AIRPORT EXTREME + External hard drive...or Time capsule?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Cbdboz, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Cbdboz macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #1
    Is it just as easy...and possibly cheaper to use a AE& HD with Time Machine, as it is to get a Time capsule???

    Big issue for me is the fact that current TC is also a router which I need to leave on when I go away....and hence data is always at risk if my TC was to ever get stolen...

    Thoughts? ?
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    I would go with the Extreme as it is easier to upgrade storage space as needed. The Time Capsule offers the archive option which makes backups much easier however. The Time Capsule's internal drive is a bit faster than running a USB drive on a TC or Extreme.
     
  3. JuryDuty macrumors 6502

    JuryDuty

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    #3
    Speed, to me, isn't so important because it all happens in the background where you don't notice. If aesthetics are important to you and the budget doesn't matter, get the Time Machine. It's simple, straight-forward, saves a cord and just works.

    But if budget is a consideration and you don't mind an extra cord and plug, go for the Extreme + external HDD. It's upgradable in the future and works excellent.
    Either way, I think you'll be satisfied.
     
  4. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #4
    Thanks....I agree with the simplicity and convenience factor, but issue is always when I go away ( and if want to leave the router on for offsite access) that content and personal data is always at risk of fire and theft. Seems the only way around this is a separate router / hard drive....which I can then unplug and store safely. ( router access still needed for access to other ip devices)

    If the extreme + external hdd provides a comparable option....then this may be the best way forward

    .....if so, would I connect the hard drive directly to the extreme...and by USB ...or would it still be possible for Time machine backups etc, if HD is directly connected to my mac ( which would then be on the wifi network)

    ...any help appreciated:D
     
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #5
    Are you backing up more than one machine on the drive? If not, directly attaching it to the Mac is the best approach. Otherwise the Mac the drive is attached to must be on an functioning when others are trying to back up.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    You can't backup with Time Machine sometimes over the network, then other times directly attched by USB because networked and local TM backups are in different formats. So you need to decide which you want to use and stick with it.

    If I understand your second question, if you have two Macs, you can attach the drive via USB to Mac #1 and backup Mac #1 to the drive then also backup Mac #2 over wifi to that same drive attached to Mac #1. You would need to install OS X Server on Mac #1 to do this though.
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #7

    There are ways to password protect the hard drive in a Time Capsule and those that are connected to an Extreme. That being said, I believe it is all done on the software end of it so if a dirtbag gets the drive they would gain access to the data if they physically mount the drive. A nice feature with the Time Capsule is the "Archive Disk" functionality. It allows you to plug in a USB hard drive and mirror the Time Capsule to it for backup purposes. Backups of the USB drive connected to the Extreme must be done manually.

    Aside from the hard drive capability of the Time Capsule, there really is no difference between the two. The software is still the exact same sans the Archive Disk function. Just so you know, you cannot easily go from backing up a Mac over USB to the Extreme and back to the USB drive. Instead, you should always leave the drive connected and backup over Ethernet initially. This is due to Time Machine using different backup files for USB media and network drives (like an NAS, AirPort, OS X Server, etc.).
     
  8. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a

    BigDukeSix

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    Sep 22, 2010
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    #8
    I have also wondered if I can just hook up an HDD to my Airport Extreme and have it back up off it, instead of having the HDD connected to my IMac itself?
    I also kind of figure that is what the OP is asking. But, it sounds like Time Machine function won't work if the HDD is not directly connected to the computer itself.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    No they would not be able to access the data. A networked TM backup is placed inside an encrypted sparse bundle image and cannot be accessed without the password. A locally attached TN backup with encryption turned on encrypts the entire TM partition and also cannot be accessed without the password.

    Both would be protected from a thief.

    As long as you have one of the new, tower shaped 802.11ac models, you can just attach a USB drive to the Extreme and backup over the network. This is not supported on the older models though.

    https://www.apple.com/airport-extreme/
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #10
    Would a dirtbag be able to mount the drive and access any other data on the drive? If I recall correctly, only the backups get encrypted but the physical drive is an open playground.
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    With a networked TM backup only the sparse bundle contents would be encrypted, so if you were storing other things on there outside the sparse bundle TM backup, yes those things would be visible. But with a locally attached TM backup, the entire partition is encrypted so nothing on there would be visible.
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #12
    I do not have a Time Capsule, only an Extreme. Is there a way to encrypt the whole entire TC disk?
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    You mean for networked backup? I don't see how you could. I mean you could attach the disk by USB and encrypt the whole disk, but then when you reattach it to the networked device (TC/AE) that device would have no way to mount the encrypted partition.

    If you wanted to store some data encrypted (aside from the backups) on a TC disk you could make a second encrypted sparse bundle image in Disk Util then move it to the TC disk and go that route.
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #14
    That makes sense, though it is quite unfortunate that Apple did not add the ability to encrypt the whole drive.
     

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