Need advice regarding buying a Time Capsule

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Unprocessed1, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Unprocessed1 macrumors 65816

    Unprocessed1

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    #1
    I was planning on getting a 160GB Intel SSD, however the 80GB SSD is $200 cheaper.

    I want to store music, videos, documents, etc. as well as install Windows 7 on bootcamp, so space will be highly limited on the 80GB.

    With that said, I was interested in buying a 500 GB Time Capusle to serve as a external hard drive.

    I have a few questions though:

    1. Is Time Capsule "really" a wireless hard drive? Do you need to have a wi fi connection to save or load files from the TC or is it similar in functionality to a bluetooth device where you don't need a wireless (wifi or ethernet) internet connection? Does it save/load files the same way an external hard drive does when hooked up to a Mac?

    2. Are time capsules reliable? Do they have problems or have a risk of being corrupted or breaking over time similar to external and internal hard drives, or are they built better?

    3. I'm going to use this in a dorm, so are there security settings to make the data stored on the TC secure and password protected?

    4. How well does it work with Windows? Do you have to partition and format the HD to have it work with the TV?

    Sorry for the obvious questions, but just want to make sure I'm correct in my assumptions before I buy one.

    Note: I already own an external HD and a Airport express, but I like the idea of having a wireless HD so I can easily convert that 80GB SSD into a 580GB HD when I'm in my room, without having to hook up a usb power external.
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    First of all, buy a new 1TB or 2TB TC. They were updated today.

    TC is a network drive. Any computer on the same network can access it, regardless if it is connected via wired or wireless.
    It will be treated similarly to a directly connected drive (but slower because of the network), allowing you to use it as file storage and even as a Time Machine backup location.

    A TC has a hard drive inside. It can fail just like any other hard drive.
    All hard drives fail at some point, so be prepared. You can replace the drive yourself cheaply and easily if the warranty has expired.

    When using any kind of wireless network in a dorm, turn on WPA2 security and disable SSID brodcast AT THE VERY LEAST.

    No, portioning isn't necessary. The underlying file system is irrelevant when sharing on a network. Windows computers should work fine.
    What do you mean "the TV"?
     
  3. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

    1. The time capsule is a wireless router so you will have to be connected to a network that it is broadcasting to use it.

    2. My TC hasn't give me any problem in the time that I've owned it (1.5 years). I'd say that it is reliable.

    3. Yes. You can password protect it and even allow only certain MAC (not the computer) addresses to access it.

    4. I don't know about this one. I haven't connected a windows computer to mine and tried to access the data on the TC.
     
  4. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #4
    it wont work with windows. They can use the router part but not the drive.
     
  5. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #5
    Really? I don't think so.
     
  6. Unprocessed1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Unprocessed1

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    #6
    So if you want to use it as just a wireless HD, you still need to have it hooked up to an internet connection?

    To Geoff: The 500GB will be around $150 now on ebay, compared to $300 for the 1TB. I'd save more more by getting the 160 GB Intel SSd.
     
  7. colinmack macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #7
    Not the case - I share my Time Capsule drive under both Mac and Windows every day. I just installed the Airport Disk Utility (although if I recall, that wasn't even necessary, it just made it easier).
     
  8. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #8
    Watch Apple's refurb store for a better deal. The old 500GB TC price should drop in the next few days.
     
  9. ggf macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    #9
    An alternative

    Here is another option you might like to consider - airport extreme plus external hard drive - same functionality as a timecapsule but cheaper and not quite as compact. Has the advantage that you can upgrade the drive easily or if you use a hub add multiple drives. If you want a drive that looks good with the airport check out the newertech drives. I went for a newertech ministack works very well and has a built in hub. I have run the airport newertech and several other drives plugged into the spare usb ports on the newertech and can access all drives at the same time. Agree with geoffreak that you should use WPA2 and not broadcast the SSID but you should also think about using MAC address filtering so that only the machines you specify can address the network even if they know the password

    http://www.newertech.com/products/ministackv3.php
     
  10. Unprocessed1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Unprocessed1

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    #10
    So if you want to use it as just a wireless HD, you still need to have it hooked up to an internet connection?
     
  11. Unprocessed1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Unprocessed1

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    #11
    Also: My school has a security login client(s) that must be used in order to sign in for ethernet or wifi. Will this effect whether or not the Time Capsule will work over my network, or should it automatically work after I login in and connected to the school's network?
     
  12. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #12
    Most schools don't allow routers, but mine didn't really do anything after they found out I used one. You can get around most security by cloning your computer's MAC address after logging in with a client (this won't work if you have to login with a web page every time you connect via Ethernet).

    Make sure you use WPA2 security and disable SSID broadcast at the very least to prevent other people jumping on your wireless network.

    TC is not a "wireless hard drive", nor can it be used as such. It is a router with NAS (network accessible storage). This means you have to be connected to the TC's network to access the drive. If the TC doesn't have an internet hookup, you won't have internet on your MBP while connected to it.
     
  13. technicalguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    #13
    This page has now been updated with step-by-step instructions for using the wireless and the drive in a Windows environment.

    Enjoy!
     
  14. Helo2050 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #14
    So my question is do I need (i.e.) Comcast service for it to work? Like if they turned off my service, although I have a linksys, wireless router will TC still be usable?

    ugh I hate being this dumb im going to go pick up some networking books.
     
  15. RudyG macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #15

    The Time Capsules are very reliable and give you effortless backups through Time Machine for a period of about 18 months, then they break and Apple will not stand behind them and you are on your own for retrieving any valuable information you may have stored in the drive. See my post here.
     

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