Is the Time Capsule an ok device? Poor reviews

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SMDBill, May 9, 2013.

  1. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    #1
    We have 3 Macbook Pros and lately my router has gotten flaky so I'm searching for a router. However, I also need to backup our Macbooks so it's a good time to consider a Time Capsule to handle both tasks.

    What I'd like to hear is user experience with the TC from forum members to get a better idea of the quality and usability of the TC. I have read consumer reviews on about every site that sells them and they're fairly poor, which is normally a red flag no-buy indicator for me. I am doubtful hundreds of people were wrong, but it's also possible those responses occurred prior to firmware updates or other changes Apple may have made without formally releasing a whole new unit.

    I need a router and backup solution so if you like/dislike TC or have a better product/solution in mind, please post.

    Once concern is if I replace a HD in one of the computers, can I get TC to recognize the machine and give me a full mirror/backup to the new drive, as if I never lost that HD?

    Edit: other wireless devices on the network will be 1 Linux wireless desktop, 1 Windows laptop, 3 iPhones, 3 Android phones, 1 wireless printer and 2 iPod touches.
     
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #2
    As a router I've been very pleased with my AirPort Extreme (same router as the Time Capsule has in it). For a backup solution I think the Time Capsule is certainly a convenient option, and it's the only officially supported NAS-style backup solution for Time Machine.

    Personally I use a NetGear ReadyNAS Duo as my Time Machine backup destination, which is not officially sanctioned by Apple but is supported by Netgear. However I already had the ReadyNAS so was just leveraging equipment on hand.

    In a household with multiple Mac laptops, I think a Time Capsule is a reasonable and convenient backup solution. I have a Mac Mini so if I were starting from scratch (and didn't have the ReadyNAS) I'd go with local disks on the Mini and set up OS X Mountain Lion Server to back up laptops to the Mini - that is still an Apple-supported backup solution, and it gives more flexibility with disk choices. However if you don't have a desktop Mac that you want to leave on 24x7 then Time Capsule gives you the capabilities you need.

    As far as replacing a hard drive, what you'd do is install the new drive - install OS X operating system - then restore from the Time Machine backup for that machine. It's a fairly painless process, and really no different than if you were backing up to an external USB drive on that Macbook. Since Time Machine backs up hourly, you should lose no more than an hours' data.
     
  3. SMDBill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    #3
    Thanks for the feedback. The ratings for the TC were around 3 stars or less at most locations so it has me a bit hesitant to drop $299 for a 2TB solution. And if I buy another Macbook Pro that'll be 4 machines squeezing onto a single 2TB drive. I'd likely need to extend the TC because the cost of 1 more TB is a bit prohibitive at $499 for a 3TB TC.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    I think what you are seeing is hold over from earlier model problems. The first couple generations of Time Capsule would just drop dead after a year or so. There was even an entire web site devoted to tracking these. Newer versions with redesigned internals seem to reliable.

    I would never argue it is the cheapest solution, but if you want easy wireless backup of your Mac portables, it is I believe the best solution.
     
  5. SMDBill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    #5
    Awesome, thanks! Yes, I do recall many of the discussions about the HDD dying after about 9 months but they were 2011/2012 posts. If the hardware is now reliable it does seem the best solution and I would imagine 2TB would be plenty for 3-4 drives that probably have 100-200GB of data max on them (each).
     
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #6
    Look at the Refurb store too, some good deals to be had. The 2TB is $259 and 3TG is $429 right now.

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/mac_accessories

    Also keep in mind that if you have AppleCare on a Mac, your Time Capsule is covered by that - even if purchased up to two years BEFORE you buy the Mac. So if you buy a TC today and a new Macbook in 2 years and put AppleCare on the Macbook, the TC will be covered for a total of nearly 5 years.
     
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    I personally use Time Capsules for our Time Machine backups. I do this because it is the only officially supported NAS.

    Now that I am up to 5 TC's, I would probably have bought a Mac Mini + DAS if starting over... but I bought our TCs one at a time as our family converted from PCs to Macs.

    All 4 of us in our family have our own TC's dedicated to our own iMacs. Both of our daughters also back up their MBAs to their personal TC's. My wife and I share the fifth TC for just our MBAs.

    /Jim
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #8
    Very happy with mine. Excellent wifi compared to previous routers. It just runs in the background keeping all my data backed up and looks cool to. What more could I want it to do?
     
  9. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #9
    I have a question along those lines:

    I have a MacBook that is still under the extended AppleCare for another year. If I were to buy a used TimeCapsule on ebay or Craigslist that may be a couple years old, would it still be under AppleCare warranty through the end of my MacBook's AppleCare term?

    http://www.apple.com/support/products/mac.html
     
  10. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #10
    Theoretically, if the original date of purchase in Apple's system was within your applecare period or up to two years prior, then yes it would be covered. However you have no way to check that date of purchase.
     
  11. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #11
    I have two questions:

    1. I bought my BTO iMac a few months ago obviously from Apple and then bought a new 3 TB Time Capsule a week or so later from Amazon. Since I have Apple Care on the new IMac, is the new Time Capsule covered as well, under that same Apple Care policy? The time capsule was purchased AFTER the iMac and Apple would have no record of the purchase since I bought the time capsule new from Amazon.

    2. Is there a "best" position to orient the time capsule for best WiFi aimed at my primary iMacs for improved transmission and for best heat dispersion? It gets pretty warm/hot with a bunch of computers accessing it. What about aiming a small quiet fan at the upright time capsule to cool it? I tried that and it really cools down the exterior if that makes any difference on the internal electronics and hard drive in it. Is this just being OCD or will it be of significant benefit?

    Thanks.
     
  12. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #12
    The TC is covered since it was purchased during the coverage period of your AppleCare agreement. Since your purchase can be accessed on your Amazon account history you'll have no trouble showing proof of purchase date if the TC ever needs to be serviced under your iMac's AppleCare agreement.
     
  13. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #13
    Thank you. Anyone that can help with the second question?
     
  14. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    I just keep mine on a flat surface... all located in a secure location. I do not use wireless access to the TCs. They are all wired into my home network.

    /Jim
     
  15. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #15
    Jim,
    No Wireless? What about your Mac notebooks?
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #16
    I sat mine on top of four of these PVC sprinkler fittings I had in the garage just to allow some airflow underneath. Probably completely unneeded, but it makes me feel better. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    All of my TC's are hardwired to my home network. Hence... my laptops (which wirelessly attach to the home network through the main router) backup up to the appropriate TC.

    All of my TC's are set with wireless off.

    I have a strong preference to hardwire everything that is in a fixed location (iMacs, Thunderbolt Displays, Printers, NAS, Home Servers, Time Capsules, Apple TVs, TV set top boxes, etc). Typically... the only devices that attach to my home network wirelessly are our MBAs, iPads, iPhones & Nest thermostat. They all attach to an Airport Extreme which is directly attached to my ISP's HS modem.

    /Jim
     

Share This Page