Airport vs. Time Capsule Question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bjbyers, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. bjbyers macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2006
    1) Is Time Campsule basically an Air Port with a Hard Drive? Meaning- if I have an existing USB Drive could I just buy Airport and plug my USB drive into it, and that would provide the same functionality as Time Capsule?

    2) Time Capsules ability to be a network Drive: If I read this correctly Time Capsule can provide a network drive, but I can store data ONLY here (insteads of on my Macbook) or will it expect to SYNC data which is also stored someone else? I would love to get some video of my daughter moved off our iMac to free up some space.

    Thank you!
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Not entirely sure what you're asking by your second question but here goes. Yes, since the new AirPort Extreme Base Station firmware upgrade, it has basically the same functionality as the Time Capsule, the difference being if you want to add an external HDD and a printer, you'd need to connect a USB hub and then connect the two devices to it. So if you have an HDD with sufficient storage space for your needs, go with the AEBS and you'll be fine.

    As for the second one, I've got my PCs and MBP networked together via the TC's network. They're all able to share files between each other as well as accessing the TC's internal HDD. I've only my MBP to back up, but you should keep in mind the space if you have multiple Macs backing up to it and intend on using it as an external HDD.

    btw, since you never specified, you cannot connect a USB drive to an AirPort Express... only the AEBS and TC support that.
  3. bjbyers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2006
    Thanks for responding. I have seen many references to AEBS but am confused about that- are you distinguishing between the an older airport express and the new airport express base station for $179? My plan was to maybe buy the new 80211n airport express base station with gagabit, and plug a USB Drive into back after I make sure it has latest updates.
    Mixed reviews on the forums about various success with that. Think its more trouble than its worth and should I just go for a Time Capsule? Would like to use an existing 300GB USB drive laying around if I can, but not if it becomes a nightmare.
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You're confusing the AirPort Express with the AirPort Extreme Base Station. Since they're both AirPort products, I was confused as to which you were referring in your original post.

    As for the hassle of using a USB hard drive with an AEBS, I can't comment on that since I've only ever used a Time Capsule. The problem with the forums is that you'll usually only read about the negative experiences that people have. I've read many bad reviews/experiences about Time Capsule on these forums as well. My guess is if the hard drive is configured properly, you shouldn't have a problem.

    One plus about going with the AEBS, if your hard drive fails you'll still have Internet and will only need to switch out hard drives instead of sending it in for service. And if your AEBS fails, you'll still have your backups.

    I'd recommend just getting the AEBS and connecting your hard drive like you'd planned. If it was able to work with Time Machine when I bought my MBP, I would have gone with that instead of Time Capsule.

    If anybody else would like to add their opinions/views on this, please do. I'd hate for somebody to make a purchase decision based on one person's recommendations.
  5. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Actually I had a problem with my TC hard drive, it became defective after a month of having it. I took it to the Apple store and the genius just replaced it, they don't send them out for service. Really it wouldn't make sense for them to send it out for service because the customer would be without backup as well as a router.

    Honestly I would recommend the OP to get TC because it's supported. Apple has not officially announced support for the AirDisk feature.
  6. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    That's good to know. I never had a problem with my TC so I've thankfully never had to get the HDD replaced. Do you know if any Apple Authorized Service Center would be able to do this or is it only Apple Stores? There are no Apple Stores in Calgary yet, so I may be stuck sending it out if it does break down.
  7. swimlikehell macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2006
    I have a question Related to this thread, If I have an Airport Extreme with a USB drive connected, can I access that drive though the internet, or is this possible using the TC HDD. I am looking to set up a server type box but all I need is to be able to talk to a drive from a different network, and I thought this would be much cheaper than setting up a whole network box.

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