Can time capsule be connected via ethernet to an external drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by late show, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. late show macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #1
    Just got the time capsule, going to use it for wireless time machine back ups of my laptop. I would also like to connect an external drive to the time capsule for movies and audio files that are too big for my laptop.

    I notice if I connect my owc 7200 rpm external drive via the USB port to the time capsule, things are a bit sluggish when I access movie/audio files over the wireless...What if I purchased an external drive with an ethernet port? would it work if I plugged it into the time capsule? and if so would there be a speed increase?
     
  2. janitorC7 macrumors 6502a

    janitorC7

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    North Hollywood, CA
    #2
    Yes, but you could not use your Network Attached Storage (NAS) as a time machine backup, you could just use it for your media. Your Time Capsule would continue to work however
     
  3. tefleming macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    ATL
    #3
    How are you connecting your computer to the TC? (Ethernet or wireless - if wireless, is it 802.11n.)

    You'll see a big speed bump if you switch the wireless frequency to the 5ghz band in the Airport Utility (though that idea won't work if you need 802.11 b/g compatibility)

    //EDIT FOR CLARITY
    I think the issue might be your network speed, so, no, attaching the external drive via Ethernet to the TC wouldn't affect the wireless bandwidth bottleneck.
     
  4. late show thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #4
    I will be connecting my new laptop to the TC via wireless 802.11n in 2 weeks when it arrives.

    Right now Im trying to figure out what I need (on my existing (802.11 b/g) network) to make the new machine and network as fast as possible...I was about to purchase a new OWC drive (Quad interface aka USB 2 for connection to the time capsule) but then thought maybe I should buy a drive with an Ethernet port and connect it to the time capsule via ethernet (speed) not USB 2.

    Since I goggled this all morning and found nothing..... I don't think its possible to connect an external hard drive (that has a ethernet port) via ethernet to a time capsule and have it be recognized.

    my ideal set up:

    1. TC backing up laptop over wireless 802.11n (pretty standard)
    2. an external 1TB drive plugged into the TC either USB 2 or ethernet? so audio/movie files can be accessed quickly and served up by the TC.

    Is this possible ?
     
  5. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #5
    It's what I have at home. Your Ethernet drive will have software to make it recognized, this isn't the Time Capsule's job. Personnally, I use a QNAP NAS enclosure connected by gigabit ethernet to a Airport Extreme Base Station. The QNAP shares the drive via SMB or AFP or NFS, and this is what I see on my Macbook. I also have a 500 GB USB 2 disk connected to the Airport Extreme, which is an airdisk controlled by the AEBS. I use it as a cheapo TC for Time Machine backups of all our Macs.

    Also, speed will be a factor of the HDD, not the network at the speeds gigabit and 802.11n gives you. You can't write to the network faster than your Macbook can read off your laptop HD or faster than your NAS enclosure can write to it's HD, and the opposite is also true, you can't read faster from the network if your NAS can't read faster from it's HD. There's always a bottleneck in these things.

    Stripped RAID in your NAS will help with write performance but it comes at the price of reliability and increased chances of failure.

    In your scenario, USB 2 or Ethernet won't really change anything. One thing to note, a USB 2 disk will be shared as an Airdisk by the TC, while you'll have to fiddle with configurations of a 3rd device to share the Ethernet disk. This all depends on how comfortable you feel doing this.
     
  6. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #6
    Why would using ethernet be faster than USB2?
     
  7. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #7
    He was thinking that the Gigabit Ethernet would be faster than the 480 megabits/sec of USB2, not taking into consideration the speed of the HDD.
     
  8. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #8
    One thing to check... even if you have an 802.11N laptop with an 802.11N router (or time capsule), if you have any 802.11B/G devices on the network, you won't get very good transfer speeds out of the N devices either... Just something to be aware of. Hopefully the next iPhone will support 802.11N just so I can go into N-only mode at home!
     
  9. late show thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #9
    Thanks everyone for your input. I will go ahead with a standard external USB HD and connect it to the TC (via a powered USB hub to add more drives in future), and use my old airport express to create a second network for my older 802.11g devices.

    It seems odd to me that the last time I purchased apple products everything was going firewire 800 and since then that is all I have used, now 5 years later my TC has has only a USB 2? (480).:confused: I guess USB has more expandability to other devices like cameras, keyboards etc. But TC can only recognize printers and external HDs. So the USB seems like an odd choice.
     
  10. tefleming macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    ATL
    #10
    That was more my point. That the 802.11b/g would be the limiting factor.

    If you're using "n" or ethernet, then the performance (USB2 vs. NAS) would probably be about the same, except that buying a NAS enclosure would be more expensive and more effort to configure
     

Share This Page