Thinking about Time Capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mrdurdenad, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. mrdurdenad macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2008
    Im on the fence on buying a Time Capsule for time machine backups. I have other external HDs, but want one exclusively for wireless TM backups, plus i need a new Router and TC seems to work well.
    I just wanted to know if the TC would be a better option than an Airport Extreme+USB drive. So my questions are:

    Would the performance of the TC be quicker and overall better than the other option being that the HD isnt connected through USB?

    If the HD on my Time Capsule fails, would I still be able to use it as a Airport base station and even connect another drive to it?

    Thanks for the help
  2. omyard macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Time Capsule will probably run you more then Extreme and external HDD, but you have the convience of 1 device instead of 2 and less cable clutter.

    Another thing to consider is that if you go with Time Capsule you'll still be able to add a USB hard drive now or later. If you went with the Extreme that USB port will obviously be used for the external hard drive for your Time Machine backups.
  3. bluedevils macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2007
    I doubt usb will be a major performance bottleneck if you are backing up over wifi, but I have no hard facts.
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    It's not the USB that's the bottleneck, but rather the USB controller that Apple uses in their AirPort models. Also, whether it's the internal drive of the TC or one attached to the USB port of the AEBS/TC, you'll have the same performance (to the best of my knowledge and experience). If you truly want a speed increase using WiFi, you'll need a gigabit NAS. And to use it with Time Machine, you'll need one that supports TM backups out of the box or with a hack (I wouldn't recommend the latter).

    As for the USB port being occuppied, you can use a hub.

    Also, it's rarely the hard drive that will quit on the Time Capsule. The most reported problem is the PSU overheating, since Apple decided to place it inside the Time Capsule rather than having a power brick like the AEBS. If the PSU fails, there's no way to get your data off the internal without opening it up and seating it in an enclosure. And if you get Apple to replace it, I'm fairly certain they won't provide data recovery from said drive.

    Lastly, TM backups over AirDisk with AEBS is not supported by Apple. There is no guarantee that it will continue working with subsequent updates and they won't provide support if it fails. That being said, at least you'll still be able to access your HDD if the AEBS should fail.

    If you're going with the TC, make SURE you backup your data on an additional drive in addition to the TC. Having redundant backups is always a good idea, but especially so with the TC in my opinion.

    Edit: If the hard drive should fail on the TC, then you should still be able to use it as a router and connect other drives to it. I've used mine without a hard drive before and it worked perfectly fine as a router.

    Also, just to clarify, adding a second hard drive via USB will not increase the storage of the Time Capsule, but rather just add another shared drive. It does not have RAID capability, and if you plan on switching your backups from the internal to the external, you'll need to either copy the files over and continue or start fresh.
  5. mrdurdenad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2008
    thanks for the info guys, very useful and much appreciated. I think I will be going giving the timecapsule a try.
  6. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
    Anyone find out about a good USB hub for a Time Capsule? I currently have a printer in the USB port but want to connect another external hard drive to it. Or even an external hard drive that uses Ethernet?

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