system. Back to My Mac handles all those tasks and relays them through MobileMe, making users' shares available to them anywhere on the Internet.



IPv6 Security

Back to My Mac also involves a security component. When a user on a remote system, authenticated with MobileMe, attempts to connect to a shared drive, a secure, encrypted IPv6 tunnel is created to protect the user's data from snooping as it moves between the home system and the remote computer over the Internet.

AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule can already be registered with a Dynamic DNS service. However, the soon to be released firmware update will automate this process by allowing users to simply enter their MobileMe account information into the base stations' configuration via AirPort Utility. Once configured, the base station will obtain the necessary security keys to set up secure remote access using the same MobileMe account.

The settings to enable a link with MobileMe will apparently be supplied in a base station firmware update numbered 7.4.1, according to a message posted by TUAW and attributed to an anonymous user with access to "the Apple Sales internal site." The current base station firmware version is 7.3.2. Once applied, the update will add a MobileMe button to the Advanced tab of the base station's configuration.

Note that this feature is not the same thing as certain "do it yourself" instructions posted on the Internet, which claim to "do the same thing without needing MobileMe" by simply opening up the base station's firewall and providing open and unencrypted access to its file shares.

Waiting for the other update to drop

The new firmware update will not provide new hardware-based features of the revised AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, including the ability to operate both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks at once or the ability to run a parallel guest network with its own password, isolated by firewall from the main network.

Apple has already begun distributing an AirPort Client Update which addresses issues with roaming and network selection in dual-band environments, and AirPort Utility 5.4.1 , which adds compatibility with the new features and client update. The 7.4.1 base station firmware is not yet available through Software Update nor Apple's software downloads site.
post #2 of 45
Will WDS finally be available over a full 802.11n network (not just an 802.11b/g compatible network)? And will this require the new hardware or will this be available with the previous Extremes?
post #3 of 45
Sounds groovy, but other than this somewhat sparse explanation:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Both of Apple's wireless base stations supporting USB shared hard drives, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, will gain remote file sharing features via MobileMe following a firmware update release....

What does this actually mean to the end user?
  • Does this mean my Time Capsule hard drive will be accessible over the internet?
  • Does this mean that my Home Computer will be? (cause it already is)
  • Does this mean that my computers will be accessible via MobileMe on the Internet regardless of what computer I am on?

I'm thinking (and hoping) it's that last one, since the first two would be useless or just duplication, but not everyone is in on the lingo here. It might be nice to take the time and explain what this actually is for the dummies in the audience like me.
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post #4 of 45
I have to agree with the poster above.

After having read this article twice, I still have no idea what new service this update will provide.

I already can see the machines using BTTM. I presume the idea is that the Time Machine HD or the HD attached directly to an Airport Extreme will now get their own IPv6 address so that they can be "served" as well?

This is my best guess from the article.
post #5 of 45
Will this mean we will have access to our Time Machine from anywhere? Will my laptop be able to back up to my Time Capsule at home when I'm at school, for example? That would be an excellent feature if it were secure.
post #6 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicSquirt View Post

Will this mean we will have access to our Time Machine from anywhere? Will my laptop be able to back up to my Time Capsule at home when I'm at school, for example? That would be an excellent feature if it were secure.

Agreed. That would be awesome.

I just hope it actually works. I have back to my mac enabled and I can see my home machine in my sidebar, but I can't ever seem to connect unless I'm on my home network \
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicSquirt View Post

Will this mean we will have access to our Time Machine from anywhere? Will my laptop be able to back up to my Time Capsule at home when I'm at school, for example? That would be an excellent feature if it were secure.

Unless Apple places a restriction on the amount of data sent, that would be really bandwidth-intensive and irresponsible.
post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Unless Apple places a restriction on the amount of data sent, that would be really bandwidth-intensive and irresponsible.

Considering how slow Time Capsule is to sync a few megs, I don't think the network has anything to worry about.
post #9 of 45
As a current first generation Time Capsule owner, I'd love the firmware upgrade to enable MobileMe access. Please let it be true.
post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Will WDS finally be available over a full 802.11n network (not just an 802.11b/g compatible network)? And will this require the new hardware or will this be available with the previous Extremes?

I thought that the WDS feature was used only when setting up b/g/n compatible networks and when using older Airports prior to Extreme. If your network is only Extreme n and/or Express n, you are able to do the same thing except you choose "Extend Wireless Network" instead of "Participate in WDS" in Airport utility. I may be wrong but this is what I just learned from the Apple Support forums this past weekend while setting up my Extreme and two new Express n's to extend my wireless network. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding your question. I can find and post the thread if you need the information.
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicSquirt View Post

Will this mean we will have access to our Time Machine from anywhere? Will my laptop be able to back up to my Time Capsule at home when I'm at school, for example? That would be an excellent feature if it were secure.

TM works over simple AFP (connect via the IP) but this is unencrypted. I sounds like you need MM for IPsec.
post #12 of 45
So could this mean you could stream from your home iTunes to your iPhone? (assuming an app was produced)
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post #13 of 45
Try Screen-sharing over the internet Mac to Mac using only technologies built into Leopard, quite tricky indeed. Very fiddly process that involves setting up the thing on the other end by enabling UPNP, among other things, and getting the other persons public IP address. Not exactly ideal. And even at that Dynamic DNS can become an issue depending on the brand of router you're sharing with.
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post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfneuralnet View Post

I have to agree with the poster above.

After having read this article twice, I still have no idea what new service this update will provide.

I already can see the machines using BTTM. I presume the idea is that the Time Machine HD or the HD attached directly to an Airport Extreme will now get their own IPv6 address so that they can be "served" as well?

This is my best guess from the article.

See updates to the article: This means you'll be able to access your Time Capsule's hard drive over the internet.

K
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post #15 of 45
I cannot use "Back to My Mac" feature because of our university network configuration.
post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

See updates to the article: This means you'll be able to access your Time Capsule's hard drive over the internet.

K

Apple would roll-out the Firmware pretty soon...

Consider that their AirPort Base and Time Capsule with those new features would complement a solution against HP's Home Media Server.

And it's like killing two birds with a stone.

Upgrade current customer's product, expand both Mac Products and iPhone usage.
post #17 of 45
Apple probably can enable it for older models with a firmware update, whether they will or not is another question entirely.

What's better for Apple:

[1] A few disappointed MobileMe customers because they can't upgrade.
[2] MobileMe customers spending anywhere between $179.00 and $499.00 on new wireless hardware.

Not forgetting the whole fiddle with subscription based accounting (see iPod touch vs iPhone updates).

Although technically this is more of a MobileMe feature and not an AirPort feature. I'm not sure how Apple recognises MobileMe revenue.
post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Try Screen-sharing over the internet Mac to Mac using only technologies built into Leopard, quite tricky indeed. Very fiddly process that involves setting up the thing on the other end by enabling UPNP, among other things, and getting the other persons public IP address. Not exactly ideal. And even at that Dynamic DNS can become an issue depending on the brand of router you're sharing with.

Not really, I found some guides online that worked awesome, just using iChat. Basically you need a second iChat account and you can set an automatic reply script that accepts any requests for screen sharing. Very simple to set up and works like a charm!

Unless you're talking about more fancy screen sharing?
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgetang View Post

Apple would roll-out the Firmware pretty soon...

Consider that their AirPort Base and Time Capsule with those new features would complement a solution against HP's Home Media Server.

And it's like killing two birds with a stone.

Upgrade current customer's product, expand both Mac Products and iPhone usage.

I agree. The cost of personal servers can be quite costly and usually seems to be overkill for most.

I also agree with the poster that Apple could stream iTunes content via an iPhone/Touch app and through MM itself. That would be a good competitor to Windows Home Server, which is quite solid and useable for a MS product.

I do wonder if such a feature might be best served with Snow Leopard's QuickTime X. Depending on your throughout, it would be nice to have auto-adjusted bitrate content for optimized streaming.
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post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree. The cost of personal servers can be quite costly and usually seems to be overkill for most.

I also agree with the poster that Apple could stream iTunes content via an iPhone/Touch app and through MM itself. That would be a good competitor to Windows Home Server, which is quite solid and useable for a MS product.

I do wonder if such a feature might be best served with Snow Leopard's QuickTime X. Depending on your throughout, it would be nice to have auto-adjusted bitrate content for optimized streaming.

You make a good point, and I believe Apple is doing that Microsoft did in the past.

Introducing 1 free tool at a time, and keep enhancing it.

We have iTunes, then Safari, who knows that's next.

But, Snow Leopard, could probably do what you just said, realtime compressing your music and movies to stream them via Internet to your iPhone, iPod Touch or MacBook's.

That'll help them sell more Mac's, right?

People would bxtch about TC not enough storage.

However, let's look at Apple's business, are they in the storage business? Heck, no.

That's why they still have AirPort Extreme Base Station.

All they want is to spreading their coverage, like iPods. More people who find it ease-of-use, and reliable, customer base would keep growing.

After all, recent global economic impact, Apple is the only company that has been shipping more hardwares (relatively comparing to Dell and HP).
post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

So could this mean you could stream from your home iTunes to your iPhone? (assuming an app was produced)

There is already an app called "Simplify Media" that allows you to stream your music from a home computer to an iPhone or iPod touch. It requires a desktop app, and works on both Mac and PC. The app is $3.99 and the desktop app is free.
post #22 of 45
I just bought the 500gb version like 10 days ago. Can I exchange for the new one?
post #23 of 45
Okay, so no one has replied with what the heck this thing actually is, but the article looks a little clearer now in that we seem to be talking only about sharing the Time Capsule drive over the Internet.

What I don't get however, is why this is even interesting or such a big deal?

The Time Capsule drive is almost always going to contain the Time Machine backup only and the majority of users will use the *single* USB port for the printer. Given that membership in MobileMe already gives you an iDisk which can also be mounted in the sidebar and also accessed from anywhere in the world, why should I care about having access to my backups over the Internet?

Sure I can connect a *larger* drive than the iDisk, but how much data are you going to be moving over an encrypted tunnel on the Internet anyway? It's not like this would be a good solution for movie files or anything. It seems almost certain that this will be slower as well.

This is far from a "useless" idea, but it's hardly something that deserves the fanfare it's getting from some quarters this afternoon IMO. A few folks that have a giant USB HD attached to their Time Capsule *might* be able to get access to those files (very slowly) over the Internet? I am so under-whelmed. What am I missing?
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post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Okay, so no one has replied with what the heck this thing actually is, but the article looks a little clearer now in that we seem to be talking only about sharing the Time Capsule drive over the Internet.

What I don't get however, is why this is even interesting or such a big deal?

The Time Capsule drive is almost always going to contain the Time Machine backup only and the majority of users will use the *single* USB port for the printer. Given that membership in MobileMe already gives you an iDisk which can also be mounted in the sidebar and also accessed from anywhere in the world, why should I care about having access to my backups over the Internet?

Sure I can connect a *larger* drive than the iDisk, but how much data are you going to be moving over an encrypted tunnel on the Internet anyway? It's not like this would be a good solution for movie files or anything. It seems almost certain that this will be slower as well.

This is far from a "useless" idea, but it's hardly something that deserves the fanfare it's getting from some quarters this afternoon IMO. A few folks that have a giant USB HD attached to their Time Capsule *might* be able to get access to those files (very slowly) over the Internet? I am so under-whelmed. What am I missing?


Well, I guess as any Mac user, we want to see Apple's solution to HP's Home Media Server.

Something that we could do beside backing up our Mac's, being able to access remotely to our backup files. And at the same time, access our Music, Movies and Picture.

So that's what all the discussion is about, in my opinion.
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Okay, so no one has replied with what the heck this thing actually is, but the article looks a little clearer now in that we seem to be talking only about sharing the Time Capsule drive over the Internet.

What I don't get however, is why this is even interesting or such a big deal?

The Time Capsule drive is almost always going to contain the Time Machine backup only and the majority of users will use the *single* USB port for the printer. Given that membership in MobileMe already gives you an iDisk which can also be mounted in the sidebar and also accessed from anywhere in the world, why should I care about having access to my backups over the Internet?

Sure I can connect a *larger* drive than the iDisk, but how much data are you going to be moving over an encrypted tunnel on the Internet anyway? It's not like this would be a good solution for movie files or anything. It seems almost certain that this will be slower as well.

This is far from a "useless" idea, but it's hardly something that deserves the fanfare it's getting from some quarters this afternoon IMO. A few folks that have a giant USB HD attached to their Time Capsule *might* be able to get access to those files (very slowly) over the Internet? I am so under-whelmed. What am I missing?

First, I think you're exaggerating the fanfare. This was barely even announced by Apple, and has gotten only a few mentions among all the other announcements today.

Second, I think you're missing the fact that there's a huge difference between accessing all of your files and accessing only those files that you've specifically put on iDisk. Lots of people have multiple machines at work and at home, or take their laptops with them but don't keep their desktops on and accessible at all times. Access to all your files from anywhere is a definite step up in convenience for people who are constantly swapping files around between work and home machines and laptops.

And there's also the obvious eventual iPhone integration...
post #26 of 45
Can you connect something like this: http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11118 to a time capsule or airport extreme and be able to access the contents using the new feature in mobileme?
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

... I think you're missing the fact that there's a huge difference between accessing all of your files and accessing only those files that you've specifically put on iDisk. ... Access to all your files from anywhere ...

How is access to your Time Machine or a USB drive connected to it, "access to all your files"?

Seems the same as iDisk to me.
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post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

So could this mean you could stream from your home iTunes to your iPhone? (assuming an app was produced)

The iPhone App and Mac client by Simplify have been providing this functionality since the Summer of '08

It was free then, but several updates later, costs just a few dollars today.

Works Perfectly!!!

Nothing like having full access to my 60GB's of music, on my 16GB iPhone.
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

How is access to your Time Machine or a USB drive connected to it, "access to all your files"?

Seems the same as iDisk to me.


On an attached Hard Drive, one could access more than just 20GB of files.

Limited only by the size of the hard drive. Can anyone say "Terabytes Of Files"
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffyzDead View Post

The iPhone App and Mac client by Simplify have been providing this functionality since the Summer of '08

It was free then, but several updates later, costs just a few dollars today.

Works Perfectly!!!

Nothing like having full access to my 60GB's of music, on my 16GB iPhone.

I downloaded Simplify for free when it was first introduced, but hasn't been using it frequently because I think you have to keep your Mac at home awake all the time, is that true? Does it work even when you put your Mac to sleep?
post #31 of 45
this does make me chuckle, just a little. A great idea, although no different to solutions from Buffalo Linkstation etc.

What makes me laugh the most though is that Apple has never managed to successfully implement Back to my Mac, and now they expect to believe this works.

Whilst there are people out there who have got BTMM working, I have at least 20 friends who use Mac's who can not.

I think they need to be working on getting BTMM working first, then introducing a product of this type.

I can already see the Apple forums filling up with frustrated individuals who can't get this working on their new HD... LOL
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Okay, so no one has replied with what the heck this thing actually is, but the article looks a little clearer now in that we seem to be talking only about sharing the Time Capsule drive over the Internet.

What I don't get however, is why this is even interesting or such a big deal?

The Time Capsule drive is almost always going to contain the Time Machine backup only and the majority of users will use the *single* USB port for the printer. Given that membership in MobileMe already gives you an iDisk which can also be mounted in the sidebar and also accessed from anywhere in the world, why should I care about having access to my backups over the Internet?

Sure I can connect a *larger* drive than the iDisk, but how much data are you going to be moving over an encrypted tunnel on the Internet anyway? It's not like this would be a good solution for movie files or anything. It seems almost certain that this will be slower as well.

This is far from a "useless" idea, but it's hardly something that deserves the fanfare it's getting from some quarters this afternoon IMO. A few folks that have a giant USB HD attached to their Time Capsule *might* be able to get access to those files (very slowly) over the Internet? I am so under-whelmed. What am I missing?

Well, I don't think there's been much fanfare -- AI is the first place I've read about this. As an owner of a last gen AEBS I'm very happy with this update. I have my large music collection stored on a 1TB disc connected to me Airport (via a US?B hub -- so the *single* USB port isn't an issue -- I have another disc connected that holds my TM backup). It will be great to be able to access my full iTunes collection remotely (hopefully the disc will mount with the same name, so iTunes doesn't have any issues).

The update will be free, and I'm all for something for nothing!
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

As an owner of a last gen AEBS I'm very happy with this update. I have my large music collection stored on a 1TB disc connected to me Airport (via a US?B hub -- so the *single* USB port isn't an issue -- I have another disc connected that holds my TM backup)

I was just going to ask - with this new AEBS can I do Time Machine backups just like with the Time Capsule? That is, I don't wan't to have to run a hack to run Time Machine backups over any network drive - I'm hoping that the regular AEBS finally supports AFP instead of SMB, just like the Time Capsule. It's annoying because Apple doesn't specify it in the tech specs, nor do they tout it as a feature - obviously trying to drive you to a time machine.
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

I was just going to ask - with this new AEBS can I do Time Machine backups just like with the Time Capsule? That is, I don't wan't to have to run a hack to run Time Machine backups over any network drive - I'm hoping that the regular AEBS finally supports AFP instead of SMB, just like the Time Capsule. It's annoying because Apple doesn't specify it in the tech specs, nor do they tout it as a feature - obviously trying to drive you to a time machine.

What hack are you talking about? I have a 500GB drive connected to my AE and Time Machines works just fine. I didn't have to hack anything.

Joe
post #35 of 45
RE previous model AE...

Here is a good mystery! Since Christmas day my wife's MacBook has happily run lid closed connected to the LCD Monitor. This has been a delightful set up as the dock auto swaps to the large screen and the MacBook stays stone cold. The MacBook uses an Airport Extreme 'previous to yesterday' model .11n / 5 GHz.

About two or three weeks ago she noticed a lot of network drop outs and i spent almost a day trouble shooting to no avail. The problem got worse to the point today the MacBook failed to even see the AE. It managed to see it after several retries but failed to get past WEP2 which it asked for even though Keychain has that password.

To cut a long story short I discovered if the MacBook ran lid open and I manually set the dock to the LCD with Monitor Prefs, the AE was seen immediately and full speed was restored. Closing the lid once connection was established and connection was maintained but speed dropped to the KB/s range from the 12 Mb/s range (We have FiOS 20Mb/s)..

So for now at least she is back in action only now with the lid open. So why did it work for almost two months and not now? I can only see two possibilities, a hardware fault has developed or an update has messed with something.

Any others seen this? If this seems a little off topic I wanted to know if this happened on new AE when someone with a MacBook and LCD gets one
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post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quake97 View Post

What hack are you talking about? I have a 500GB drive connected to my AE and Time Machines works just fine. I didn't have to hack anything.

Joe

This illustrates a problem with Google, love it as i do. There were loads of such posts on how to get it working in the very early release. I wish Google had a prominent date associated with all posts. This chap probably found these and didn't realize they were totally out of date posts. Just a guess but quite likely.
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post #37 of 45
Okay, I ran the updates, now how do I turn the file sharing on? I have a Drobo connected to my AE but I see nothing in MobilMe that allows me to "register" the drive.
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post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

Okay, I ran the updates, now how do I turn the file sharing on? I have a Drobo connected to my AE but I see nothing in MobilMe that allows me to "register" the drive.

I see no changes after update either but then I have not seen a firmware update for my AE yet either, perhaps that is still to come?
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post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

How is access to your Time Machine or a USB drive connected to it, "access to all your files"?

Seems the same as iDisk to me.

Eh? They're different because "all of your files" are backed up on Time Machine, but not on iDisk.
post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokken View Post

I downloaded Simplify for free when it was first introduced, but hasn't been using it frequently because I think you have to keep your Mac at home awake all the time, is that true? Does it work even when you put your Mac to sleep?

I agree. I have all my tunes on my TC and access it over wifi at home on multiple macs.

Simplify is great for streaming to my iphone if I leave my mac at home and turned on (which in practice I never do). My TC however, is always on.

It sounds like with this solution I get the same capabilities of Simplify (and more) but without having to run an application and it can also be accessed by my work mac or my laptop or any mac I use while I'm out and about. Sounds like a Simplify killer to me.
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