ICY TIP: Expand your Apple Airport Extreme, Time Capsule, Router & Wireless NAS Storage w/ Icy Dock

February 6, 2010 // 1:10 p.m.

Utilizing a NAS device is a great way to tie all of your computers together in a home or office setting. It allows the users to back up to the same location, share files across the network, and keep the system storage to a minimum, improving each user's performance and overall experience. The downside to most all in one solutions is that they can be restrictive in terms of hardware and storage capacity options. Fear not, for there is a solution. Many wireless routers currently on the market include USB and eSATA ports to allow users to create their own NAS device with a simple external hard drive or even a thumb drive. And, with select routers, these extra inputs will support port multiplication. In other words, they have the ability to act as a hub, so that multiple devices can be used with a single port.

Two such devices are the Apple Airport Extreme Base Station and the Apple Time Capsule.

The Apple Airport Extreme is a dual band wireless router that supports all standards of IEEE 802.11, including the newly published 802.11n. This allows you to share your network with both 2.4 GHz (such as iPhone) and 5 GHz devices (newer Mac or PC systems using 802.11n). The Airport Extreme includes 3 Gigabit LAN ports, and can support up to 50 users at a time. Also on the back, a single USB port, capable of handling multiple devices, such as a printer, or external hard drive, or both, and share them with both Windows and Mac systems. The Apple Time Capsule is nearly identical in features to the Airport Extreme, displaying only a handful of differences. However, the Time Capsule includes a 1TB or 2TB drive, and a USB port that will allow you to expand your network storage even further.

Using an Icy Dock multi-bay hard drive enclosure such as the MB561US-4S quad bay device or MB662US-2S or MB662UEAB-2S dual bay RAID unit will let you create a full on file server with up to 8TB (4TB max with dual bay) of storage capacity. Just choose the speed and capacity of your hard drives, insert them into the dock of your choice, and connect it to your router with the single USB cable, and you now have a full functioning NAS device. Having your drives in a multi-bay enclosure gives you maximum flexibility and easy maintenance of your system. If a drive fails, or you want to add an extra drive to your array, it is extremely simple and easy. Both of our enclosures also feature unique designs and aluminum body construction to keep your drives running as cool as ice, as well as our standard 3 year warranty.

Our multi-bay devices will also work with D-Link routers that have USB inputs and feature their Shareport Technology. One device that stands out is the DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router. This product features dual band technology, and includes 802.11n Draft 2.0 for maximum network speeds. Similar to the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule, the DIR-655 allows the user to connect a multi-bay device such as the MB561US-4S or MB662US-2S or MB662UEAB-2S and access any of the drives via Windows or Mac systems.

Additional Information on Icy Dock Multi-Bay Products:

MB561US-4S - Quad Bay 3.5" SATA HDD Enclosure featuring USB & eSATA
-Can Handle Up to 2TB in Each Slot
-80mm Removable Fan on Rear
-Built-in Fanless Power Supply
-Mac-like Silver Finish and Polished White Faceplate
-3 Year Warranty

MB662US-2S - Dual Bay 3.5" SATA HDD Enclosure with Built-in RAID, Featuring USB & eSATA
-Can Handle Up to 2TB in Each Slot
-RAID0, RAID1, BIG, SAFE33, SAFE50, and JBOD
-Built-in 40mm Fan with Variable Speed Control
-Screw-less Design
-3 Year Warranty


MB662UEAB-2S - Dual Bay 3.5" SATA HDD Enclosure With Built-in RAID, Featuring USB & FW400/FW800
-Can Handle Up to 2TB in Each Slot (RAID 1 & JBOD only)

-RAID0, RAID1, BIG, and JBOD

-Built-in 40mm Fan With Variable Speed Control

-Screw-less Design

-3 Year Warranty
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