Buy the current Time Capsule now that AirPort department has been ceased?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 007 Junior, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. 007 Junior macrumors regular

    007 Junior

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    Apr 15, 2013
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    The Netherlands
    #1
    Hi all!

    I'm currently rocking a Mid 2009 Time Capsule with 1TB of storage. Internet speeds and coverage are not that great and I'm having problems lately backing up my iMac (mid 2010) to it.

    My original plan was to buy a new Time Capsule when the new iMac would come out. So, somewhere in early 2017. But now that Apple has ceased it's AirPort department I was wondering if it's smart to wait till new Macs come out or to just pick one up right away.

    Please let me know what you think.
     
  2. HDFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #2
    Assuming this report is true, the question is whether Apple is going to do the same thing with the Airport that it did with the LG Display. I.E., will they work with another manufacturer to develop a product that works well in the Apple ecosystem? If they are pursuing that strategy then it could be weeks, months, or years before you see a product. We'll only know if this is their strategy when they discontinue the current Airports.

    You have to decide if it is worth hassling with your current TC while waiting. The currently shipping model would provide much faster wireless services than one shipped in 2009. I purchased a current TC and an Airport Extreme from the Apple refurbished store and am very happy with them.

    There are better units hardware wise out there, but their ease of use might not be so great.
     
  3. RByers8252 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #3
    I bought a refurbished Extreme a little over a year ago and don't regret it. Paid around $120 I think. I've spent hundreds on routers over the years and in having the Airport for a year I've only had to turn it off and on twice and always have reliable connection. Other routers had extreme drops in speed to one side of my house and always had to be turned on and off every week or two or my speed would practically stop.
     
  4. Che Castro macrumors 603

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    May 21, 2009
    #4
    Report claims the airport people are moving to the Apple TV team
    This could mean a new Apple TV / airport combo
     
  5. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    Boston
    #5
    It sounds to me they are abandoning wireless routers all together. It doesn't make sense to me they would only build AIO router-accesspoint-ATV.

    I can't say I'm entirely surprised. There equipment is becoming dated and has always had a substantial price tag over mainstream networking brands. Furthermore, a lot of ISPs at this point give out their "wireless gateway" (modem/router/access point).

    MESH networking appears to be all the rage. I just discovered the Ubiquiti offshoot brand Amplifi. I used their commercial/prosumer line of UniFi products at my work and love the results.

    Ubiquity had been around for a few years now and are target towards the big house/SOHO/medium biz/education sector. They're products tend to have great design, user interface, extensive functionality, and are priced well below that of companies like Cisco, Aruba, etc or even commercial grade Netgear.

    They're a quirky British company but have top notch support community. Their UniFi controller software has a built in support chat client with actually pretty knowledgable people on the other end. I will say their product supply line seems a bit inconsistent and at times it's hard to find a specific product anywhere. In my experience/obsveration you usually have to shop around at least a couple stores to get what you need at the best price.

    I'm pretty interested in their new MESH Amplifi lineup. It looks gorgeous (who ever thought a wifi system would be asethically pleasing). For $199 you get a base station with two mesh antennas ("10,000sqft"). $299 provides the same thing with long range antennas. $349 buys you the "high density" antennas ("20,000sqft"). PC World did a review on it and had great things to say- excellent coverage and overall faster speeds then Luma and Eero.

    Bad news is currently Amplifi is only shipping the 3 afforementioned kits. The additional MESH nodes/access points are not yet available. Typical Ubiquiti silliness. I'm sure they'll be out eventually.

    IMG_6835.JPG
    There you have it, one elegant base station and two additional MESH antennas that conveniently plug into wall outlets. $199-349 depending on how powerful your antennas.

    I sound like a salesman here... Maybe I need to invest in this company? I will say they make some innovative products. I'm consider this as a Hanukkah gift to my parents as their 5000sq ft house is still using old school Linksys WRT54 2.4ghz b/g antennas. In terms of consumer MESH systems it's the best I've found.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    I would recommend not getting one at all, epsecially since apple is killing the product off.

    For routers, there's better faster routers that can be less expensive. For Time Machine backing up, you can opt for some a DAS or connected a HD to a router that has a USB port
     
  7. 007 Junior thread starter macrumors regular

    007 Junior

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    Apr 15, 2013
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    The Netherlands
    #7
    But are those routers also as stable and as easy to configure as the AirPort? And do they work flawlessly with Time Machine and my other AirPort devices? If I chose to with another bramd, I want to be shure that it's flawless and reliable and I prefer having some sort of a all-in-one (router + NAS) instead of hooking a seperate hard drive up to the router.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 22, 2016 ---
    I am considering buying a refurb one from Apple, but I think it might be worth to wait till Black Friday as there might be an interesting deal for the AirPort.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 22, 2016 ---
    My current Time Capsule constantly fails on completing a back-up. It hasn't finished any back-up since July 26. Not sure if this is caused by macOS Sierra. I have restored the device to factory default, tried making a back-up from another device, reinstalled macOS, but nothing seems to work. So I'm desperately in need of a new back-up solution, whatever fits my needs: all-in-one (router + NAS), easy to setup, flawless integration with Time Machine, reliable automatic back-ups.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    There's been a lot of improvements with other routers, so configurations can be just as easy. As for stability, you need to do your home work to make sure you pick a good one, also many other routers are actually faster then what apple provides and offers more features.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    Agreed. The whole easier to configure thing may have been true a few years ago, but I don't think so any more. I recently switched from a Time Capsule to an Asus RT-AC68P and it is much easier to configure than the Time Capsule.

    OP> I think you would be okay with a new or refurb Time Capsule for now, but what would worry me a little is Apple has a habit of not updating Airport Utility when new OS versions come out, so that is cause for concern IMO. For example, many of Apple's previous generation routers require a version of Airport Utility that won't run on Sierra. So I could see maybe a scenario where macOS Donkey Punch comes out in a couple years and the current version of Airport Utility no longer runs on it, so you would have no way to configure your router.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    They're also seemingly slow regarding updates to the router regarding security patches (not they they're fully transparent in communicating that stuff anyways).
     
  11. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    Washington, DC
    #11
    Does the AU 5.6.1. launcher no longer work under Sierra?

    https://zcs.zyniker.org/airport-utility-v5-6-1/
    --- Post Merged, Nov 22, 2016 ---
    Refurb store has them for $129 now.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    I have not tried it, but that work around is exactly what I was talking about. Since Mavericks, AU 5.6 no longer works.
     
  13. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #13
    NO! don't buy any Apple routing products at any price.

    You need proprietary software to configure these dying turkeys. I drank the Koolaid and got Apple Expresses, only to have the 5.6 version of Airport Utility become unusable in a subsequent system update. The new Airport Utility will NOT work on them, so they're bricks. And Apple provided no backwards compatibility. That will happen to the newer stuff as well I expect. Almost every other router on the planet can be configured with just a boring old web browser. Just works, unlike Apple's stuff.

    Meanwhile, Netgear, Asus, etc etc all provide great products that outperformed Apple's anyway.
     
  14. 007 Junior thread starter macrumors regular

    007 Junior

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    #14
    Good points, guys. I'm going to do my homework and look for an alternative router + NAS combination. Any recommendations are welcome! :)
     
  15. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    #15
    I wonder if the new filesystem Apple promised a while ago (APFS) will address the network backup compatibility for Time Machine..
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #16
    See my earlier post here for some suggestions on the router.

    I don't use a NAS, but the QNAP and Synology brands seem to be the most popular among forum members here. Smallnetbuilder has tons of info and reviews on NAS devices that might help you decide.

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas
     
  17. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #17
    FWIW, the work around works just fine in El Capitan and before . . . I've been using it for a while with good success.
     
  18. ignatius345 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    #18
    Or maybe an AirPort/Siri/HomeKit device.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 22, 2016 ---
    ? My AirPort Express works just fine with the current version of AirPort Utility. Mine "just works", and provides AirPlay support with an optical out to my speakers, in addition to extending my network to a part of my house that doesn't have coverage from the main unit. Is there another product that does all that for under $100?
     
  19. HDFan macrumors 6502

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    #19
  20. RedTomato, Nov 23, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016

    RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #20
    Buying a Time Capsule right now is a tricky proposition. It might work for several more years, or it might stop working with next year's Apple OS update.

    Apple's new filesystem APFS does NOT currently work with Time Machine. Apple are creating a whole new backup system for use with APFS. It could be cloud-based or maybe not, things aren't clear. It may or may not come with a software update for Time Capsule when it is eventually released for mainstream use.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=apfs+time+machine

    Do you think Apple will put in the effort to release a software update to a 4-year old Time Capsule range to make them work with APFS?
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    Apple has a history of not updating any legacy equipment, so I think overall, spending a lot of money on somethign that will not be updated is probably not the best move imo
     
  22. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    I'm not a huge fan of the Time Capsule as it takes the convenience of not having to keep attaching external drives to your MacBook Pro/Air to back them up and tacks on the inconvenience of backing up and restoring over WiFi, which is horribly inconvenient by comparison. But I do like the AirPort Extreme.

    I'd say that while 802.11ac is still the newest spec, it's worth getting the AirPort Extreme (Apple should still be supporting it through the time when it isn't the newest spec). I'd only get the AirPort Express if you want to use AirPlay (as it still hasn't been updated for 802.11ac, thereby making it a weak proposition as a home router) and not to use as any kind of primary router.
     

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