12 Replies Latest reply: Jul 25, 2013 1:37 PM by Paul J
Paul J Level 1 Level 1

Gulp! I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew. Here goes:


I have:

  • Mac Mini with OS Lion Server.
  • A new Synology NAS.
  • Home with a lot of LAN cabling.



  • Centralize iTunes music, iTunes/non-iTunes movies, iPhoto files, syncing of mobile devices.
  • Stream music and movies to mobile and LAN connected devices


Question 1: Does it matter where I connect the NAS? What's my best option:

  • Available LAN ports on the ISP-supplied Wifi router
  • Available LAN ports on the AE router (AE is connected via LAN line to ISP router; Mac Mini is connected via LAN to AE)
  • Thuderbolt or USB3 ports on the Mac Mini, although I belive LAN will be fastest (?)


Question 2: Is there a comprehensive guide for Server setup written for me? I know enough to want the above set up but have never set up a server of any sorts.


Question 3: Should I be putting a firewall device in my network? If so where? Before/after the ISP router? Before/after AE (in which case, what about other devices LAN connected directly to the ASP router)?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    Connect the NAS to one of the LAN ports on your router.


    You don't need a separate firewall if you have configured WPA security and password on your main router.


    I don't know how you are using your Airport Express, but in your setup it should only be used to Join an existing network (this is the same as Bridge Mode.)

  • Paul J Level 1 Level 1

    Kappy - I have my Airport Extreme (I guess that would be AX and not AE) set up to be a separate wifi network, so it's distinct and different from the wifi network from my router (different SSID and password).


    Since my AX is LAN connected to my router, does it matter whether the NAS is connected to one or the other?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    You are using the AEBS to Join your existing network (bridge mode) if it is connected by Ethernet to a LAN port on your cable router. It cannot be used to create its own separate network generating its own IP addresses. It it is then it will conflict with the cable router over which of them is the main router. Only one router can be active on a home network.


    If you connect the AEBS by Ethernet to the cable router, then the AEBS is being used to provide a wireless network that is used in place of the wireless network from the cable router (that wireless radio should be turned off.)


    The setup is pretty much the same as the one you would use if you were extending an AEBS (used as the main router) with an Airport Express.


    But regardless of this, the optimal setup for your NAS is to connect it via Ethernet to one of the LAN ports on the router that is providing your wireless (I'm assuming you want to have wireless access to the NAS.)

  • Paul J Level 1 Level 1

    Kappy - I think I'd better back up as ask some more networking questions before returning to the questions/answer above. Please let me know if it's better for me to post a new discussion thread elsewhere.


    Network summary:

    • My house is wired with ethernet.
    • I have the Verizon FiOS supplied wifi router in my basement (call it the northeast corner) with SSID "X". I haven't changed any settings on it, so it's in full wifi router mode with all settings at default. However, the signal is pretty weak on the opposite (west) side of the first floor where the heavy network use occurs (family room and kitchen).
    • I have a late model AEBS ("AEBS1") on the first floor southwest corner with SSID "Y". I've turned it on, and did basic set up to get internet access, but did not put it into bridge mode. I'm using the wifi on the AEBS and also have a voip phone plugged in to a LAN port on the AEBS.
    • I have the entertainment electronics (HDTV, BluRay Player, AppleTV) in the first floor family room connected to a network switch, which in turn is connected via ethernet to my FiOS router.
    • I have an early 2012 model AEBS ("AEBS2") on the second floor southeast corner with SSID "Z". I've turned it on, and did basic set up to get internet access, but did not put it into bridge mode either. I'm have my MacMini connected via ethernet to the AEBS, but also use the wifi on it. The signals from both the FiOS and AEBS1 are pretty weak in this part of the floor, which is unforntunate because this is where my home office is.


    Why do I have multiple AEBSes connected to the FiOS router and have all 3 units with their wifi on? And what am I trying accomplish?

    1. My house is such that no single wifi router has strong enough signal to service the major work/living areas of the house. Each wifi router seems to have good vertical signal strength, but not lateral. So, my intention here was to have all three devices working so that wifi is strong in each of the three high use zones of my house.
    2. I'm also trying to get a home network that allows me to connect a NAS and to have central iTunes, iPhoto, file storage.
    3. I'm also thinking that Lion Server could help me with #2 and other server functionality like centralized mobile device syncing and software update push.


    Based on my network description and what I've been reading in the Forum, it sounds like I need to have my AEBS1 and AEBS2 in bridge mode so that I don't run into IP address contention issues.


    Some questions:

    4. If I put my AEBSes into bridge mode, then do I need to change any settings from the default ones on my FiOS router?

    5. If in bridge mode, then do the SSIDs and passwords need to be the same for all 3 routers?

    6. What happens if one or both AEBSes is not in bridge mode? This is my current situation, and I can still access the internet, but I must say that sometimes it has trouble loading websites. I didn't know why, but it may be because of the bridge/IP address contention issue, but I'm not sure.


    I have tons of questions, but this is a good start.


    Thanks in advance.

  • Paul J Level 1 Level 1

    Sounds like a roaming network is the way to go. Thanks for the links.



    7. Where is the optimal place for my NAS? Still at the FiOS router?

    8. Where is the optimal place for my MacMini with Lion Server?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    Personally, I would have my server and NAS connected by Ethernet, so the connection would be directly to my main router. By "main router" I mean the one responsible for handing out IP addresses in the local network.

  • Paul J Level 1 Level 1

    I'll definitely connect the server and NAS using Ethernet. But, would it matter whether those devices are connected directly to the main router or to the LAN ports in one of the AEBSes?


    Also, in the roaming network scenario, as I walk from one wifi zone to the next, will my mobile device automatically connect to the wifi zone with the strongest signal given that all SSIDs and passwords will be the same?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    I would go with the main router.


    As you walk through the house your device will remain connected to the to wireless router it connected to originally.

  • Paul J Level 1 Level 1

    Regarding walking through the house, for example, what if my iPad connected to my AEBS1 originally and I were to roam to a part of the house that gets weak signal from AEBS1 and AEBS2 signal is strong, then what happens? Since all the wifi networks are named the same in bridge mode, how would I connect to the stronger wifi network?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    That I don't know. All I do know is that once a device connects to a Wi-Fi signal it does not disconnect from it in order to connect to a much stronger one. You may be able to switch based on the SSID once you have disconnected from the weak signal's SSID.


    You might do some searching on this because it's a question I have seen posed elsewhere. Or you look for a topic in which you see Bob Timmons' name and ask him about it.

  • Paul J Level 1 Level 1

    Based on the roaming network setup instructions, the SSIDs were supposed to be identical, so I guess I don't know how to connect to a different SSID when there is just one SSID that appears in the list of networks.


    Anyway, thanks for the suggestion on Bob Timmons as well as the time you took to read through and answer my questions. Very, very much appreciated.