Airport time capsule 2TB? what to do?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by trellaine, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. trellaine macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2009
    I recently had my cable/internet hooked up. The modem/router are in one device and the wifi is being used for all my other devices in my network.

    I have an airport time capsule with 2tb. I own a mac/ipad/iphone/appletv/xbox/wiiu etc.

    I am not that tech savvy and wondering how and what to use the airport time capsule for?

    Should I connect the time capsule to the modem and use it for wifi? Can I use the time capsule as a hdd wirelessly? Sorry I am confused as you can see.

    I am just looking for the right way to set this up ?

  2. comics addict macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2013
    What I did in my case is that I disabled the wireless router function in my modem/router combo and setup my AirPort Extreme as the access point. Not sure if you have such an option for your modem combo device. Search online for how to turn off Wi-Fi specific for your model. Some ISP don't allow it for some reason.
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    What version Time Capsule (model) do you have? What model modem/router did you iSP give you? Do you have any ethernet wiring in your house? Also, give a brief description of your house's layout and where the modem/router is located.

    Getting the best setup starts with this info.
  4. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Well, a few "easy" uses I can think of would be:

    (1) use the Time Capsule (TC) as a Time Machine backup destination for your Mac (the Mac could connect via WiFi or ethernet cable, your choice). If your Mac is a portable Mac, I highly recommend using the TC for Time Machine backups because the backups will happen automatically whenever your Mac is connected to your home WiFi network. Otherwise, you would have to remember to plug in an external hard disk drive to back up your Mac. (And people aren't good at remembering that kind of thing, so loss of data is more likely.) This way you can carry your portable around, never connect a cable to it, and still have reliable backups,

    If your Mac is an iMac or Mac Mini that is always connected to an external hard disk drive for backups, then using the TC for backups is not as important. It is still an excellent use for the TC, though.

    (2) use the TC as another WiFi access point (in addition to your current setup) to improve signal coverage over a larger area.

    (3) use the TC to connect a USB printer (if you have one)

    You could do any or all of these at the same time. I consider all of these "easy" for you, because basically all you have to do is run an ethernet cable from one of the TC's LAN ports to one of your cable modem/router's LAN ports and use Airport Utility to configure the features. (Basically, the TC becomes just another device on your existing, working, home network.)

    Probably you could use the TC as your main router/firewall by putting your current modem/router into bridge mode, but if you're not tech savvy it is probably not worth trying that. If you had multiple computers, you could use the TC as a sort of shared network storage accessible to all of them. As far as I know, though, that wouldn't be very useful if you only have one Mac.

    To determine the most effective use of the TC, we'd need to know the kinds of things Brian Baughn asked, above.
  5. trellaine thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2009
    Wooow thank you very much for your indepth reply. Much appreciated. I am currently running an imac which has done lots of reading/writing over the past 3-4yrs. Time capsule model looks to be 5th generation (A1470). My current ISP model/router is Cisco DPC3848V. I live in a one bedroom apartment, roughly 600 or so sq ft. The Cisco is beside my TV and my imac is approximately 20-25 feet away.

    If I connect the TC directly to my imac via ethernet cable can I use the TC as a hard drive?

    Hope this helps.

    And every piece of information helps.
  6. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Yes, the A1470 is the "tall" Time Capsule, the latest model that is still being sold. I have one too!

    The simple answer to this is "no". However, if you connect the TC directly to your Cisco DPC3848V, you can easily use it from your iMac as a network-connected hard drive. You can put whatever you want onto it. Copying large files to the TC drive would be somewhat slower than copying them to an external hard drive connected to your iMac, but usually wouldn't be a problem. I'm not aware of a way to access it from your iPhone or iPad, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some way to do that. It's important to know, though, that file that you "manually" put onto the TC disk will NOT be backed up anywhere (by default). So if you can't afford to lose them, you must keep copies somewhere else.

    That brings up the important topic of backups of your iMac. Its storage device (whether hard disk drive, solid-state storage, or "Fusion Drive") could fail, and if you have "important" files on there that aren't stored somewhere else, you could lose them forever... right? So, are you backing up the important files on your iMac somehow? How do you back up your iPhone and iPad -- backup to iCloud, or backup in iTunes on your iMac?

    If you're not backing up your iMac, I highly recommend that you use the TC for this. (You can still put other files on its disk, too.)

    If you just want to use the TC disk space, use a regular Ethernet cable. One end into one of the three TC LAN ports, and the other end into your Cisco DPC3848V, any one of the four LAN ports on it. Power it on. Then open Airport Utility on your Mac. It's in the Utilities folder which is inside the Applications folder. I think once you open Airport Utility it will "find" your TC and let you set it up.

    I can't remember if there's a "wizard" for the first setup. If not, try the following: Click on the TC in the window, and click Edit. The most important setting is to go to the Network tab, and for Router Mode, pick "Off (Bridge Mode)" from the list.

    On the Wireless tap, you can turn off its WiFi radio by picking Network Mode: "Off". Internet tab will probably default Connect Using: to "DHCP", which is what you'd want for this setup. Then go to Disks tab, where you decide what password will be needed for your iMac to access the TC disk. Other settings probably are fine, but you can go ahead and look at them.

    After updating the settings on the TC, open Finder on your iMac. The TC will probably show in the Finder's sidebar with whatever name you gave it. If not, go to Finder's settings and ensure that "Connected Servers" is checked on the Sidebar tab. (Or maybe it's Bonjour computers, but I think connected servers.) Then it should show up. When you click it in the sidebar it should ask for the disk password (which you can store in your keychain so you won't have to enter it again.) Then you can access the TC disk space right there in Finder.

    Hope this is not too confusing, and is helpful.

    But again -- think about your iMac backups. If you don't have Time Machine set up for your iMac, you can do it now by going to System Preferences-->Time Machine-->Select Disk and your TC disk should show up in the list.

    Good luck!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 8, 2016 ---
    Oh, forgot to mention. I found a spec sheet for your Cisco DPC3848V router/WiFI access point. If it's all set up and working, and you don't want to fiddle with it, I see no need to. Its WiFi should be just as fast as your TC's would be. And with your small area I doubt you'd get any benefit from another WiFi access point.

    One last idea for you TC is to sell it. If you don't need it as a router, WiFi access point, backup destination, or disk space... surely someone else would -- especially since it's still the latest model. Don't know what the going prices are for used ones, though.
  7. trellaine thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2009
    wow thats very nice of you to go into detail and try and help me-thanks a bunch! I will answer one question that you had. I hate itunes :/ so I back up my iphone and ipad to the cloud. I can't remember that last time I opened itunes :/ I think maybe I should "bridge" the TC? and disable the wifi signal on the Cisco. I was told I just need to call my ISP and tell them to bridge or tell them I am bridging? Sorry not entirely sure what or how to bridge :(

    What order do I the setup? 1) connect TC to Cisco via ethernet 2) disable the wifi in the Cisco 3) enter airport utility and setup? 4) set up Tim Machine once everything is connected?

    Thank u
  8. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Yeah, iTunes is not always the most satisfying experience! But I still use it for my (and my family's) music library. Backing up your iOS devices to the cloud is fine (unless you are really worried about the FBI getting a court order to look at your backups, which I am not)!

    Your TC can take any or all of these roles:
    1) your home router (you will only need 1 of these)
    2) a WiFi access point (a radio transmitter/receiver for your personal home network)
    3) a home network disk drive
    4) (related to #3) a backup destination for Time Machine.

    Notice (1) and (2) are different functions. Right now (I think), your Cisco DPC3848V router is doing (1) and (2). If that is working fine for all your devices and you are not tech savvy or interested in the details of networking, then I say leave it that way -- I don't seen any real advantage in changing it. So, that means don't disable the wifi signal on your Cisco. Keep it simple. Keeping it as it is means if you call your ISP for tech help, you will have the "normal" expected setup.

    Setting the TC to Bridge Mode means it will not do (1) (this has nothing to do with the WiFi signal). You do not need to tell your ISP about bridging the TC.

    (If you wanted to bridge your Cisco instead, then the TC would need to be the router and then perhaps you'd need to call your ISP. But I see no purpose in doing that.)

    Yes, except DON'T disable the wifi in the Cisco. Instead, disable the WiFi on the TC in Airport Utility during your step 3):
    on the Wireless tab, turn off its WiFi radio by picking Network Mode: "Off"

    Even though the TC WiFi is off, the TC will still be available ("visible") to any device (like your iMac) on your local network, even if your iMac is connecting via WiFi. This is because your iMac connects with WiFi to your Cisco, and your Cisco will be connected to your TC with the Ethernet cable. The iMac doesn't care if the TC's WiFi is on or off, as long as there is a way to "get to" the TC. Which there will be, through the Cisco and the Ethernet cable. The "wired" network and the WiFi network are the same network -- they are all hooked together into your private local network. It's just two different ways to connect to the same network. But if you can conveniently run an Ethernet cable, it's always easiest to do it that way!

    I'm probably explaining too much -- my kids tell me that all the time! Hope I anwered your questions, though.
  9. trellaine thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2009

    Hmmm I did read your post and again I thank you, maybe I am getting a wee bit confused BUT this is where I am at this point. I just connected the TC to my Cisco. I went throgh the setup wizard for the TC and I guess I setup a new "network" I now have "two networks" I think. My ISP told me I should call them and let them know what I did so that they can do something at their end since I am "bridging" So right now I have two access points (networks?) I did notice in the "finder" window I see "Time Capsule" and underneath that "johnnys airport" and looks like an icon of a "monitor". Not sure what that is but obviously showed up along with the TC. *shrug*

    Should I change this setup?

    Thank u

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