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I have a Macbook with Firewire 400 and USB 2.0, so the only way I can get fast external storage is through the Ethernet port. A really fast firewire 800 drive on ANOTHER computer is actually much faster than the built-in drive (according to XBench). So I thought I would try to go one better and buy an ethernet-ready drive.

I bought a Seagate GoFlex™ Home Network Storage System, and it seems like the only way to get it to work is to plug it into a router. Can this drive be used without a router (i.e., direct to computer)? Are there any drives that can be plugged directly into the ethernet port for fast access? I don't want the drive on my router: I want it on my computer. Ideally I'd need 7200rpm or faster, too...

Update: Just chatted with Seagate and they said that this particular drive will not work that way. Will any others?

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You did try a crossover cable right? –  Kyle Dec 28 '10 at 21:23
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Kyle- most ethernet chipsets are capable of auto sensing of cable configuration. Especially gigabit ethernet ones. –  bubu Dec 28 '10 at 21:28
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I think you will need to configure your computer so that it acts as a DHCP server. Most likely these drives would request an IP through the local DHCP server. The easiest way of doing it would be to enable sharing of internet through another connection, directing the "shared" internet connection to the drive.

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To expand on bubu’s answer, he is somewhat correct, but not completely. You can probably make this work, you just need to manually address the drive and the computer. You’ll have to statically set the IP on the drive and your macbook (i.e. make the drive’s address 10.0.0.10 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 and your computer’s address 10.0.0.11 with the same subnet mask).

To do that you’d need to plug the drive into a network so it gets an address, connect to it, and set that address information in its configuration panel (if one exists, I’m not familiar with that drive). Then plug the drive into your computer, set the address on the computer, and try to connect to it again, via the address you set.

I would suggest doing this before using connection sharing on your computer, which may cause problems down the road if you plug into another network before remembering to turn it off.

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