New mesh network (time machine compatible)

mjohansen

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 19, 2010
182
23
Denmark
I am currently looking to improve my wifi coverage in my house, as my Time Capsule alone is no longer able to cover the entire house after we moved.

I know the pro's and con's of time machine backups, but I am happy with my current setup, where everything happens automatically through the Time Capsule without needing to wire a hard drive to each computer/laptop.

However, the weak wifi coverage in parts of our house is a problem, and I want to improve it. So do any of you have any suggestions for a mesh setup/product compatible with time machine backups?
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,118
401
Colorado
With 802.11ax just hitting the market, but quite costly, you might want to find a tweak such as to use TC + Extreme\Express until prices for AX routers come down.

Airports can be setup in a "roaming" network configuration where ethernet connects the remote AP to the TC. If ethernet is a challenge, power line adapters (AV2000) should give you close to the 1Gbps the TC is capable of.

AP Extremes have 1Gbps ethernet, and can match the TC WiFi capabilities, Express has a 100Mbps ethernet WAN port and lacks 802.11AC capabilities, but if your ISP service is 100Mbps or less, it would be an adequate temporary solution.

802.11AX promises speed, range, and interference improvements over 802.11AC. As such, it may be adequate to cover your space without additional satellite access points. Given these characteristics, Mesh networks may be unnecessary with AX routers. But, given the relatively high price, it is difficult to recommend right now. Further, few devices have AX compatibility yet, give that a few years.

Even if you go with a new router or mesh system, TC can be used with or without WiFi. Plug it into a LAN port on the router, put it in bridge mode (Network > Router Mode - Off (Bridged Mode), and turn off WiFi and it is still capable of doing your backups.
 

mjohansen

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 19, 2010
182
23
Denmark
With 802.11ax just hitting the market, but quite costly, you might want to find a tweak such as to use TC + Extreme\Express until prices for AX routers come down.

Airports can be setup in a "roaming" network configuration where ethernet connects the remote AP to the TC. If ethernet is a challenge, power line adapters (AV2000) should give you close to the 1Gbps the TC is capable of.

AP Extremes have 1Gbps ethernet, and can match the TC WiFi capabilities, Express has a 100Mbps ethernet WAN port and lacks 802.11AC capabilities, but if your ISP service is 100Mbps or less, it would be an adequate temporary solution.

802.11AX promises speed, range, and interference improvements over 802.11AC. As such, it may be adequate to cover your space without additional satellite access points. Given these characteristics, Mesh networks may be unnecessary with AX routers. But, given the relatively high price, it is difficult to recommend right now. Further, few devices have AX compatibility yet, give that a few years.

Even if you go with a new router or mesh system, TC can be used with or without WiFi. Plug it into a LAN port on the router, put it in bridge mode (Network > Router Mode - Off (Bridged Mode), and turn off WiFi and it is still capable of doing your backups.
So even though I am connected to the new router (mesh or whatever) wirelessly through wifi, I will still be able to find the TC when doing time machine backups if the TC is connected to the new router through ethernet?

Are all new routers able to do that, or do they have to be time machine compatible somehow?
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,118
401
Colorado
So even though I am connected to the new router (mesh or whatever) wirelessly through wifi, I will still be able to find the TC when doing time machine backups if the TC is connected to the new router through ethernet?

Are all new routers able to do that, or do they have to be time machine compatible somehow?
Yes. My current setup is Synology RT2600AC (router + WiFi), and TC connected via Ethernet to the Synology router. TC has network router mode off (Bridged Mode) and WiFi off. All of my Macs can do backups to it.

WiFi and ethernet are standard protocols. TC "advertises" its file sharing services using SMB or AFP, much like a PC or Mac shares file on the network. Most routers support SMB and AFP out of the box.
 

BayouTiger

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2008
442
206
New Orleans
I went with a mesh setup (Velop) and it covers the house pretty well, but is not particularly fast or robust. After switching to ATT Fiber, I am pretty happy with ATT's router and put the Velop in bridged mode. At that point most of the features are disabled and it becomes very basic. What's worse is that the nodes will not allow a wired backhaul.

At this point I am getting rid of it and just adding one or two Ubiquity Access points. With one my signal is stronger and twice as fast as the mesh - likely because of the wireless backhaul.

Basically, if your house is wired for ethernet, then access points are the way to go, but if not, the mesh is a viable option.
 
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jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,860
433
There is no special "compatibility" required. Time Capsule is just another node on your network, whether you connect it via Ethernet cable or WiFi.

Your question is like asking "will my new router be compatible with my iPhone/iPad/Android device/Mac/Windows computer.

Yes.

For best performance, connect via Ethernet cable.