Airport Extreme Router - External HDD, NAS, Server Going Nuts!

Hello all:

Right now I have 2 ATV’s streaming fine from an Airport Extreme router with an External USB 2TB HDD. I access this USB HDD with my Mac’s, Windows pc’s and most importantly ATV’s. Right now I have all my media in this Ext USB HDD (Photos, Music, Videos, Documents, etc) I want to be able to backup this External HDD regularly but I’m confused on how to do it. I bought a 4-Bay USB HDD Enclosure but it didn’t work with the airport extreme.   The options that I have thought I could do:

  1. Install a server on the windows computer and leave it on all the time. Install the 2TB HDD Internally in this computer toaccess it with the ATV’s and Mac’s. Use a new 3TB HHD Externally as a backup. 

  2. Buy a NAS that can work with the Airport Extreme (Synology) but this options is pricey so I don’t like it that much.

  3. I read that RAID 1 is not that good of an option. 

I’m really confused. I’ve been reading a lot but the more I read the more confused I get. 

Please help me out


Hi… I have a similar setup here.  Airport Extreme with a USB hub plugged into it and 1 2TB drive and 1 3TB drive plugged into the hub.  I access the media files from the 3TB drive from my ATV, Mac and iPhone/iPads (using goodplayer to stream directly).  Works great!  But I don’t know of any (easy) way to manage keeping a current backup of that 3TB drive.  What I’m probably going to do is once a month or so, plug the 3TB media drive directly into my Mac and also plug in another 3TB 'backup" drive and clone the Media drive.  Then put the media drive back on the Airport Extreme hub and take the backup off site.

The biggest downside to me is the amount of time a full clone of the media drive will take.  Probably a day and a half, and I also worry about it putting undue stress on the drives being in a constant read/write state for 30 hours or so.  Also I often move files around on the media drive as I change metadata, make filenames consistent, move files around into different folders and so on… which makes it impossible to simply copy new files to the media drive AND backup drive as I go.  Each time I have to do a complete format/clone process to get a current backup.

Anyhow… thats my story.  Maybe a RAID solution would work IF I could plug a drive in, have it mirror itself to the media drive with only changes that have been made, then unplug it for a month… repeat.


I just want to report that the 4 Bay HDD Enclosure is working fine with the Airport Extreme. I had to reformat the hdd in a mac and it worked even though it was already formatted in a mac before in the same file format mac os extended journaled.

This is the 4 Bay Enclosure

Currently I’m using Mountain Lion and Windows 7 to manage my media. I’m using a program called FreeFileSync in windows to backup the hdd’s but I have to do this manually. I haven’t done any research on how to do this automatically.  


I suggest to use a backup-tool like Carbon Copy Cloner or Get Backup Pro on the mac. They both allow you to create scheduled (and incremental) backups. The only problem is that both volumes must be mounted on the mac (see below). In my home I use Get Backup Pro for backing up my media, which are stored on several external HDDs. The backups are running once a week in the night. To make sure that the related volumes are mounted, I created an action for the in Automator, which automatically mounts the volumes and which is scheduled to run 10 minutes before the planned backup starts.

Of course you can set the backup-interval to as whatever you want. If you’re used to shut down your mac, you can schedule a system start in system preferences/energy saver and, in this case, you can automatically mount the volumes by adding them in the user-settings/startup-items. Note: the automatic login must be turned on. Otherwise the system-start will pause at the login-screen, waiting for you to log in. 

Thanks a lot Jack. I will try your suggestions!