New Router...Airport Extreme vs. Time Capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Gizmo22, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Gizmo22, Sep 14, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011

    Gizmo22 macrumors regular

    Gizmo22

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    #1
    Looking to pick up a new router. The NAS-characteristics of the Time Capsule interest me though. Having a single location to store family photos, videos, and more would be wonderful for myself and the family.

    I seem to find good and bad reviews about the Time Capsule, with most of the bad aiming at durability and longevity issues. I understand no hard drive is ever safe, but is this something that has since been rectified? I could deal with a failing disc drive; I don't want to deal with software issues.

    That said, can anyone weigh in on the functionality and durability of the Time Capsule? Are there any performance differences between the four generations?

    My primary endpoint is a router with storage, and the Time Capsule is a much cleaner enclosure than a Airport Extreme with a USB HDD attached.
     
  2. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #2
    I replaced the latest generation Airport Extreme and a USB 2TB HDD with a 2TB latest generation Time Capsule. WiFi performance seems to be identical and having one unit with one power cable is nice.
     
  3. Gizmo22 thread starter macrumors regular

    Gizmo22

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    #3
    Precisely why I am attracted to it; just concerned about failure rates.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #4
    The TC failures were related to a lousy capacitor in the device itself and had nothing to do with hard drive failures. The newer versions seem to have fixed that issue.

    The most recent TC and AE released do have substantial improvement in wi-fi reception. If you buy one, you want to get the latest rev.
     
  5. Gizmo22, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

    Gizmo22 thread starter macrumors regular

    Gizmo22

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    #5
    Great info to have! Is it the 4th gen that's drastically improved, or is a 3rd gen still an option? I don't really need a full 2 terabytes for storage, and would prefer to replace with a WD Caviar Green if possible anyways.
     
  6. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #6
    I don't think that you can use Time Machine on an AirPort Extreme+ Hard drive. Might be something to consider.
     
  7. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #7
    that was a few generations ago, you're probably safe now.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    It is the newest fourth gen that has the wireless improvements, so that is what you want.

    ----------

    You can do it and many users here report it works, but it is not "supported" by Apple for whatever that is worth. I guess it gives Apple a path to break it if they want.
     
  9. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

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    #9
    You wanted the Capsule I would say go for it. We bought an extreme and could not be happier
     
  10. NitroZip macrumors member

    NitroZip

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    #10
    How can you tell which generation you are getting?
     
  11. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #11
    By the way, no single hard drive is safe from failure. No matter where its installed. If the data you are storing can not be lost you should really look to a Raid 1 or better storage system and a off-site backup plan, like Crashplan. The good news is that most external Raid systems will connect directly to the gigabyte network, delivering better performance in the process. They frequently offer many more features as well.

    Personally, I'm using a Mac Mini as my home server and I've got an array of disks attached to it for sharing and Time machine backups. I thought it was a much more sensible solution, considering the price. But, you may choose differently and thats cool.
     
  12. sampdoria macrumors regular

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    #12
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Hey DustinT, I really like your setup. What are you using for a router? And how is your Mac Mini server connected to it (probably Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi)?

    I posted some other questions to your post in the Apple TV forum. Hope you can answer those too. :)
     
  13. sampdoria macrumors regular

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    #13
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I use my TC as a NAS, and back it up manually with a WD MyBook attached to it (I like to keep the MyBook in a separate physical location and disconnected from power when not in use). The TC is such a work horse in my home network and I've had it for a few years now. Quite happy with this, but if I were to start over I'd consider the AEBS over the TC, so that WHEN the primary hard drive fails, it would be easy to swap it with a new one and restore it from my backup.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #14
    Here are the various model numbers.
     
  15. NitroZip macrumors member

    NitroZip

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    #15
    Thanks man.
     
  16. Gizmo22 thread starter macrumors regular

    Gizmo22

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    #16
    Bought a 2TB Gen 4 today at Best Buy. Bit of a PITA after purchasing an open box unit that the salesman insisted was opened accidentally the previous day, but it had never actually left the store.

    Seemed feasible, until I unpacked everything (which was still in good cosmetic shape thankfully) and plugged it in. Spent 10 minutes looking for "Time Capsule" amongst the various networks my computers could see. Finally released someone had bought it, set it up, and then returned it.

    Nothing a reset couldn't fix!
     
  17. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #17
    Thanks man. Yup, I am using ethernet to connect the Mini for reasons of speed and reliability. I have used a couple of different routers on the network since I got my Apple gear. I started with a dlink dir-655 which I have been using for a couple of years with great results. Recently I needed to gain a fair bit of range and after some research I decided to try the Airport Extreme which is working well so far. The performance of that unit is second to none.

    I'll check the ATV forum but if I miss anything just pm me and I'll try to answer your questions.
     
  18. rediffusion macrumors regular

    rediffusion

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  19. HazyCloud macrumors 68030

    HazyCloud

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    Jun 30, 2010
    #19
    The 4th gen blew previous versions out of the water in performance. I can't say for myself as I have only had the 4th gen, but AnandTech found it performs much better. For 50 bucks, I'll take an extra terabyte and better wi-fi.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4577/airport-extreme-5th-gen-and-time-capsule-4th-gen-review-faster-wifi-
     

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