Done with Time Capsule, need advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lushchicken, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Lushchicken macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2011
    Pretty furious after my third Time Capsule (3rd gen) has just died on me. They usually last a year and then "POOF DEAD". Last time Apple reassured me that this batch of Time Capsules would be fine (one year ago), well, they were wrong. I have spent hours on the phone with Apple and just can't invest any more time talking to them about an issue they are clearly unable to fix. Both my husband and I have small freelance businesses and we heavily rely on a stable internet connection and a reliable back up solution.

    We mainly need good data storage and also often stream shows and music from various hard disks. We also have several home automation hubs (Hue, Sonos). I may sound beyond clueless, but what kind of solution would you recommend? Several big hard drives? A NAS? I don't know where to start. I liked how easy the TC solution was, but I can't bring myself to get another one.
  2. classicalbear macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2008
    My comment would be, guess you paid with a major credit card? Most of them double the warranty, so if you bought it a year ago, well if you still have your receipt from Apple AND credit card, contact the credit card company, they will do something for sure.
  3. hojx macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2014
    Instead of a Time Capsule, you can go for a desktop hard disk connected to an AirPort Extreme. Takes up more physical space but you get the reliability of a desktop hard disk while retaining the Time Machine function.
  4. Lushchicken thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2011
    Thank you guys! Yes, I will certainly go after Apple for my money. Here in Switzerland you get a 2 year warranty with every purchase, so we should be fine. I'd just rather not have another 1 hour discussion and them trying to replace it with another TC. I have considered a simple AirPort Extreme and hard disk set up. But after some research tonight I think I'll go after something with a bit more functionality like a Synology NAS. I might have to do a bit more work and reading to use all features, but I like educating myself about tech stuff. The Synology DS215j looks particularly nice.
  5. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Sorry to hear your struggling with back ups. I tried to use a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo (early model) as a TM backup target, and it never really worked. (It regularly said that the backup was corrupt, and needed to start over.) I switched to TC and never had a problem since. My advice here is to check the forums before making a purchase. Virtually every disk manufacturer says they support TM, but in my experience (admittedly now somewhat dated) that didn't work out.
  6. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    The synology units are pretty sweet, (I have two). But having tried a number of different setups, my other alternative suggestion is to buy a cheap Mac mini and install Server app.

    I have one setup with a Pegasus J4 attached. I like the way I can have multiple disks attached and assigned for multiple backups. Extra storage and fast access.

    Prob a more expensive way to go, but offers a lot of flexibility and additional options.

    Something else to consider at least.
  7. Temptin macrumors member


    Jun 16, 2015
    @Lushchicken: "POOF DEAD"? What? The Time Capsule, or its internal hard disk?

    Hard disks aren't reliable, so I wouldn't be surprised if the internal disk died. You can simply open it up and replace the disk. Hard disks are dirt cheap now. You can get a replacement disk for the price of about 6 pizzas (I always measure prices in # of pizzas). Heck, let Apple replace the Time Capsule for you, then sell the internal disk and buy a pricier and more reliable disk. You'd have to buy disks anyway if you wanted to get a NAS.

    I would be very, VERY surprised if the Time Capsule hardware itself died.

    PS: I do not recommend Synology NAS. They're noisy. I used to own a DS311j or something like that. Had space for two disks but it made so much noise, and it was big and slow and buggy (constant updates) and the admin interface was nerdy as hell. My Apple AirPort Extreme is tiny and is the slickest backup device I've ever owned. Managing it with AirPort Utility is a joy.
  8. bgd macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2005
    Experiences differ. I have a Synology (model escapes me) and it's quiet and maintence free. It just sits in the corner doing its thing. Too slow for a media server though. I use it as my back up drive, including TM backups. For my main storage I use a mini with external storage. This does everything well.
  9. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    Think you'll find things have moved on from 5 years ago. The Time Capsule functionality on the Synology is pretty good. I use mine for TC backups, windows PC backups and general media server. But it can also add much more, e.g. mail server, Web Server (with word press if required), etc.

    Lushchicken, I'd pair a Synology NAS with an Airport Extreme router. The J model synology NAS's are perfectly adequate, but if you can push to DS214, you'll find it a bit quicker as it has a better CPU. There may be a DS215 due at some point, if so, wait for that.
  10. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    I have two TCs. They are in two different houses, but I wouldn't feel comfortable without having a redundant backup. I'd suggest getting another TC, having the original fixed and rotate them occasionally so you have two backups and a backup wireless solution. Go for the refurb (yes, ironical). They're a really good deal. I have Airport Expresses in both houses I use for Airplay, but could use in a pinch as a router if needed, but a two TC solution would work.

    BTW, I went to Apple routers after multiple failures from other manufactures. Mine have never failed. You had bad luck, but not astronomically bad.
  11. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    I am still using my old, hard drive corrupting Airport Extreme because there are no HFS+ NAS enclosures.
  12. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The NAS does not need to support HFS+, it only needs to support AFP.
  13. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    It needs to be directly attachable as HFS+ for DiskWarrior to work.
  14. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    OP was looking for a Time Machine solution, so I'm not clear what DiskWarrior has to do with it?
  15. cube, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  16. macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2016
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I also do TC with an attached, good quality external HD. The TC is dedicated to Time Machine backups (3 Macs) and the external is our media hub. I did this as the media hub gets tons of work being used my 3 macs and 2 Apple TVs.

    I set this up for a few years ago with no issues so far.
  17. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'd go with a more business class NAS instead of the Apple stuff. More expensive, but that's pretty much what businesses run on. Or the suggestion of using a computer as a server. Also works as as backup.
  18. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    buy a computer, ipad , or watch with apple care. go to the apple store and demand a brand new time capsule (fifth generation) for your third gen.

    show up with the apple store and show them your applecare contract and ask for a replacement

    however. they did pull the inventory. so if you do get a good genius on your side, he might have to order it.

    as long as you purchased the time capsule in the last 2 years, they owe you a new one as long as you have applecare. applecare will theoretically lengthen the time capsule warranty for 5 years.

    applecare covers wireless routers purchased in the last 2 years to the length of time of the covered applecare contract

    i don't know of any other wireless router company that has 5 year warranties on routers.

    i guess AT&T uverse counts?

    when you buy a computer or a time capsule or a hard disk in a plastic bag, the hard disk inside is sold to to you as a component with no retail warranty whatsoever. you must buy a hard disk in a retail box to get a 5 year warranty, and that is even if they offer 5 year warranties anymore. back in the day in order to get a 5 year warranty, you had buy SCSI

    so compared to this, its pretty generous of apple to warranty the time capsule for 5 years to people with applecare. and you don't even need to buy the time capsule at the same time as the computer.
  19. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    QNAP too. It comes with better configuration and the software is nice. I was in the exact situation few years ago, fought for a refund from Apple cause my time machine had failed 3 times, bought a Synology 215+, configured time machine on it, have not looked back. It is not noisy. If I had to purchase a NAS again, it would be QNAP
  20. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I would suggest getting a NAS. Check out smallnetbuilder site and read some of the reviews/tests of various NAS units. Both Synology and QNAP have some very strong contenders whether they are 1 drive or greater NAS devices. If you become more tech savvy, there are other NAS apps that would allow you to do some very interesting things such as a private cloud.

    While I am far more familiar with QNAP, having owned several, I have also set up for other folks Synology and other makes. I think that both makers have something to offer but be sure to get the better models they each offer. To clarify, they may put out more than one 2-drive units with some being "better" than others and also the same goes for more than 2 drive units. If budget allows, consider a 4 drive unit with the largest drives you can afford. You could start with 2 drives and go with RAID 1 (mirror) then add drives later to get all 4 drives up and running (learn about RAID 5 and RAID 6 as well as RAID 10).

    The only other alternative is DAS which is directly attached storage for each computer. This is not a bad way to go as the drives would be formatted by the Mac and could be moved about as needed and attached to another Mac. (Just get a good grasp on security for these drives).

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