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Best network drive for mac and pc

That said, don't expect your pig in lipstick to be a screamer. Most aging desktops would be an improvement over my 5-year-old laptop with its slow 2. Browsing large folders of files hung the system on numerous occasions, and streaming of video files especially seeking was choppy. Extras like an integrated BitTorrent client are available as well as open-source add-ons, but again, expect some heavy tinkering. Still, if you have unused hardware, try this option first.

Living with Windows: sharing drives | Macworld

This was with a few older non-Apple I was wrong. Verdict : In day-to-day use for media storing, sharing and streaming, the AirPort Disk works pretty much without a hitch. In both cases, setup took literally 15 seconds after plugging in the drive—there are only a few config options to deal with in the AirPort Utility app to set access controls—and after that, it appeared as a shared volume source on Windows machines and Macs automatically. Browsing files and loading music in iTunes loaded without any noticeable difference from when my library was connected via USB, and streaming large video files to a PS3 with UPnP was skip-free.

Chances are, you already have a USB drive and maybe even the AirPort, so the cost goes down considerably. I do recommend acquiring a RAID 1 dual-drive, though.

The Best Storage Solution for Apple Users

Keep in mind, part of this sunk cost includes a solid There are, of course, several other If you've had a good experience with any of these when connecting via both PCs and Macs, let us know in the comments. Go too cheap, and your box probably won't support the Mac-tastic AFP. And even if it does, its performance may still be under par and its add-on features may not be good enough to warrant the added expense.

Above the improved compatibility, it throws in tasty perks like a BitTorrent manager for downloading directly to the NAS, UPnP for streaming to a compatible TV or PS3, and a nice web-based control interface you can access from anywhere.

The 12 Best NAS (Network Attached Storage) to Buy in 12222

Verdict: Performance was the sour note here, surprisingly. While a large file transfer took roughly same amount of time as it did on the other configurations, doing things that required many quick reads, like opening my iTunes music folder with thousands of artist subfolders in Finder, took days on either a MacBook Pro via AFP, or a PS3 via UPnP. Form factor usually relates to two essential factors: aesthetics and total number of bays. When considering the cost, read the fine print of each device to see whether the device is shipped with hard drive disks pre-installed or whether hard disks need to be purchased separately.

Most devices offer enterprise support in the form of user account management, while higher end models may feature an onboard FTP service for greater file sharing flexibility. Their models are enormously popular with Mac users, especially video editors and designers, because of their ease of integration, customizable storage capability, and functionality. Several versions are available, each offering with different number of drive bays — from two with 20TB of storage at 10TB a piece to eight and more. Even if a natural disaster fries or drowns the electronics, the hard drives are deeply buried and protected, so data retrieval is always possible.


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It sports a slimmed down form factor with a white shell, and looks at home next to any Apple device. While it cannot back itself up, there are other options for NAS device backup through cloud and third-party providers, such as Acronis. Issues can arise when leveraging the convenience, ease-of-use, and user preference of Mac computers with NAS in Windows-based network environments.

NAS devices often work in conjunction with Windows Servers and DFS for a single namespace for all shares, for example, and enterprise admins increasingly look to Windows-based environments for a cost effective and scalable network solution.

How To Map A Network Share To Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks) Permanently

Heterogeneous environments in which Mac users work alongside Windows network servers and Windows users are plagued by compatibility issues. These include data loss, file corruption, loss of essential Mac features Spotlight search etc. Mac users can turn to NAS for huge cost and convenience benefits.

Acronis Files Connect is a better, alternate solution to this, however — and removes the need for AFP support.


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All rights reserved. Acronis Files Connect. Read along to learn how to map a network drive and avoid some common NAS mistakes. It may be easy to drag and drop files to something like Google Drive or Dropbox, but just a bit of drive mapping can make using a network drive a fantastic cloud alternative. Nowadays, most NAS devices are seriously easy to map.


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  6. Maybe you have a server in your office with a connected network drive and want all your employees to be able to connect to it so they can collaborate on shared documents. If you want to keep a Mac connected to a network drive, even after restarting, the easiest way to do this is to follow the three steps above then add these:.

    Now, your network drive will be mapped and automatically remounted when you reboot your Mac.

    Living with Windows: sharing drives

    Depending on your settings, mounted drives may not always appear on your desktop. If, however, you want your NAS device to always be just one double-click away in the same way that most people have Macintosh HD as a visible item on their desktop just follow these steps:. Managing, or working across, multiple departments that each have their own network drive? In that case, it can be handy to create aliases of mapped network drive s :.

    Setting it all up.

    This might not sound like anything all that significant but, as the subheading suggests, you can use this alias to reconnect to a network drive with one click. That can be very helpful if you need to keep jumping between different shared drives. Gemini is a great tool for digging out any duplicate content on your drives, so you can ditch everything you no longer need while hanging onto backup documents, photos, etc.