Airport/Time Capsule questions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sam12345-2008, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. sam12345-2008 macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2011
    Sussex, UK
    So I have all my computers networked over my wifi network, with my iMac connected to the external hard drive. Only thing is, it's annoying having to turn the imac on just to transfer or access one file/photo.
    The other thing I want is a wireless network printer however it may be worth just buying a wifi printer instead.
    Obviously my solutions are the airport range or time capsule, but apple aren't entirely clear what you can and can't do.

    So the Airport express is effectively a compact router with 1 USB port for a printer. Can I connect a USB hub to run both a printer and a ext HD?

    The same Questions really for the express and what are the real benefits?

    Finally is the time capsule really worth the money, or is a non apple similar product actually going to work out cheaper with much the same end result? Also the same question regarding the USB hub?
    I've heard some pretty bad things about the apple networking gear.

    Thanks in advance for any replies!
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    The Express's USB is for printers only and allows you to use multiple printers with a hub.

    The Extreme and Time Capsule will allow you to add a hub and connect both printers and hard drives.

    The Time Capsule is great for Time Machine backups, but if you want to network a drive only, you're better off with an Extreme/USB or NAS combo.

    There are those that have had success using an Extreme with a USB HDD for Time Machine as well.

    All AirPort USB ports will not work for multifunction printers. Only printing will work. Scanning will not.
  3. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for sharing this, I didn't know that. (I'm thinking about buying a multifunctional)

    BTW, why does it say 'new' at the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule? These devices are already out for a while?
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You're welcome. I learned this the hard way when I wanted to network my USB multifunction printer with my Time Capsule I'd purchased. It's better to buy a true network printer, either wired or Wi-Fi. Less headache all around.
    I noticed that too. I think they just haven't gotten around to removing the "new" labels since the last time they were updated. The Extreme's product page has "new" next to "faster performance" but the Time Capsule doesn't have it at all. Confusing to say the least...
  5. sam12345-2008 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2011
    Sussex, UK
    Thanks for the link and info. That page is exactly what I was looking for.

    I will use the networked drive as both a back up drive and a wireless network drive.
    Would it work if I have 2 external HD's connected to the extreme and use one for back ups and the other as a networked drive?

    To be honest time capsule seems overpriced and with some very bad reviews (and reports of people loosing all back ups) it doesn't give me any faith. After all if you shop around you can get a 1tb HD and the AEBS for less than the cost of the time capsule.

    From one of your other comments I also think I'll forget having the printer connected and just go for a specifically designed wifi/network printer.
  6. skorpien, Feb 17, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

    skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    It will definitely work with a hub and two hard drives. Plenty of users here have done that without many issues for sharing data.

    However, getting Time Machine to work with a USB HDD seems to be hit and miss. There are those that swear by it, and there are those who've had nothing but headaches from it.

    Honestly, it could go either way, but owning a Time Capsule myself (and having had to get it replaced) I highly suggest getting a separate HDD (either USB or NAS with Time Machine support) for Time Machine.

    Edit: I'd like to clarify something in regards to USB printing. Going back over my original post, it seems that I was saying multifunction printers will not work at all with the AirPort USB port. This isn't true. They will work, but only for printing.
  7. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I use two external drives on my Time Capsule (one for years worth of Documents) and the other for movies collected from places. This way both of my Macs on wireless can read these video files and play them with no hiccup on wireless N.

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