My first Apple desktop PC (iMac)...looking for network setup suggestions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Gary Irwin, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Gary Irwin macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2011
    Hi All!

    SO I FINALLY decided to replace my trusty custom built PC with an Apple desktop -- ordered a refurbished 27" i7 iMac w/1TB SSD. (I didn't see the point in waiting for the retina version...although my focus is on photo editing, I figure it will be at least a decade before 4K displays become truly then I'll have a whole new system).

    MY CURRENT SETUP consists of a desktop PC, Airport Extreme router with a 1TB SATA drive hanging off it for backup and file sharing, as well as a USB printer. I'm also using a mac mini as a media centre and my son uses an older Macbook.

    I'M THINKING of adding a 2TB USB 3.0 to the iMac for photo storage and replacing the Airport Extreme with 3TB Airport Time Capsule dedicated to Time Machine, and continue to use my 1TB SATA drive as a file share.

    Couple of questions....
    Is it worth cost of replacing my Airport Extreme with the Time Capsule, it being noted I could just tack on a USB 2.0 drive to the AE and be done with it?

    Is Time Machine a reliable/effective backup choice, or am I just better to manually copy files to an external drive like I've always done?

    Comments or suggestions of any sort welcome.

  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Time Machine is generally very reliable however it is always wise to have redundant backup solutions. In addition to TM many users get another EHD and create a bootable clone using either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner, both apps are about $40.

    While you can hang a EHD to your existing Airport Extreme using it for Time Machine is EXTREMELY unreliable and not recommended. Apple will not support it, even though it may work for awhile inevitably it will quit backing up as TM is only designed for network use with a Time Capsule.

    I think your plan of adding a Time Capsule and using it as a TM drive is good and keeps the existing EHD as a file sharing drive. You will likely need to reformat it assuming by "file sharing" you mean sharing between the iMac and PC.

    Adding a 2TB EHD to store your photos is a good idea too, I'd recommend getting an OWC Mercury Elite Pro, you can find them at

    Good luck.
  3. Gary Irwin thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2011
    I didn't know that Apple doesn't recommend hanging a EHD from an AE for TM purposes.

    Great comments -- thanks for taking the time to respond!


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