mutliple computer back up solution

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tx26257, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. tx26257 macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2010
    Guys right of the bat Im sorry if this is a noob type question.

    what I got right now in my house is a macbook pro, a iMac and two iPad's. I am also looking at getting my son a macbookair. Ok I am in the market for a new router as we speak and a back up solution for house. My first thought was going with the 2011 time capsule 2tb. I also thought maybe I would go a airport extreme and usb plug in a external WD eternal drive passport 1tb " have one at office that just need to be reformatted.

    What my needs are A. I like to back up wirelessly instead of multiple external, I like to get a very good router.

    my wants are to possible be able access the time capsule via wifi and pull movies over the wifi to my iPads or to access files and such. If I down load a album or up load photos for editing in my macbook could I access them later on the iMac via time capsule.

    You guys being the experts what would be the best way to get at least my needs done .. time capsule or airport extreme plus usb plugged external drive.
  2. tx26257 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2010
  3. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I'm not sure if you can also use the same hard drive for media storage as you do for time machine backups, but I believe going wireless router + external hard drive is a lot cheaper than buying Apple's time capsule option. That's what I'd do at least.

    I got a 2TB WD external hard drive around Christmas time and it was only $70ish... so I'd imagine you could find cheaper solutions, especially if you're only going 1TB. So adding that (max) price to an airport extreme would make it $249ish. But of course, you don't have to get the airport extreme... any wireless router would do, which can easily fall under $50 or $100.
  4. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Both the Time Capsule (TC) and the Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS) are good routers, unless you need Quality of Service (QoS) features, which most people don't. I base this statement upon my own experience with TC and from what I've read in these forums when people ask about good routers. Going Apple will probably cost a bit more than a competing router, though.

    I highly recommend wireless backups, as you've already mentioned. Here's the way I see your options:

    (1) a TC, + external if needed
    - more $
    - fully supported/recommended by Apple
    - fewer devices
    - relatively slow (I've heard)
    - less convenient to replace the backup hard drive

    (2) an AEBS + external
    - less $ than TC
    - not recommended, not supported by Apple for unknown reasons
    - seems to work for most, but some have reported that backups
    didn't work or stopped working after some time
    - adds one more device and its power adapter
    - relatively slow (I've heard)
    - very convenient to replace the backup hard drive

    (3) third party NAS that supports Time Machine backups (I think Synology makes some)
    - even more $ than TC
    - faster performance, depending upon NAS chosen
    - multiple drive bays available
    - many more features
    - more complicated to research, choose, and set up.
    - very convenient to replace the backup hard drive

    I have an old TC and have always been happy with it. I'd recommend getting a new or refurbished TC. Use its internal drive for backups only, and an external drive (sounds like you have one available) to hold other files to share. (That way Time Machine won't fill your file-sharing space with backups.)

    I think, but I'm not sure, that TC or AEBS would be fast enough to stream movies. But if you go that route, test it out yourself and return the device to Apple if it won't do what you want. Ask, but I believe there's a 14-day return period on TC and AEBSs.

  5. tx26257 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2010
    i was not actually thinking of streaming but transfering the file over wireless but streaming works to
  6. duky macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Carolina
    I'd get a refurb 1GB Time Capsule for $209. I'm not sure about pulling content to the iPad. That will be tricky but may change with iOS5 although I doubt it. If you need 2GB then it will be a bit more expensive. I've never been anything short of happy with my Time Capsule.
  7. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    Assuming you're using time machine for your backup, it will keep growing the backups until they fill the disk. So I wouldn't have multiple computers backing up to one hard drive. Or have a data drive also used as a backup drive. You might want to consider getting a USB hub to hang multiple drives off a wireless router so each computer has a dedicated backup destination.
  8. Mac Eagle macrumors member

    May 5, 2010
    I think a TC is a good solution for your multiple computer backup. I just recently purchased a new iMac and at the time I purchased an Airport Extreme; however, less than a week later they introduced the new models so I returned mine and seeing that the 2TB TC was now just a little over $100 more I bit the bullet and bought one.

    My main reason at the time was to use it to back up my wife's Macbook which previously had not been backed up (this is a nice setup for her because she doesn't even have to think about it happening and doesn't have to worry about making sure a drive is plugged in). I had been using an external FW drive on my Power Mac G5 to do my TC backups and was going to do the same with my iMac because I was worried about the backup speed over wifi. My wife's Macbook only has about 150GB or so of data that needs to be backed up so I kinda hated to have so much unused space on the TC so I broke down and decided to use it for my backup as well (about 650GB of data).

    So even with both machines backed up I will still have plenty of space for incremental backups and can still put other data on there to share. Of course I performed the initial backups via ethernet connection but everything else since has been done wirelessly. So far I have been impressed with the speed of the backups, even when I have several gigs for it to back up it does so pretty quickly (usually just a few minutes for this much data and much quicker for a "normal" backup).

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