Overpriced TC or AEBS?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Piplodocus, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Piplodocus macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Hello! I want to get either a AEBS or TC and put a 1TB USB drive on it for all my photos/MP3s/Movies and whatnot, which I can unplug and take with me.

    I need to back the lot up though so need a time machine drive. What do you recommend? An AEBS costs about £116. The TC is £322. That's £208 more! I can get better than a 1GB drive for £208! I can actually get 2x 1TB USB drives for £5 more than that!

    TM doesn't support Airdisks though! Do you think this'll change with firmware, os updates, or a new AEBS? It can be fiddled so it does though, but I'd heard it doesn't have write error checking then though. Is the TC worth it then?

    I can get a 1TB NAS drive for £126. Does TM support other network drives connected to AEBS via ethernet? If so can I just connect a NAS drive to the gigabit ports of an AEBS and it'll work with backup error checking for £82 less than the TC with no fiddles to make it work! That's only an 100baseT drive though, but it would only be for backup (normal usage drive would be the USB connected one), so I guess speed isn't an issue?

    Any thoughts? I just don't want to spend money I haven't got on an Apple 1TB drive at last years prices! :S
  2. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
  3. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    The AEBS Airdisk doesn't support TM properly though does it? How is it for backups?

    I want 2 separate drives 1TB for TM, 1TB USB portable drive I can take with me.

    I have been thinking I could use my desktop as the TM drive. That would be cheaper and easier. It does mean I have to turn it on every time I want a backup, and if I get burglarised, it won't be "hidden", so my backups will go along with my MBP, thus defeating half the point of backup.

    How does time machine work at backups? Does it add extra data files, or change the old one? If it fails the backup and TM doesn't "know" it's failed, does that mean ALL time machine backups (in the wrongly re-written file) are useless, or just the last one (in the last added file). Or is it that particular files that were wrongly written are always corrupt as it only backs up new files? This is why Airdisks aren't supported isn't it?

    Depending on this, if lots of people use "unsupported" airdisks for TM drives then that's probably the way to go, as it's cheapest, and I'd be unlucky to find that my HDD fails, AND my backups are crap. That is just my luck though...
  4. jamin100 macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
  5. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I've got a 1TB WD My Book plugged into my AEBS and my MacBook Pro is backing up with Time Machine to the drive. I haven't had any problems with it so far.
  6. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Good. So it seems a good option then?

    (BTW, I'm talking Extreme not express here - express doesn't work with HDDs)
  7. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    Yes, there was a firmware update sometime last year that allowed USB external hard drives connected to an Airport Extreme Base Station (thus an Airdisk) to be used as a Time Machine drive. So you can go that route if you'd like.

    Officially, NAS drives are not supported as a Time Machine drive. I have a D-Link DNS-323 (2port RAID NAS drive with 10/100/1000 port) and there are ways to hack your Mac to be able to "see" the NAS hard drive as a valid Time Machine drive. I was going to do this, but in the end got too lazy so just ended up buying a used Time Capsule 500GB for a good price. Works great and I don't have to worry about it (I hope). The internal hard drive on the Time Capsule is not RAIDed though, so (knock on wood) hope it doesn't fail on me. I guess I can hook up another external USB hard drive to the Time Capsule's USB port to "copy the time machine backup from the internal drive to the external" for a redundant copy, but I don't have a spare USB hard drive to use.

Share This Page