AirPort Time Capsule questions...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by theredensign, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. theredensign macrumors member

    theredensign

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    #1
    Hi all,

    Firstly, many thanks for reading my post.

    I will shortly be buying my first ever MacBook (I've never owned any of Apple's laptop or PC alternatives). One of the things which occurred to me is how a Mac backs up, and having read about Time Machine and the Time Capsule, I have a few questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1) Is a Time Capsule worth the extra money over a generic external hard drive? If so, what are the benefits?

    2) Can the information on a Time Capsule be accessed remotely, such as pictures or documents? I.e., can it behave as a cloud service such as Google Drive?

    3) Does the time capsule back up iOS devices? If so, is this done wirelessly, or do I have to plug them into the Mac?

    4) I read that an external storage device of any description should have twice the amount of space as the machine which it is backing up. If this is true, where does that leave me, given that I will be ordering a 2 TB model?

    5) Finally, is the Time Capsule expected to be updated any time soon?

    Please feel free to add any hints or tips, bearing in mind that this is all new to me!

    Many thanks,

    Kind regards,
    Jack.
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #2
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #3
    1. The advantage of the TC is it gives you wireless backup. Without that, you would need to plug a external drive into the MacBook when you want to do backups. If you don't mind doing that and already have a router, there is no need to pay for a TC.

    2. No. There is a way using Back to My Mac (link) you can setup the TC to allow remote access to your Mac from another computer.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204618

    3. No it won't. You can use iTunes on the Mac to backup iOS devices, then of course Time Machine will backup that data to the Time Capsule or your external backup drive.

    4. Not really.... most people recommend you have around 2X the space used on the MacBook as a size for the backup drive. So you could have a 2TB MacBook that is only using 300MB of space, so a 600MB backup drive would still give you plenty of space for a full backup with lots of room left for saving older versions of files.

    5. No rumors. Bt since the new MacBooks just came out and do not support any of the new wifi feature (like MU-MIMO), I don't think you will see a TC update soon.
     
  4. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    Estonia
    #4
    Also worth mentioning:
    - you can back up more than one macOS/OS X device, wirelessly.
    - and indeed, you get a router and a wireless access point (of 802.11ac sorts with current tower model)
    - Back to my Mac functionality, that Weaselboy mentioned, is limited to Apple-branded AirPort routers only, so if that is relevant to you, it becomes additional advantage over other solutions.
     
  5. theredensign thread starter macrumors member

    theredensign

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    #5
    Hi guys,

    Many thanks for your responses.

    Is it possible to use a Western Digital My Cloud NAS device to back up the Mac? If so, is it possible to have generic files such as pictures/documents in addition to the backup?

    Many thanks,

    Kind regards,
    Jack.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #6
    Yes, with a big caveat. Many third party NAS devices like the WD you mentioned, do support Time Machine. The problem is, many of them seem to get broken by OS X updates, particularly full version OS X updates. So you might be cruising along just fine with the WD and Time Machine on OS X 10.11, then you update to macOS 10.12 and it stops working properly. Often when this happens, you need to wait for the NAS vendor to come out with firmware updates to fix these issues. It seems like each time there is an OS X upgrade the forums are full of people with third party NAS devices that stop working properly.

    So yes, it can work, but the odds of an OS X update breaking things are high IMO.

    This is not so much the case with the Time Capsule for whatever reason.

    Sure... all these NAS devices like the WD have a way to set aside some space for storage like that.
     
  7. theredensign thread starter macrumors member

    theredensign

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    #7
    Hi WB,

    Thanks very much for your response.

    I'd prefer to be able to access my files remotely (in addition to being able to back up my Mac etc.), as I work away from home. What would you suggest in that case? WD, Apple, or something else?

    Many thanks,

    Kind regards,
    Jack.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    California
    #8
    The TC won't handle that, but a NAS like the WD will... but then you have the potential Time Machine incompatibility issue to deal with. How many and what kind of files are we talking about? I use Dropbox for document storage and I can access them from any device. Would that work for you?
     
  9. theredensign thread starter macrumors member

    theredensign

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    #9
    Do you know how long these incompatibilities have lasted for in the past? I presently use both Google Drive and Dropbox (free versions), but I'd like to have my own storage where I can effectively back up or place all of my data, rather than having to increase my storage capacity for the above Cloud services and paying a considerable amount every year.
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    Off the top of my head, it seems like when these things break, it takes the vendors a couple months to get it straightened out. Just anecdotally from reading reading forum posts here, I think the WD NAS devices have more trouble with this issue than other popular brands like QNAP and Synology. Also, QNAP and Synology are more full featured NAS devices that the WD units.

    What you can do to guard against this issue a bit is hold off on any OS X updates until you hear from others that things are working okay with your brand of NAS.
     
  11. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    North America
    #11
    iCloud is like $2.99/month for 2TB of storage.
     
  12. theredensign thread starter macrumors member

    theredensign

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    #12
    Thanks for your reply once again.

    I think that I will go for the WD NAS, but will hold off any immediate updates in future to ensure a continuous backup.

    SC: I'm not sure as to what the prices are at your side of the pond, but 2 TB here is £14 a month!
     
  13. Ianbuckley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    #13
    I use to have the configuration you are describing using a WD MYBOOK as a NAS device. I configured 1TB Time Machine and 1 TB for music and photo storage. All was well at first, then I started getting verification errors reported from Time Machine telling me to make a complete new backup. This started to happen more frequently. Rather than making complete new backups I found a way of repairing them using Terminal, but even this took hours each time.

    I decided to purchase an Airport Time Capsule for improved wifi capability with the added bonus of a backup device. Never had any problems since.
     
  14. larryleveen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    #14
    FWIW, that info is way off. Perhaps you were looking at old pricing?

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201238

    "United States5 (USD)
    50GB: $0.99
    200GB: $2.99
    2TB: $9.99"

    Also, iCloud is fundamentally different than a Time Capsule. From my search of Apple Support, my understanding is that you cannot point Time Machine to backup to iCloud, and that's not the only difference. I wish it could be used instead of a Time Capsule, so that I could own one less piece of hardware, but it just ain't so -- yet?
     

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