Thanks in advance and sorry for wasting anyone's time. Having spent all day researching external hard drive backup solutions for my set-up I feel even more confused. Also my lap is very warm so I've probably inadvertently devised a very different "protection" plan. Here's what we've got: Two MacBooks (his and hers... awww) Airport Extreme Here's what we want to do: Wirelessly backup files/programs Not think about backing up files/programs I was hoping I could do all this via a powered USB hub off the Airport Extreme but from what I've read that seems to be real hit-or-miss given Apple's unsupportive stance toward non Time Capsule solutions. I'd consider the TC but the "18 month" shelf life concerns me too much. Obviously a simple "connect your MacBook to an external hard drive every once in a while" plan would work but I'm far too lazy to trust myself with that kind of discipline. I yearn for automation. One solution I've been contemplating is to purchase a Mac Mini, connect it to an external hard drive (firewire), and then connect the Mini to the network via one of the Airport's LAN. Would I be able to backup our MacBooks (through Time Machine and/or SuperDuper) with that set-up? Before someone points out that purchasing a Mini solely for this purpose would be wasteful I actually have some use for the Mini as a dedicated desktop since docking my laptop is a nuisance (SEE above: "too lazy.") I'm obviously open to other solutions... to the network/backup thing, not the warm lap issue.