Currently Being ModeratedNov 22, 2012 6:25 PM (in response to driftin_out)
Hi - the Extreme can do what you want it to - whether it is the right device for your setup can only be determined by you.
You can attach multiple hard drives via a powered USB hub but they must be formatted properly for your system - and the USB port on the Extreme is USB 2.0.
There is no way to predict the transfer rate - it would depend on the types of drives and the quality of your connections.
There is also now way to know how long any electronic device will last - in my opinion, the Extremes are very reliable.
My son has network similiar to what you propose and it works very well - but everybody's situation is different - you won't know if this will work for you until you try it - I would therefore suggest that you check on the return policy where you do your purchases before you buy - and remember that Apple products come with 90 days of support if you need help setting things up.Apple Airport Extreme, Windows 7
Currently Being ModeratedNov 22, 2012 6:32 PM (in response to driftin_out)
Speed of read/write: if you're going by wireless, you're going to be limited by the wireless speeds. Based on my usage, it seems like wireless N at 5 GHz tops out around 5-6 MB/s (40-48 mbps) with this router. That's fine for video streaming, but will feel slow for heavy file transfer activity.
The USB port on the back of the device is USB 2.0. As a reminder, USB 2.0 is rated for theoretical speeds of 480 mbps, although in practice they're much lower; regardless, it's much faster than the wireless protocols are capable of. Your bottleneck will be the wireless.
I only use a printer with my USB port, so I can't give you any real-world experience with sharing hard drives. You can use a USB hub to expand the ports, but it will need to be a self-powered hub: the Airport Extreme won't power devices through the port. It's also worth noting that trying to use a network-shared disk as a Time Machine drive is a bit flakey; I've read a number of reports where people got it working, but then had their backups become corrupt with time. I haven't read any reports of people having issues with using drives for purposes besides Time Machine, though.
As for reliability, it's hard to say. Nothing lasts forever; you'll find people whose devices failed very quickly, and some who are using generation 1 or 2 devices that are still working just fine. I haven't heard any reports of an usually high failure rate with Airport Extremes. Operation-wise, my Airport Extreme (5th gen) is the most stable router that I've used, and I went through four or five other routers before this one. It's the only router that I have not needed to reboot, even after months of uptime and heavy traffic that usually choked up my other routers. I'm very impressed with it.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 22, 2012 6:36 PM (in response to driftin_out)
UVE ANSWER ALOT OF MY QUESTIONS
I THINK GOING TO BY IT
AS I LOVE ALL MY APPLE DEVICES AND NEVER HAD A PROBLEM SO FAR
ANY MORE EXPERANCES ON USING THE AIRPORT EXTREME DEIVE VIA HUB VIA USB & ABOUT TRANSFER/READ/WRITE SPEEDS WOULD BE GREAT GUYS...THANKS
Currently Being ModeratedNov 22, 2012 7:50 PM (in response to driftin_out)
also i have a wifi 4g internet router..
will i be able to connect to my wifi internet device and connect to the airport extreme via wifi at the same time?
or will it disconnect one device?