How To Use My New Time Capsule + NAS?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by vandyalum, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. vandyalum macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2013
    Here's the skinny on what we have:

    - Macbook Air running 10.6.8
    - Macbook Pro (not sure which one - purchased in 2007 - but it's about to die, so it's no particularly important)
    - iPad (4th generation)
    - iPhone 3 and iPhone 4S
    - Apple TV (not sure which generation - purchased new in May 2011)
    - Airport Express (not currently being used)
    - Two external hard drives (not wireless), together about 1 TB

    Here's what we want to accomplish:

    First and foremost, we need to be able to store our files externally. With only the MBA and iPad as our functioning devices, we are quickly running out of storage space for documents, photos, and videos.

    Second (a close second), we want to be able to access these externally stored files wirelessly, (fairly) quickly, and on an every-day basis. In other words, if I create a new word document, I want to be able to save it onto this external storage and then a couple hours later access it to make further changes, etc. If I want to play a song from my iTunes library, I want to be able to play it from this external storage. If I want to play a movie on ATV, I want to be able to play it from this external storage. (I'm guessing this sounds like a bit of "cloud" computing?)

    Third, we want to be able to access these externally stored files remotely, when needed. (I.e., outside of our home network. If I'm at work and need to pull a document on this external storage device, I want to be able to do it.)

    What we sort of don't care about:

    Time machine backups on Time Capsule. We're not even using Time Machine at present. We have no backups of our files - stupid, I know - and we're committed to starting this soon. However, we're happy to put our time machine backups - if possible - on non-TC external hard drives. However, my guess is there's some benefit to doing TM back-ups onto TC? I read somewhere that Apple made TC for TM backups - not sure if this is true.

    After reading some posts, it *seems* that what we really want/need is an NAS, something like Synology. Can anyone confirm this? If so, which Synology device do you recommend?

    The $1m question: why did we get the TC? I described all of the above to the IT guy at my work, and he recommended TC. I didn't do my own homework beforehand. Now after reading some posts, it seems other folks have had a hard time accomplishing our same objectives with TC.

    Also, we haven't yet used the TC and are still within the return period. I'm happy to return it to Apple, if there's something better suited to our needs. Or, I'm happy to keep it (if there's a reason to keep it) and get something else.

    Given all the above, what do you recommend that we do to accomplish what we want?
  2. ColdCase, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    The Time Capsule is probably overpriced for what you want.. but it works well with apple products.

    You can share the internal TC drive plus another USB drive connected to it. The TC will show up in each computer's finder window under shared, clicking on the TC will open up a list of drive and folders, just as if it was directly connected. Wireless is slow compared to directly attached drives, but works well for sharing iTune libraries and documents. Note that many claim to attach more than one USB drive via a powered hub... but I've found that unreliable. One USB drive works just fine.

    The Time Capsule can be set up to allow log ins remotely from outside your network and share the drive space and whatever is stored thereon.

    A NAS solution from synology may work better, may not. NASs are typically harder to set up for the amateur.

    There are probably a dozen ways to skin the remote access cat. There are several tips on setting up a Time Capsule or Airport Extreme base station for remote access around the net but here is one. You need a relatively stable IP address as you will use it to log in. Most are.:
  3. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV

    Since you bought a TC (not cheap!) without hesitation on a whim of a recommendation.....I'm going to assume that you have (some) money. Within a few weeks Netgear is going to be releasing (some retailers have them already) their new line of ReadyNAS units.

    I would highly recommend returning the TC and buying a ReadyNAS, specifically the 102 unit. Put in 2 hard drives in a RAID 1 and you have backup for drive failure, network accessible storage, and your iTunes server. It has ReadyCLOUD service which automatically syncs all changes. I think you would be satisfied with this unit. I have a Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 and I love it.

    Everyone here seems to be in love with the Synology units, they are good units I am sure but I personally have had 0 problems with Netgear.

    Take a look at all of the details I think you will find this does everything you need.

    Edit: Your Apple TV might even be a second generation. You could jailbreak it, install Plex, and even use the NAS to hold all your content and watch it all on your Apple TV. It's a fantastic solution.
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I don't think the IT guy made the recommendation on a whim... the time capsule would be so much more easier to set up for folks that don't deal with NAS day to day. It just works.

    No questions there are other ways to skin the cat, and more powerful appliances if the OP wants to learn about NAS.
  5. vandyalum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2013
    Many thanks for the replies ColdCase and troy14.

    ColdCase re the additional, connected USB drive: would this serve a separate, distinct purpose from the TC?

  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    No, just added storage if the TC drive is not big enough for your needs.
  7. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    Great point.

    Although, I highly recommend you take a look at the new ReadyNAS units. The new interface looks ridiculously simple to use and provides 10x the functionality of a Time Capsule, for roughly the same price.

Share This Page