Should I buy an Apple Time Capsule?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TweakOnline, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #1
    Hey guys,

    Today, the 2TB Time Capsule is on sale for just under the €250,- euro's nearby my home.

    I own a MacBook Pro 15'' Retina, an iPad, iPhone and Apple TV.
    Within few months I'm going to buy a iMac too, so I have to make the decision.

    Since last year I got my eyes on an Apple Time Capsule, because I want to have an Apple 'eco system' in my home. I want to backup my files, like my Aperture library, iTunes movies, music, documents and all stuff like that.

    I also want to backup my MacBook, just instead if it crashes (I always like to test beta's, so I could switch easy back if I want to downgrade to a lower version of OS X).

    I got some questions about the Time Capsule by itself, hope you guys can answer them.

    1. Does the Time Capsule support Windows in a good way?
    I mean, I got 2 desktops in my home and it is really important to get fast internet.

    2. Is the 2TB drive just like my Dropbox folder?
    I got Dropbox installed on my Mac and Windows platforms, and it is just like a seperate folder I can access. Is the Time Capsule just like that?

    3. Do I have access to the 2TB partition, or just a little of that?

    4. Can I play (iTunes converted) movies directly on my Apple TV via the Time Capsule?

    5. Can I access the files placed on the Time Capsule also on a Windows pc, iPhone or iPad?

    Thank you very much, I'm pretty curious about it! :)

    Oh, last but not least, in various games like Call of Duty (which I play a lot on my PS3) it says my 'nat' is 'open'. In the past I had some issues with the 'nat' of my router, I hope the Time Capsule won't be so difficult to configure?
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Campbell, CA
    #2
    This is all the reason you need to have a Time Capsule, but if I wanted an easy route to downgrade the OS, I wouldn't be doing it with Time Capsule. I'd just connect an external drive.

    If you're going to store a full system on it and expect to have multiple full systems, it's going to fill up really fast. If you're not already familiar with how Time Machine works, you should try that first to make sure it's right for your needs.

    Restoring a full system from Time Capsule is also a lengthy endeavor. It's not something you should take lightly.

    I think you're asking if it's compatible with WiFi on PCs. Yes. You can access it as a network drive from a PC too, though I don't do that on my setup.

    Yeah. You can add folders to your Time Capsule drive to use as a file drop.

    You can use as much of it as you want.

    You're going to want to consider how painful it's going to be to your gaming if a Time Capsule backup starts in the middle of a game. The backups can eat up enough of your WiFi bandwidth to cause problems.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    designs216

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Down the rabbit hole
    #3
    Yes, it works from a PC environment and you can store files there easily enough. The larger area allows for more incremental backups. It won't make internet pipe coming into your house faster but it will speed up the network within your walls if you're used to an older router.

    I like my TC because backups are one less thing I have to worry about and when I need to restore a file, it's really easy to restore just the item I need.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #4
    So in my case, the Time Capsule is a bad option?

    I mean, read and write speeds aren't good and it could make trouble with the internet connection when it's syncing with my MacBook while I'm playing Call of Duty or something like that... True?

    Btw, could I play / stream (iTunes converted) movies from the Time Capsule on my Apple TV 3 with (burned in) subtitles?
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    ConCat

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    #5
    It partially depends on how far away from the router you are. If you're relatively near it, then you'll get full 802.11n speeds, which is more than enough to accommodate the HDD and most of what else you could be doing. The farther you get from it, the slower the speeds you'll get, and at some point the backups will start hogging WiFi. It really just depends on your setup.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #6
    My house isn't that big but because the router will placed on the left side of my home, the signal has to be stronger to get internet in my garden too.

    Do you think the Time Capsule will give me up to 12 meters of wifi?
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    ConCat

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
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    #7
    Range is quite good with the current generation, so yes.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #8
    Great!

    But can I also stream movies directly from the Time Capsule to my Apple TV3 without having a jailbreak or computer?
     
  9. macrumors demi-god

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #9
    Not sure how experience from others is but I had two defect TC (1TB and 2TB). Somehow that product didn't impressed me at all. For a backup solution I expect more reliability.
    That said: the functionality of the software (Time Machine) is nice and user friendly; I might had bad luck with the disks two times in a raw.

    If you get a TC just make sure to have additional backup of important stuff to be prepared in case of bad luck (which is anyway a good idea).
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #10
    You'll have to partition the Time Capsule to do this and then the limit will be how quickly your computer can access the files on the TC, as you can not stream directly from Time Capsule to ATV.

    If I were you, I'd buy a decent USB3 or TB peripheral and do your Time machine back-ups that way. It will also be physically connected to your computer so getting movies to stream to your ATV will be snappier if that is your main consideration for use.

    The initial TC back-up and encoding takes a long time which is a limitation of how it can physically be attached to a computer. Once you do the initial back-up everything is fine over wifi but it is recommended you do the initial back-up over a physical connection. Which is neither USB3 nor TB so not terribly fast.

    Beside, the Time Machine software makes the use of ANY external hard drive a simple task IDENTICAL to how the computer sees a TC so you should not have any reservations about that.

    I would only go for TC if you also need an Apple branded router. Because it does work better with iPhones and iPads. Whatever people say about settings!

    But if the router is your motivation, the price of an Airport Express base station also provides some options like putting a printer elsewhere in your house, air-play of music by hooking it to speakers and/or Amp depending on quality of sound you need etc.

    The price of a Wester Digital external hard drive and an Airport Express will probably be LOWER than that of a TC of comparable storage and gives you more options in my view
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #11
    Well, the 'big' thing for me is that I have to keep my MacBook open while I'm watching video's on my ATV3. I thought the Time Capsule could stream video's directly to my ATV... but it isn't.

    I think I'm going to wait for the next generation Time Capsule's, hopefully they will integrate features like these.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #12
    There are alternatives...All you'd need to do is export your video file to the device and it'll stream to your TV...

    like this:

    http://www.dabs.com/products/western-digital-tv-live-streaming-media-player-7R19.html?src=2
     
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
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    Europe
    #13
    I understand, but the meaning of this everything is to create an Apple eco system in my home. I thought the Time Capsule would support streaming to the ATV, but unfortunately it doesn't.

    The best alternative for me is to put the movies of my iTunes library on my iPhone or iPad and then stream it to the ATV. The big issue is that I only have a 16GB iPhone and iPad, so I was searching for a better = bigger option. ;)
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #14
    The concept of second screen may be more powerful than I had anticipated, but if you MUST keep your MacBook open whilst watching videos on ATV3, I assume you won't be doing anything majorly processor intensive? In which case, use your iPad as a second screen and use your MacBook to stream to ATV3. A much more elegant solution and with the MacBook in play it allows you greater storage capacity...
     
  15. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #15
    A bigger better option would be a good router AEBS and a Synology NAS. Much more capable & flexible than the TC but you still need iTunes running for HomeSharing.

    Synology has beta software that'll AirPlay to an ATV but I've had no luck getting it working on my media.
    (You need a browser to start video playback but no iTunes)
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #16
    I decided against time capsule and went with Western Digital's My Book Live Duo and cannot be happier. It backs up 3 iPads, 2 MacbookPros, 2 iPhones and is used as a webdav server and personal cloud storage.

    You can easily add more space via USB connected drive if you wish.

    Good luck either way.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #17
    i just bought the TC, it is faster than other routers i had
     
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #18
    I just bought a Apple Aiport Extreme router, to extend my WiFi coverage in my home. Works pretty well, except that the 5Ghz modes goes offline for 30 seconds randomly, pretty weird.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Nightarchaon

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #19
    I have a TC, i ended up using it as nothing more than an expensive network hub.

    I hung a Drobo of the USB port for storing my iTunes library, i backup my macbook pro (but not my imac) to the TC, my iMac backs up to a 4TB raid array via Thunderbolt,

    the WiFi i only use to connect my iPhone and iPad Mini 2, because wifi is shockingly bad if you live anywhere built up nowadays, too many competing signals
     
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #20
    Yes, I agree with that! :)
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #21
    Got one as my original model was filled. What a great device, vastly better than I was expecting.

    I was continually getting kicked off the internet if a neighbor went on-line. No more. I get on and stay on without any strange issues.

    Great coverage, get reception in far away rooms and out in the yard where I did not before.

    Speed is substantially better, why I do not know. Perhaps just because of a stronger signal, but even close by it is faster and my iPhone and MBP are old, do not benefit from the new standards. I can watch movies, which before were stuttering and being weird.

    And my ISP speeds here are not good due to bad local wiring and indifferent phone company attitudes to making it up to date.

    For these reasons that I know about, it is recommended.
     

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