Airport Extreme vs. Time Capsule

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Doju, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #1
    Which do you recommend?

    The way I see it (and am I right in saying this?) the Time Capsule is just an Airport Extreme minus the external hard drive, right?

    That being said, what do you recommend? Airport Extreme + other external hard drive via USB, or Time Capsule in itself? Is the Time Capsule a faster external hard drive (read/write speeds, etc.)?

    And what's with the one USB port? Can I use a hub to add a printer, hard drive, etc.?

    Lastly, how's the range on the time capsule and extreme?
     
  2. DJ567 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    I dont have a time capsule for the simple reason i dont see the point

    the airport has excellent range i can change the hard drive i want to use anytime. The price difference doesnt reflect the price of an external hard drive of the same size (it is cheaper to buy an airport and an external hard drive)

    also you can use a hub, im not sure if it needs to be powered, but mine is and allows me to connect 2 hard disks and a laser printer
     
  3. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #3
    i have a time capsule, its convinient to back up all my machines wirelessly with time machine. and its a cleaner look since you dont have a hard drive dangling off the USB port in the back.
     
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #4
    Stay away from Apple's networking equipment. It's stupidly overpriced and has serious problems playing well with hardware which Apple doesn't manufacture.

    I returned my Time Capsule to the Apple Store after a disaster of failed backups and ridiculously slow mounts. It's a terrible product which isn't ready for sale - maybe in a few years when WiFi is much faster it will be acceptable but right now the only solution for me is to have my storage device hard wired to my machine with FireWire.
     
  5. DJ567 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    This is a good comment i forgot to mention i do not use my airport and hard disk for time machine but rather a firewire disk, time machine is hopeless over wifi (its only a little better when wired up) it really is only for storage for things im not going to use everyday just to stop my internal disk being clogged up
     
  6. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #6
    my experience was the opposite I think the price was great for a device which incorporated networking and storage in one nice box. and the networking worked seamlessly with all devices in my house. Apple and non-Apple. works well with all my apple computers, any friends who come over with PC's, PS3, iphones, X-box 360. never had any issues whatsoever.
     
  7. anamznazn macrumors regular

    anamznazn

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #7
    I have the Time Capsule and I wouldn't suggest my friends to get it and waste their money. Sure, it's a nice piece of equipment and the idea of backing things up over wifi is nice, but it's not too practical from what I experienced. I generally had issues when a external HD was connected to the USB behind the Time Capsule. The internet connection would often randomly drop requiring me to manually restart the Time Capsule. This isn't a one-time a week kinda thing either. It was a few times a day kinda thing. I realized it's the fault of the external HD (WD My Book), so I just left that unplugged. Ever since then, I had "okay" experience with it. My older Netgear router would have worked the same just as fine.

    Oh, and to the OP question, I wouldn't recommend either. I'd stick with a cheaper router. When it comes down to it, it's just a router. You just need to set it up once, and let it set there.
     
  8. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #8
    Yeah, I know it works fine with non-Apples because many of my friends use it with ease. I don't know what you're talking about there.

    I'm talking practicality here. Would it be better to buy a time capsule and plug a printer and external hard drive into it?

    Can a Time Machine double as an external hard drive? Like, if it's wierless, could I just go into Finder and drag a file into it for storage?
     
  9. anamznazn macrumors regular

    anamznazn

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #9
    If you search the Time Capsule discussion forum on Apple's website, you'll see lots of other people having other issues as well.

    But with your question, the Airport Extreme could do the same minus the internal harddrive. Just plug the external harddrive in the back for storage. And yes, you could just drag a file over it for storage. It's good for smaller files, but I wouldn't recommend copying huge files over wifi.
     
  10. Thorbjorn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #10
    FWIW, I've loved my Time Capsule. It's worked flawlessly, fast, good range, and, yes, I've dragged and dropped files onto it alongside its sparsebundle for the Time Machine backups. Have a printer USBed to it which my various computers use wirelessly. Don't have an extra HD plugged into it, though. (I use my external FW drive on FW.)
     
  11. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jun 16, 2008
    #11
    No big files over WiFi? What do you recommend then?
     
  12. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #12
    An external HDD connected to your computer through firewire or USB. A lot faster (and cheaper).

    If you want a router get the AEBS or a cheap linksys WRT54GL if you aren't set on getting wireless N. If you get the AEBS you can connect a printer to it (unless the printer has ethernet in which case you can connect to any router) or you can just hook up a desktop to the printer and connect it through printer sharing noting that the desktop has to be on in order to print from it. Keep in mind that you can only scan when connected directly to the printer through USB.
     
  13. SummerBoy macrumors regular

    SummerBoy

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    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Mars
    #13
    don't buy time capsule. Because it's making constant backup, your wifi is limited. Waste of money.
     
  14. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

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    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #14
    I've had a TC running wirelessly since May with no - I repeat, no - issues.
     
  15. coupdetat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #15
    I've found that the Airport Extreme is a great companion to my MBA due to hard drive and USB port limitations. But yes, I feel like I overpaid for it...
     
  16. mahen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    #16
    I just love my Time Capsule and so far it's been reliable. The wireless range of Time Capsule is way better than my previous Linksys WRT54GL. Also I enjoy browsing through my family pictures and videos over Wi-Fi. I have my printer connected to the USB port of the TC and I print wirelessly to it both from my MAC and Windows.
    Note: I do not use automated backup feature of MAC OS X. I perform my backups manually.
     
  17. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jun 16, 2008
    #17
    Question, when buying an external hard drive, is the capacity the only thing to keep in mind? Or do others transfer quicker?
     
  18. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #18
    People here are hammering Time Capsule because Time Machine did constant backups. That's easy to change and has absolutely nothing to to with the Time Capsule. I bought a 500GB time capsule because at the time, it wasn't much different in price than a 500GB external + AEBS. Having the internal harddrive saves me from having another transformer and cord kicking around under the desk and it is just being used for backups, so I never have any reason to move it. I have left it on for weeks downloading torrents without a problem. It think it probably gets reset once every few months. As far as speed goes, having wireless N and gigabit ethernet is great. I'm sure you could probably find that from a non-apple brand for less money, but I didn't feel ripped off with the TC (the 1TB is a different story, they are way out of the ballpark on the price of that one). The only things that are weird are having to use the airport software to access it (as opposed to a web browser with every other router) and it hands out 10.0.1.x IP addresses. I am just used to 192.168.0.x. No big deal, and I'm sure it's easy to change, but it works so who cares. Any printer that I could get the mac to print through also worked fine attached to TC from both the mac and pc.
     
  19. Norco macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #19
    I recently bought a used 500GB TC that is about 5 months old, and it works just fine. I was concerned regarding my laptop hard drive dying and its nice knowing that I don't have to worry about backing up files every so often. It just does it automatically. If every hour is too frequent for you, download a program called TimeMachineEditor. It'll help you out.
     
  20. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #20
    An external hard drive connected to your Mac with FireWire will be significantly quicker to transfer data than Time Capsule, even if the Time Capsule is wired with Ethernet.
     
  21. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

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    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #21
    It depends what kind of computer you have. Do you have F800, F400, USB?
     
  22. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #22
    2.4 Alu MacBook. 'Nuff said, right?

    It's no big deal, though, right? If I leave it over night or just for awhile it will be fine, no? Does it running in the background cause any lag or performance downtime?

    Here's my issue:

    1) Refurb Time Machine is $250. Airport Extreme is $200. I might as well by the Time Machine, right? I'm not going to be able to get a 500GB "server class" external for $50?

    2) Question: Can I partition? 150GB for backups, rest for movies?

    3) And if I wanted to add another HDD to it, it would work in addition, right?

    4) Can I just shove any USB hub into the time machine for more devices? Or does it have to be a special hub?

    5) Does auto backups cause slowness?

    6) Can someone explain to me just what the ethernet ports are used for?! :confused:
     
  23. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #23
    1) Right, buy TC
    2) Yes
    3) Dunno
    4) Dunno
    5) No slowdown
    6) I have my Blu-ray machine plugged into one of the ethernet ports
     
  24. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #24
    1. Server class or no server class, the drive in my Time Capsule failed and I returned that junk to the store. Luckily they refunded me.

    2. Yes.

    3. Yes.

    4. Yes.

    5. Any backup is slow, especially over WiFi. These technologies weren't designed for mass data transfer and they definitely show it. Expect backups to take a painful amount of time.

    6. Connecting the device to your other computers.
     
  25. angemon89 macrumors 68000

    angemon89

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    #25
    Sounds like you were having more problems with the hard drive portion of the time capsule, not the actual wireless base station.

    I have just the airport extreme and I love it. It goes great with my Mac (easy to change settings) and I have never had a problem with any non-apple hardware device connecting to it.

    But I can definitely see where the frustration might come in when you add the hard drive/backup device portion to the AEBS.

    My recommendation: AEBS with regular usb/firewire external HD.
     

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