Question about Time Machine/Airport Extreme/Airdisk

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bradpole, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. bradpole macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2011
    Hello Everyone

    I am about to purchase my first Mac, I'm really looking forward to the Mac experience over windows. I have a question regarding the Time Machine feature and the Airport Extreme Airdisk.

    I understand that via USB an external hard drive could be attached to the airport extreme and it becomes an Airdisk. Can this Airdisk be used to store the Time Machine Backups? I've done a bit of googling and have read many many articles; some say it can, some say it can't. I understand the Time Capsule product would solve my problem but the high up front cost, and relatively negative reviews over the power supplies are sort of off putting to me.

    If the Airdisk connected to the airport extreme isn't able to support the Time Machine feature is it possible to connect an external drive to a Mac via USB or firewire and that Mac and another Mac connected on the same network store their Time Machine backups there? Or would each Mac need their own external drive connected via firewire or USB?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Jun 29, 2010
    Hey look, another b-rad!

    I recently went through the same exact decision of going with either the Airport Extreme w/ USB connected storage or the Time Capsule. I even purchased the Extreme and 2tb External HD, but after reading too many posts and articles about the Extreme w/ HD being so finicky with Time Machine that I sent them back and ordered a refurb 1tb Time Capsule just to ease my mind about my backups. We have lost pics back when in the Windows world and now have the Time Capsule and Carbon Copy Clone on attached external HD so all 3 drives would have to fail at the same time to lose everything.

    I think the 1st Gen. Time Capsules were the ones with the issues and it seems to be sorted out with the newer ones.

    Not sure about having backup drive connected to one Mac and allowing other Macs to backup to it with Time Machine so maybe others will chime in on that point. To me it seems like you would be doing the same as with an Extreme w/ Airdisk.
  3. Unrealtechno macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    A properly formatted (HFS+, journaled) drive will work. I bought a refurb extreme and have both a 3TB (for me) and 1TB (for my gf) drive connected to a USB hub. I did have problems at first but it turned out to be a USB hub. Back ups are slow, even over wireless-n but having a hidden back up makes us feel secure, as we live in a city.

    I read the same reviews about it not working but the newer firmwares have been fine.
  4. slapguts macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2008
    I've been using an external drive plugged into a AirPort Extreme for close to 2 years now. Have had no problems at all. The first backup does take a long, long time, and must be done wirelessly, but otherwise, it just plugs along in the background and I never even notice it.

    Edit: Just remembered that you can do the first backup over ethernet, to increase the speed. Haven't had an ethernet jack in awhile, totally forgot.
  5. bradpole thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2011

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