500GB Time Capsule or Airport Extreme + my 500GB external drive + iPhone

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jnyepu, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. jnyepu macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I need a new router (my draft N D-Link-655 has never worked constantly resetting/rebooting never fixed the problem was away for work the last 8 months so never had time to deal with it).

    I'd decided to go for the Airport Extreme -- we have a PC Desktop and laptop both running XP, and my MBP along with another Macbook, in addition to a Slingbox, wireless multifunction HP printer (built in Wi-Fi) and a D-Link wireless webcam.

    Then I started reading about the 500GB Time Capsule.

    I realize the HDD in the Time Capsule, even in optimal conditions is not fast enough to serve as a media streaming device. That being said, the HDD would be used (ideally) for centralized media file sharing between all of the above devices and to allow Time Machine on my MBP to back-up wirelessly.

    After reading the various related posts, I understand I should be able to do the same things I describe above by hooking up my 500GB external drive (now running over FW800 to my MBP) via USB to the Airport Extreme, including Time Machine backup wirelessly from the MBP? The aesthetics of the setup don't concern me as much, and the other MacBook has its own external drive for Time Machine. The other XP devices have independent back-up devices of their own.

    Is there any enhanced functionality or speed or ease of use I would be missing out on by not getting a 500GB Time Capsule?

    To make matters more complicated, I asked the wife if I saved money going for the Airport Extreme setup, could I use the difference toward a 3G iPhone when sanity is restored after the initial gang-rush (I'm not in any hurry to get one)? Shockinging :eek: she said yes.

    So the question is, can I do what I need to do with an Airport Express + external 500GB HD connected via USB to it (and then swing an iPhone out of the deal), or should I go ahead and forget the iPhone and just get the 500GB Time Capsule?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
  3. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I think the general view you'll find is if you need a router and a hard drive, get the time capsule. But if you already have one or the other, then get the other and match 'em up. Since you have the drive, go AEBS. Since you get an iPhone as well, that's a no brainer.
  4. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    What would be the advantage of time capsule? I'm using Airport Extreme with an external WD 500 GB drive for backing up using TIme Machine and it works like a charm. Not sure why Apple is not promoting this more heavily. They would sell less time capsules, but more AE's.
  5. Balty macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2008
    Canberra, Australia
    Time Capsule = Airport Extreme + HDD :cool:

    If you have a Time Capsule you have the USB port spare for something else.
    Can you attach a USB Hub to an Airport Extreme?? :confused: If so, you could buy AE and connect an External HDD and printer...

    I'd go for the Airport Express + external 500GB HD connected via USB to it and iPhone
  6. liquidh2o macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2004
    First, congrats on consulting w/ the wife first, this pays huge dividends in the long run :)

    2nd, I like the integration the time capsule offers, and it presents a much cleaner look.

    However if you're putting the time capsule in an out of sight area, then I'd go w/ the APX+external HDD + iphone (+ mobileme) :)
  7. ango1708 macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2008
    Which HHD Format do AE-usb support? because I have WD 500Gb ntfs formatted (connected to my PC server which I want to repace). Can i use it, or do I need to convert it to FAT32 or HFS?
    (If so it will be a headache for my 4Gb< files :mad:)
  8. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...pretty sure it even mentions doing this on the apple web page for the AEBS...
  9. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    With a desktop system, I see no benefit over an additional internal or external drive. With a laptop, the benefit is additional simplicity. You don't need an external harddrive attached to the laptop, and not bothering with the (minor) additional step of ejecting the Time Machine drive every time you take the laptop from the office; or, never having to physically connect the laptop in the home / office for Time Machine to work.

    Re: adding a USB drive to the AEBS. This is officially unsupported by Apple. It's use at your own risk. I don't know if it has hiccups or not.

    I already have an AEBS and so use external USB drives on my MacBook Pro. If I were buying new, I'd buy a Time Capsule.

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