Can Airport Express work with Time Machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by myemaildw, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. myemaildw macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2008
    Okay I am looking for a cheeper solution/alternative to Time Capsule to wirelessly backup my Mac with Time Machine. I already own an external hard drive. Would it be possible to connect an external hard drive to Airport Express to backup with Leopard Time Machine. Here's the article I found on the web that says it's possible. Anybody has experience in this?

    "On 19 March, 2008, Apple released an update for the Time Machine software in the "Leopard" operating system. This update makes it possible to use Time Machine with ANY "AirDisk" (a drive plugged into an Apple Airport Express or Extreme router.) This effectively creates a Time Capsule without the complexity of the actual product, just by connecting a drive. The best part is that the initial backup can be made via USB or FireWire are speeds which blow away even Ethernet-wired speed of the TIme Capsule. Subsequent backups can be made via wireless at about 8X the speed at which TC works. "
  2. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 16GB: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F108 Safari/525.20)

    The article is partly correct in that you can use time machine on any airdisk now, not just time capsule. Unfortunately, airport express base stations do not support adding a disk: the only thing you can use the USB port for is a printer.
  3. dukemeiser macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2002
    Is this still true? Airport Express CANNOT be used with a hard drive and therefore Time Machine? Even article about this is pretty old using Google.
  4. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    The only AirPort that will work with an external hard drive is the Extreme. The Express, while having a USB port, will only work with USB printers.
  5. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Best Buy claims AE can use hard drive

    I found this thread and thought i would resurrect it instead of starting a new one.

    Best Buy's website says that the Airport Express can be used for either a printer or an external hard drive. Here is the quote from their site:

    "USB port lets you connect a USB printer or external hard drive to your wireless network" express&cp=1&lp=1

    I know that Apple advertises that it is only for printers, but can anyone confirm for sure that it does not work with usb drives? As in actually tried it and not just going by the literature? I know Best Buy isn't the most reliable source, so I figured I would see what you guys here know about the matter.
  6. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I tried hooking my Toshiba 160 bus powered drive to my Express. It would spin the drive but not show on the computer. Has anyone tried this with a powered drive on Express?

  7. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    well since there is no tab for disc on the airport utility how would it work? I just tested it and no go.
  8. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Ok, thanks for the help. I have seen it a few places (Best Buy, eBay listings, etc.) that have claimed you could use a disk with the airport express, so I was just curious. Goes to show that you can't always trust everything you read.
  9. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    This is actually text taken from Apple's manual. I believe they've rectified it since, but there was a while where the manual for the Express claimed it could support USB hard drives. That was just a typo. The text was probably copied from the Extreme's manual but somebody neglected to leave out the USB hard drive part. It was only in one place in the entire manual and people made a huge deal of it. If you look around, I'm sure you'll find more than a few threads about the ensuing confusion.

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