Could I use 2 Time Capsules just to be safe?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Frznrth9, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Frznrth9 macrumors newbie

    Frznrth9

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    Sep 13, 2016
    #1
    Hi
    I have an old Imac that is has a hard drive full of pics and videos. I'm planning on getting a MacBook and will move them over but want to be able to have a very secure backup of these files. I'm also thinking that I'll run out of space on the MacBook shortly. I have them all backed up physically on disks and on a portable hard drive that I keep at work and most are also on a photo storage service. If I run out of MacBook space I still want to be able to access all my files easily.

    Could I buy two Time Capules - one to store all the media and one to back this up? Or is there a much easier/better way to do this? I was looking and at $179 for a refurbished one with 2T the price for 2 isn't unreasonable. Then if one dies I can just get another and keep going. I'm not tech savy - I just want something that will be as easy and as reliable as possible.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #2
    You could, but you don't really need to. Just buy one and slap a second USB drive off the back USB port and you will be all set. You could even put a powered USB hub back there and run multiple external drives. You could even have Time Machine backup to two of these drives if you wanted. Time Machine will just alternate every hour between the drives.

    Just beware though, the Time Capsule is fairly slow as far as networked data transfer when compared to a true NAS solution. But it will work.
     
  3. Frznrth9, Sep 13, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016

    Frznrth9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Frznrth9

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    #3
    thanks. That would work for now but when I get a MacBook I don't want to mess with cords unless I have to.

    How much slower are we talking? Could I stream a short home movie from it?

    Are there better - faster more reliable wireless choices?

    Sorry - just read what a NAS is. So a NAS will be faster than a TC even when both are transferring data via wifi? How come?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    Don't waste your money on two Time Capsules.

    Instead, buy at least one external hard drive.
    Then, use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a cloned backup of your iMac's hard drive.

    A cloned backup will boot and look EXACTLY like your internal drive.
    It will mount in the finder, giving you immediate access to one file, a folder full of files, or the entire drive.
    The files/folders will be right there in front of you in "plain old finder format".

    When the time comes to move to a new Mac, you can go through the initial setup routine, and at the right moment, connect your CCC/SD cloned backup and the setup assistant will then "bring over" everything, quickly and easily. Probably faster than doing it with a TM backup, too.

    Nothing else you try will prove easier, or more reliable.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    You can backup the MacBook wirelessly to the Time Capsule, or to any of the drives attached to it.

    The TC actually is a NAS also, just not a very good one and with very limited features. It is about half the transfer speed of a full featured NAS device. I have seen people use the TC to stream movies and it works.

    There are a ton of NAS options out there. Probably Synology and QNAP are the most popular. Many of those models also work with Time Machine and even the cheapest one will have more NAS features than a Time Capsule. Only issue is sometimes people have compatibility issues using Time Machine with these third party NAS devices.
     
  6. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #6
    I thought a Mac could only sync with one Time Capsule at a time?

    Also, if a USB drive is attached to the back, isn't that a manual backup that has to be initiated through the AirPort utility?

    What's the difference between using a dedicated TimeCapsule, versus using an AirPort with a USB drive attached as a TimeCapsule instead?

    Would a connected Ethernet drive be a better option to either, and could that be used as a separate backup, perhaps using a separate piece of automated backup software (only needed in the event of a primary TC backup failing)?
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    1. Time Machine can handle two backup destinations. It will just take turns each hour between the two. It does not matter what those two destinations are. It could be two Time Capsules, or two external drives, or some combination.

    2. Nope... it will automatically alternate between the two.

    3. No difference at all.

    4. Eh... not necessarily. Some people like to use Time Machine then also a third party solution so all your eggs are not in one basket. It is not so much better as it is different, so if something were wrong with Time Machine you would have the third party software backup to fall back on. For example, I run Time Machine full time to an external USB drive, then a weekly or so clone to another drive with Carbon Copy Cloner, then an online backup to Amazon's S3 servers using Arq.
     
  8. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    Apr 16, 2015
    #8
    1. I see. Has that always been the case?

    2. & 3. I see, but isn't an external drive attached to the Time Capsule slower than the internal drive? Or was that a limitation that has been overcome?

    4. you mean not all in one wireless basket, as I mentioned using third party software to backup to different wireless drive.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    1. That was a new feature starting with OS X Mountain Lion.

    2/3. They are both dog slow actually. But it works okay for backups.

    4. Yes... exactly. :)
     
  10. Alan Mackey macrumors newbie

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    Dec 3, 2011
    #10
    I regularly stream 1080p movies from both my Time Capsule (4th gen) and the Western Digital external hard drive attached via USB to the aforementioned Time Capsule.

    No problem so far using my iPad, my iMac or my AppleTV (2 and 4) as the receiving devices.
     
  11. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

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    Oct 4, 2008
    #11
    My approach is to use the TC for day to day backups. In addition I have two USB portable hard drives. Once a week or fortnight I will use one of these to back up via Time Machine. The 2nd drive is stored at my parents home. Then every time I see my parents (every 2-3 months) I will swap the portable hard drives so now I do my weekly/fortnightly backups to the 2nd drive.

    Having all your backups on one site is risky as if you are burgled or your house burns down you loose all your back ups. Some people use a USB drive to back-up the TC image, which I also find risky as if the TC image gets corrupted, the backup of it will also be corrupted.

    You should be able to get hold of a couple of USB drives for under $150.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    OP -

    Don't waste your money on two time capsules.

    Instead, just buy 2 USB hard drives that are large enough to hold the contents of the internal drives that will be "the source drives".

    Then -- use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone the contents of those computers to the backup drives.
    You'll have EXACT COPIES of the internal drives which will be "finder-mountable" and BOOTABLE, as well.

    Easy as pie.
     
  13. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    Apr 16, 2015
    #13
    How would this work if upgrading to a new Mac which is incompatible with your older operating system?
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    mac128 asks:
    "How would this work if upgrading to a new Mac which is incompatible with your older operating system?"

    Again, easy as pie:
    1. boot up NEW Mac
    2. begin setup
    3. at appropriate moment, setup assisstant will ask if you wish to migrate from an existing computer or hard drive
    4. connect cloned backup drive
    5. select it to be your source
    6. migration assistant will import from the cloned copy.

    Some folks report that migrating from a cloned backup is FASTER THAN migrating from a time machine backup. I sense this is because a tm backup has actually numerous versions of backed up files. A cloned copy has only ONE COPY of each file from the source.
     
  15. OldGreyGuy macrumors member

    OldGreyGuy

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    Jan 14, 2014
    Location:
    Near Brisbane, Australia
    #15
    Good answer, in addition you can also have those drives in seperate locations. I run two Time Machine backup drives, one in my home office and another at the office, if one of the drives is missing it does not complain or fail, just skips it until that drive is available again. I know I can work from either location and if I need to get an individual file back or restore my drive I am covered in both locations.

    Of course I do a whole startup disk clone whenever I am about to do an upgrade, etc.
     

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