Airport Time capsule = airport extreme + external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by GP20, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. GP20 macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2012
    #1
    I'm about to buy my first MacBook and I really don't know much about apple's peripherals. I'm hoping to pick up some extra stuffs for my MacBook from the Black Friday sale.

    Just wondering if the time capsule is basically a AirPort Extreme with a hard drive? Does the time capsule have any advantage over running AirPort Extreme combined with a 3rd party external hard drive? Is time capsule's own hard drive faster than those WD or seagate drives in the $100~$200 range?

    Would I be better off getting the AirPort Extreme and going with an external hard drive with bigger capacity?

    Thanks!! Really appreciate your help!
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #3
    The Time Capsule drive interface performance is more "robust" than an AEBS. The TimeCapsule seems to handle external drives better than the AEBS, especially multiple drives hanging off a hub.

    I think the wireless and router functions/performance are near identical.

    The review referenced above seems to be pretty old (2011), probably not applicable to the current generation devices.

    If you are going to share drives on your network, especially if you use them for TM backups, don't skimp... get a time capsule.
     
  3. GP20 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Thanks I really appreciate the responses!

    Something just occurred to me now. There's a chance I might take a (large capacity) hard drive with me on the trips once or twice a year, so I probably still need to get an external drive anyway since the airport time capsule looks like a b!tch to carry around. Should I still get a time capsule to go with a 2~3GB external drive? Or should I get the AirPort Extreme and go with a 4~6GB external drive?
     
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #5
    The time capsule with external drive will work better.
     
  5. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #6
    An AEBS + Synology NAS (does TM) is a popular option.
     
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #7
    Thanks goodness, no spinning HDs to crash in rMBPs. We don't carry external drives on our photo trips. The 756GB SSDs provide room for boot, OS, apps, and data such as email. The remaining 500GB is for photo collection. When we get home, edited photos are moved to external library drives. The SSDs and external library drives are all backed up by Time Capsules.
     
  7. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Does not do Time Machine reliably. Wish folks here would stop recommending other than apple approved products for time machine to new users. If you already invested in a NAS you could give it a try but the net is full of moaning and groaning about NAS corrupted Time Machine files... and you typically don't find out until you try to recover something.

    ----------

    Consumer SSDs fail just as often and will eventually wear out. Consumer SSDs draw less power and more resistant to shock and vibration, however. And they do offer better data rates.

    While on my trips I try to save the better photos to a SD card I carry with me (or leave the photos on the camera card). That way I have a backup when the rMBP crashes before I get home and do a proper backup :)
     
  8. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #9
    In my experience it does do Time Machine properly. The only time it didn't was when Apple changed something on their end and Synology users had to wait till it was patched at their end. Since then its worked like a charm.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    I'm not clear here what your goal is. Were you thinking of attaching a USB drive to the AE/TC and using that as a Time Machine destination, then when traveling detaching it and taking that USB drive with you to continue backups? If that is your goal, it won't work. Time Machine uses a different storage format (sparse bundle) when backing up over the network than it does with a directly attached USB drive and the two are not interchangeable.

    If you just want to store some extra files on the external USB and move it back and forth between the AE/TC and a direct USB connection, that will work fine.
     
  10. RedRallyeZ macrumors regular

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    Nov 15, 2010
    #11
    With all due respect though, that is the point. For $100, you wouldn't have to worry about updates that break the network or worrying about a corrupted backup. Data backup is one thing that I want to have ALOT of confidence in.

    I know time Capsules had documented issues where 18 months in we started seeing dead hard drives, but I haven't seen much chatter on that in a while. Either way, I keep an EXTRA hard drive with a few files as a backup-backup
     
  11. dmk1974 macrumors 68020

    dmk1974

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    #12
    I thought Apple used to not support Time Machine to drives connected to the AEBS USB ports. Do they now? I have the previous gen Time Capsule 2TB, but am interested in switching to the newer Airport Extreme with a USB connected drive instead.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    Yes, they do now with the new tower version. It is even mentioned in the manual.
     
  13. dmk1974 macrumors 68020

    dmk1974

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    #14
    Cool thanks! I wish that had it with the older versions too.

    But with only a USB 2.0 connection, how much slower is it than an integrated Time Capsule? On my previous gen TC, I am not too impressed by the read/write speeds whether wireless or gigabit ethernet connected.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    Here is a test with the older version extreme. I don't think USB 2 is the issue though since USB 2 would handle most max hard drive speeds. I think it is something about Apple's implementation of USB on these devices.

    For backups it should not be an issue though.
     
  15. dmk1974 macrumors 68020

    dmk1974

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    #16
    Wow, for the wired connection, the TC blows away the USB connected drive!
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #17
    Yes, but the interesting bit for me is that the USB drive over the network to a USB2 Mini is faster than either. So I think they have a lame USB implementation on the Extreme/TC devices.
     
  17. priitv8, Dec 1, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68030

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    #18
    My bet is that the SoC is also tied up with both routing and wireless tasks, so what's left over for USB and file serving is just no comparison to what's available on full C2D CPU. The amount of available RAM is also an issue, 128MB vs 4GB inside my Mini.
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #19
    That makes sense.
     
  19. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

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    #20
  20. dmk1974 macrumors 68020

    dmk1974

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    #21
    Nice option, especially since it's an ethernet connection. Some of the USB drives are just so cheap though! Right now, Amazon has a 4TB Seagate USB 3.0 drive for $119.99! But to your point, if connected to an AEBS, would be slower than this WD model. However, would it really be noticeably slower than the integrated Time Capsule? I'm basically trying to decide if a TC is better than a AEBS+USB 2.0 drive.
     
  21. dmk1974 macrumors 68020

    dmk1974

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    #22
    Another option...since I have a 2012 Mac Mini (with a USB 3.0 drive for media) attached to my TimeCapsule via gigabit ethernet, would I be better off connecting a 2nd large USB 3.0 drive to my Mac Mini and use that for the Time Machine backups?

    My wife and I also have MacBooks in the house that currently wirelessly backup to the TimeCapsule. But figure if we are able to backup those even to a USB drive connected to the Mac Mini, it could be faster (perhaps?). AND not limit us to an Apple router in case I ever decide to change.
     
  22. bristolgadget macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #23
    Latest Airport Extreme has only a USB 2.0 slot on the back . This will limit you to about 30/35 MB/s read/write speed only ANY drive attached to it. When you have multiple drives attached to the USB port, it will be slower again.

    it would be quicker to use a Time Capsule with the internal drive and get 80-90MB/sec

    or

    use the Mac Mini (as long as its ethernet connected) with a USB 3.0 drive .
     
  23. dmk1974 macrumors 68020

    dmk1974

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    #24
    I'm giving it a shot performing a clean TM backup from my 2013 rMBP to an external USB 3.0 drive connected to my Mac Mini. Wireless from the rMBP...TC is on floor below and ~40 feet away through a couple walls too.

    So far, about 10.2 MB/s it seems. I don't recall what my speed was wirelessly straight to the TC internal drive, but can test that later too.
     
  24. priitv8 macrumors 68030

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    #25
    Are you running OS X Server on your iMac with TM service enabled? If not, please just let me know how well this works out for you?
    I presume normal file sharing just requires you to have the share permanently mounted because TM will not be able to automatically discover the network backup volume, as it does with TM service or TimeCapsule.
     

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