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New Visitor
jcather
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-04-2012

Can I use Dual-Band Wireless Router w/ Internet & how do I add External HD to Router

I currently have a Wireless Router N and have been looking at dual-band wireless routers. Can I use a dual-band wireless router with Comcast Internet? I use the wireless for computer, printer, and iPhone. I have Mac OS Lion10.7.5. Since I "upgraded" to Lion two months ago, I have not had fast connection speeds. Hence, I am considering dual-band. (I have the basic internet service.)

 

Second, if my wireless router has an USB port, can I plug in an external HD to the router and use that HD for my computer's documents, photos, and music files? Could I run my Outlook Email application on the HD? Would the HD show up as just another drive in Finder? I realize I would only have access to these files when the Internet service is available.:smileyblush:

Networking Expert
kevj
Posts: 4,642
Registered: ‎10-03-2003

Re: Can I use Dual-Band Wireless Router w/ Internet & how do I add External HD to

Pretty much any wireless router will work with Comcast Internet. What you have connected to your cable modem to try to connect to the interrnet is your decision. If you are having problems after an OS upgrade, you may want to spend some time troubleshooting that though, before you spend money on a new router that may not solve the problem.

 

If you decide to buy a router with a USB port on it and connect a drive to that USB port, I would recommend only using it for file storage, or perhaps as a location to store media if your router also has a built in media server. Running an application from it (by which I think you mean storing the mail file for Outlook) is probably not going to work very well because of the response time associated with the combination of the USB drive and the fact that you have to transfer data over the network. You would be better to keep data files for apps such as Outlook on your local drive in your computer.

 

Also, if you do decide to store files on a USB drive connected to your router, the availability of those files would not depend on the status of your internet connection. As long as the router is up and running, and you can access it from your computer, you will have access to the files. You could disconnect the router from the cable modem, cutting off your Internet access, but you would still have access to those files.

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Networking Expert
Weil
Posts: 3,567
Registered: ‎07-04-2003

Re: Can I use Dual-Band Wireless Router w/ Internet & how do I add External HD to


jcather wrote:

I currently have a Wireless Router N and have been looking at dual-band wireless routers. Can I use a dual-band wireless router with Comcast Internet? I use the wireless for computer, printer, and iPhone. I have Mac OS Lion10.7.5. Since I "upgraded" to Lion two months ago, I have not had fast connection speeds. Hence, I am considering dual-band. (I have the basic internet service.)

 

Second, if my wireless router has an USB port, can I plug in an external HD to the router and use that HD for my computer's documents, photos, and music files? Could I run my Outlook Email application on the HD? Would the HD show up as just another drive in Finder? I realize I would only have access to these files when the Internet service is available.:smileyblush:


I have a dual-band Airport Extreme router connected to my modem.  The USB port on the router has a hard drive split into three partitions.  Two serve as "Time Machine" back-ups for two computers on the network and the third is used to share/transfer files between my spouse and myself.  I have had OSX 10.5, 10.6, and now 10.8.   I never used 10.7. 

 

And yes, latency would be a problem for email.  The shared partition has to be loaded via the "Finder" share function after every start/restart of the finder and wi-fi.  And no, an internet connection is probably not required for the local network to be active.

sam

New Visitor
jcather
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-04-2012

Re: Can I use Dual-Band Wireless Router w/ Internet & how do I add External HD to

Thank you for your response. How would you suggest I troubleshoot my Internet connection? My free support from Apple has expired. Shall I then contact my ISP?

 

Also, do you have any experience with dual-band routers?

 

What do you mean by "if your router also has a built in media server"? I would like to store most of my music files on the USB attached HD, yet I am unfamiliar with "built in media server" concept/function.

 

Thank you for your advise re applications, especially Outlook. That is very helpful.

 

It is also helpful to know that even if my Internet connection is down, I could still access files on the HD connected to the wireless router.

 

Do you know if the HD plugged into my Wireless Router would appear in my Finder window as another drive?

 

Thanks for all your help, very much.

New Visitor
jcather
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-04-2012

Re: Can I use Dual-Band Wireless Router w/ Internet & how do I add External HD to

Thanks for you help, Sam. I have a question, however.


"The shared partition has to be loaded via the "Finder" share function after every start/restart of the finder and wi-fi.":  If you weren't sharing a partition, would the three partitions just load as single drives in "Finder"? If I split my HD, if would not be shared. If I'm not sharing, would each partition automatically be seen as different drives in Finder?

 

Thank you for the information regarding email and not needing an internet connection. That is very helpful.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

jann

 

 

Networking Expert
Weil
Posts: 3,567
Registered: ‎07-04-2003

Re: Can I use Dual-Band Wireless Router w/ Internet & how do I add External HD to

[ Edited ]

jcather wrote:

Thanks for you help, Sam. I have a question, however.


"The shared partition has to be loaded via the "Finder" share function after every start/restart of the finder and wi-fi.":  If you weren't sharing a partition, would the three partitions just load as single drives in "Finder"? If I split my HD, if would not be shared. If I'm not sharing, would each partition automatically be seen as different drives in Finder?...    jann

 


Each partition shows as a single drive does not show before loading via the finder.  I do not load the "Time machine" drives as the software finds them by itself.  I only load and open the one drive that I use for backing up and sharing data.

sam

Networking Expert
kevj
Posts: 4,642
Registered: ‎10-03-2003

Re: Can I use Dual-Band Wireless Router w/ Internet & how do I add External HD to


jcather wrote:

Thank you for your response. How would you suggest I troubleshoot my Internet connection? My free support from Apple has expired. Shall I then contact my ISP?

 

As you indicated your problems began after an OS upgrade on your Mac, you may want to post  something in the Macintosh forum which you can find here:

http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Macintosh/bd-p/8

 

Also, do you have any experience with dual-band routers?

I do, as do many other folks here. I personally use a Netgear WNDR3700, which is a couple of years old now...there are newer models. You will find differing levels of support here..from people who have 'generic' knowledge of dual band routers, to others who will be able to help you with the details of your specifi router, once you buy iy, because thay have the same model.

 

What do you mean by "if your router also has a built in media server"? I would like to store most of my music files on the USB attached HD, yet I am unfamiliar with "built in media server" concept/function.

 

If you just want to use the disk as storage, then you may not need to worry about the media server concept, however many newer routers that have the ability to connect USB drives also have software built in to them to act as media servers. A media server is software that allows you to access the media files you have stored on the drive through an interface that allows you easily find the media you want to display, and possibly create playlists, You can often access the media from a computer, or from a smartphone connected to your wireless router. Some media servers also allow you to access your files when you are away from home.

 

Thank you for your advise re applications, especially Outlook. That is very helpful.

 

It is also helpful to know that even if my Internet connection is down, I could still access files on the HD connected to the wireless router.

 

Do you know if the HD plugged into my Wireless Router would appear in my Finder window as another drive?

 

I am not familiar enough with the Mac OS to answer this, however it may depend on the network protocols the router uses to share the contents of the USB drive on your network.

 


 

---------------------------------------
Help us to help you!!
- respond to requests for info
- post back if your issue is resolved
- mark appropriate posts as solutions


Send feedback to Comcast using the 'feedback' link on this page:
http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/CustomerGuarantee.html?SCRedirect=true