Is Airport Express Base Station good enough for time capsule?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by xchaotic, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. xchaotic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #1
    I want that seamless Time Capsule/Machine experience wirelessly, but can't afford the whole thing.
    So I wonder if I could just get by with AirPort Express Base Station (802.11n) as it has USB port advertised for printer sharing.

    Or will I need the intermediate Airport Extreme Base Station?
     
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #2
    No, you need the airport extreme to share a hard drive.
     
  3. xchaotic thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for a very quick and definitive answer.

    Is there some place on the web where I can read more on those details.

    For instance, I originally planned to connect the drive externally via USB, but I noticed that time capsule connects the drive via SATA which should be much faster especially for the initial backup through gigabit ethernet.
    Can I hide the drive inside the Airport Extreme by any chance?

    Another question is, can I dedicate just the part of the drive to time machine or does it really have to be the whole disk? Can I somehow store the files there 'normally' just like I would in a NAS?
     
  4. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    Never opened up a airport extreme, but the only connection it has for drives is a USB on the outside.

    Time capsule is what you want to buy. It has the looks of the airport extreme but with an internal drive.

    If you partition off the harddrive you can use some of it for backups or for multiple backups of different computers.
     
  5. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #5
    Just to clear things up, while the Express does have a USB port, it is only capable of sharing printers. The HDD sharing is specific to the Extreme and the Time Capsule unfortunately.

    You can't partition the hard drive of the Time Capsule without physically opening it up and seating it in a hard drive enclosure as far as I know. If you wanted to do that, your best bet would be to get an Extreme and connect a USB HDD after partitioning it with your Mac (HFS+). If you get a Time Capsule, you can still use the HDD to store additional files, but Time Machine will continue backing up to the drive until it is full, so you will need to monitor the space manually. There are however some that have managed to "partition" the drive by creating disk images through disk utility (not exactly sure how myself, but a search might prove useful) to allocate space to both Time Machine and other files. A third option would be to get a Time Capsule and use it for Time Machine, and also a USB HDD and connect it to the TC to use as a wireless HDD.
     
  6. xchaotic thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #6
    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

    As I already have a 1TB drive and a router, I think I'll simply hold off with buying as pricing for the time capsule is horrible for now.
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #7
    what is wrong with buying an express, plugging in the 1tb HD and backing up to that manually via USB?? i would have thought that it would been a much easier method than purchasing the extreme and whatnot.
     
  8. grooveattack macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #8
    express does not support HDD on its USB for some stupid reason. i dont know if its to do with hardware or software but its very annoying.
     
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #9
    spyazzin :(
     
  10. Elloise macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    #10
    Meh

    I'm really glad I stumbled across this thread, saved a few tears.
    Forum Spy rules.
     
  11. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #11
    It's a hardware issue. It's only capable of sharing printers. The only advantages it has over the other base stations are that it can be used for AirTunes and it is portable.

    http://www.apple.com/wifi/
     
  12. xchaotic thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #12
    I went for the cheapest solution - I already have a HDD and a wi-fi router, so I just bought sata2usb cable and I am using time machine directly via usb2.0.
    The bright side is it doesn't bog down my wi-fi traffic and I only do it manually so it doesn't bog down the machine,
    But if I'm lazy and don't backup often, I can lose a lot of work, that's why I wanted that seamless experience of tiem capsule that does it all for me
     

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