Advice for backup solutions: Wifi or USB or something else?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thundersteele, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I'm looking for a new backup solution for:
    one 2011 MBP (usb 2.0, TB, firewire ports, 802.11n WiFi)
    one 2012 MBA (usb 3.0, TB)
    possibly a 2013 or 2014 machine that replaces the 2011 MBP

    Both laptops are equipped with relatively small SSDs, so 2 TB for the backup should be enough. I am considering the new AirPort Time Capsule (2 or 3 TB) mainly because it takes away the hassle of connecting different laptops to the same backup device, and also because I can put it somewhere where the HDD noise doesn't bother me. I've had a USB 2.0 backup disc before, which was rather slow.

    Would a backup via the 802.11n WiFi of my MacBooks be significantly slower than a USB 2.0 external HDD?
    Is there a network slowdown, e.g. if I stream on one Mac and the other does a backup, will I see a slowdown in the stream?
    Would 802.11ac WiFi be fast enough to hit the speed limit of a single HDD (no raid)?
    Are there alternative WiFi backup solutions?

    Of course the nerd in me wants a thunderbolt backup, but for my limited data volumes, I don't see the better speed outweigh the benefit of not having to plug anything in anywhere.

    I'm also happy to hear any user experience with the AirPort Time Capsule.
  2. vandoorn macrumors regular

    May 31, 2011
    I am not a power user of a network or anything but i just want to tell you my experience with the time capsule.

    Since i am always on the go and wanted to keep me data safe if something happens to my macbook i decided to buy a time capsule.

    After buying the time capsule i hated it at first. It took an awful amount time to back my 128GB Air to the time capsule (about 24 hours) but after this is went silky smooth.

    Now my Macbook back ups everyday in the background. I don't even notice it at all. I haven't see any negative performances on my network when i'm either streaming or gaming and backing up to the time capsule at the same time.

    It is a one time hassle to set up the time capsule, but after this it just works. I like the time capsule a lot. It's just so much easier than backing up to a normal 2.0 hard drive.
  3. thundersteele thread starter macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I can imagine that the first backup takes its time.

    Anyone else with any tips or advice?
  4. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Connect via a cat 6 cable for the first backup. In addition to the time capsule, it's good to have another backup. I keep a CCC cloned disk off site for disaster recovery purposes.

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