How to set up a network-available external hard drive?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I have 2 laptops (a PowerBook and a PC - for work, I swear!) and I'm getting an iMac. Currently I'm using an external HDD for backups etc., hooking it up to both laptops when needed.

But I was wondering if now, with the addition of an always-on, immovable desktop computer, I can add external drives to it and use them for media storage and backups and have it be accessible from all 3 networked computers. So, I'd basically like to:

- Hook up an external HDD to the iMac

- "See" the external HDD from my laptops on the same wireless network.

Is this the best way to go about it at all? I'm also considering getting a NAS solution, but if it's possible to do the above without purchasing any additional equipment, I'd do it instead since I'm definitely pleased with my external.




  • Reply 1 of 5
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,841member
    Backing-up over a wireless network would be very slow. But yes, you can share the drive from the iMac.

    When you've got the iMac, go to the "sharing" pane of system preferences, and check "personal file sharing" (for sharing with Macs) and "Windows sharing" (for sharing with PCs).
  • Reply 2 of 5
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 760member
    You don't need an always on computer you need a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device.

    This is a hard disk with an ethernet port that you can connect to your wireless router. Sure it won't be fast over a Wireless network but should be suitable for back-ups.

    Here's one such device.

    This will allow you to use the drive on the laptops without the iMac being on or taking a performance hit.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,841member
    Originally Posted by Climax510

    All systems are running Windows XP.

    Sorry dude, you must have missed the name of this website.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    I split his post into its own thread.

    Asking your own new question in the middle of someone else's thread is called thread-crapping.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    I have a similar problem. I will post a new post with my question.
Sign In or Register to comment.