Airport Extreme to Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MARobinson, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. MARobinson macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2010
    I just picked up my new iMac--after many years, I am returning to Appleland from PCworld. I also bought a new 2tb time machine. When I install the time machine, will I need any cords other than the ones that the airport extreme uses? I am asking due to the backup functionality of the time machine, which of course is not present with the airport extreme. Thanks.
  2. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Nope. Only the power and the WAN (internet) cable are necessary.
  3. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I assume you mean Time Capsule?

    You won't need anything if you're connecting over wi-fi (apart from the cable from your modem). If you want a wired connection you'll need another ethernet cable because they don't include one in the box.
  4. MARobinson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2010
    Yes, I did mean time capsule, thanks. Is there any benefit to a wired connection of the time capsule?
  5. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    The first Time Machine backup to your Time Capsule will include all of the data on your new iMac, so it's rather large. A wired (ethernet) connection between the iMac and the TC will make this backup complete considerably faster than it would wirelessly. (Just guessing, maybe < 1 hour vs. several hours.) I've seen recommendations (somewhere?) to use a wired connection for the initial backup, but I've also seen people reporting the wireless first backup go fine, too. If it's inconvenient to wire them together, just let it work overnight, I think.

    After the first backup, you aren't likely to see any difference between wired or not, since the subsequent backups just backup changed/added files (and happen in the background anyway). Well, unless your internet connection is *extremely* fast, or you copy large files between computers on your home network (then they should be wired for best throughput).
  6. moxy1980 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2011
    So is the Time Capsule used just as back up to whats on your Mac? FOr example, can I not store all my itunes/movies on the time capsule to remove them from the Mac internal drive?
  7. southerndoc macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    I have an old iMac (late 2008) 2.8 GHz C2D. When my Time Capsule was functioning, my trackpad would "stutter" when the TC was backing up. The mouse cursor would periodically lag for a half second, then jump to the next place I had moved my finger to on the trackpad. I hooked it directly through the Ethernet port and it stopped doing this.

    Maybe this issue isn't a problem with the newer iMacs that have better WiFi antennae and 802.11n in them.

    This is no longer a problem for me now since the TC died and I don't trust Apple to buy another.
  8. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    The main purpose of the TC is to back up what's on your Mac. However, you can put other files on the TC disk and access them from the computers on your network (including Windows computers).

    There are a few things to realize, though. First, since TC isn't very fast, I don't know how well it would work for iTunes and/or movies (I think it would work but I haven't tried it).

    Second, Time Machine (the program) will eventually use all available space on the Time Capsule's disk. Then it will be inconvenient to add any more files to the disk. Presumably you'd have to go into TM and delete some old backups to make space. The easy way around this is to add a USB-connected external hard drive to the TC and use it for your shared files while the TM backups are directed to the TC internal disk. This is how I've got mine set up.

    Third, and maybe the most important: be aware that Time Machine only backs up the files that are on your Mac's internal disk and files that are on directly-attached (USB, FW) external disks. TM does *not* back up files you "manually" place on the TC internal disk or on external USB drives connected to TCs or Airport Extremes. So, if you move your iTunes library there, you must come up with some other backup strategy.
  9. palebluedot macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    Also FYI, you can plug in a USB hub to your Time Capsule and share more than one external drive. Right now I have 2 500 GB drives I have plugged into my time capsule that I use for file storage. I use the internal Time Capsule HDD for backups only. You can also copy the internal drive to the external for extra backup protection if your prefer.

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