Is Time Capsule for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by greg0rn, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. greg0rn macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2009
    My home setup is rather simple: 21.5" desktop, printer, soon new gen. Ipad. Internet provided through cable.

    I'm thinking about Time Capsule for backing up the computer, and also to create home networking for above peripherals. Is TC the right choice? Hoping to hear from users with similar arrangements. Thanks in advance.
  2. rw3 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    DFW, TX
    Get an Airport Extreme and an external USB 2.0 drive.

    The Time Capsules have an issue with the drives dying out very early in their life. There are a number of theories behind this, 1) Heat 2) Power Supply not giving the drive enough power, therefore causing drive integrity issues.

    I have seen more than my share of failed drives and most Apple Genius' will also suggest what I'm suggesting to you. Plus upgrading in the future would be as hard, simply swap the external for a larger drive.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Is TC the right choice?"

    Probably not. See the posting immediately above this one.

    They have a VERY high failure rate, primarily due to the "stylish" design of the enclosure which inconveniently left almost no vents for cooling the internal components.

    For easy and cheap backup, I suggest:
    - A USB/SATA "docking station" (cost is only $20-30)
    - One or more "bare" hard drives of your choice
    - CarbonCopyCloner (free backup and cloning utility)
    (if you need more speed than USB2, consider the "Voyager Quad" dock from Other World Computing)
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It was not drive failures. The early Time Capsules had a cheesy capacitor that failed early (probably due to heat and poor quality). Many users tore into their TC and replaced the capacitor and got it working again. There has since been a hardware revision to the Time Capsule and high failure rates have not been reported with the new version.

    OP>> I have a recent model TC and it works perfectly and would be a good solution for you.
  5. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    OP thanks for this post, I too have the same question.

    Weaseboy, to better judge the OP's question, how long have you had your most current TC? And does anyone have a good guess as to the time frame in which the older TCs failed?
  6. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    There's lots of posts here and a few websites devoted specifically to the older TCs dying usually right around 18 months.

    I picked up one a few months ago via the refurbished store, and it is covered under my Mac's AppleCare, so I'm covered for the next 3 years. This is enough peace of mind for me to avoid having a Airport + USB disk.
  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I bought my current TC model MC343LL/A in October 2009.

    According to this website the average lifetime of the defective batch 19 months and 20 days. Reportedly it was limited to a range of serial numbers and Apple replaced yours free is within the affected batch.
  8. jbilbo macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
  9. lostime macrumors regular

    May 19, 2009
    I have a first gen Time Capsule and have had no problems with it running 24/7 for the past 3 years or so.

    I recently replaced the hard drive in it for a larger one, just for space. I'm using the old 500gb in a windows machine, no problems.
  10. petsk macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2009
    Northern Europe
    If you can afford it, then get a Time Capsule. It's perhaps the best product I've got from Apple. The design is great, the connection is extremely stable compared to other routers, it simply just works and it do it very well in my opinion (my TM is a late 2009 model).

    I don't have any experience with Airport Express but I do have experience from a variety of other wireless routers and they have all been a hassle to deal with in all possible perspective; dropping connections, cable clutter, ugly design etc.

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