time capsule as a wireless router vs airport extreme base station

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by coffipls, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. coffipls macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2010
    my amazing niece spilled her juice on my linksys wireless N. so im in the market for a new wireless N router. Here is my question.

    should i get an Airport Extreme Base station (MD031LL/A) then plug a 2 tb external drive to it, or buy a 2 tb time capsule and use the time capsule as a wireless router? (i heard that you can use the TC as a Wireless router)

    i figure both setup will give me a wireless access for my computers and a networked hdd.

    any advise is much appreciated.
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    The Time Capsule should have the same wireless/router features as the Airport Extreme.

    IMO, the biggest pros/cons of each solution overlap.

    The TC has an internal HDD, so you're dealing with one box with one power cord. Some see this "integrated design" as a pro. However, if the router dies and gets replaced, the data on the internal drive is lost -- Apple doesn't swap the old drive into the new router so that you can keep your data. In its defense, the TC does have an option to back itself up to an external USB drive. You just have to remember to do that!

    The AE + external HDD solution has two boxes, a USB cable, and sometimes two power supplies (depending on if your external USB is self-powered or not). Some people see that as a mess (and as a con). However, if the router dies and gets replaced, since the data is on an external HDD, you just plug it into the new router and you're up and going, no data loss.

    At one point, I though I read some folks were having issues doing wireless Time Machine backups to the AE + external HDD solution. If that's something you want to do, you might do a little more research. Hopefully that's old news and fixed by now! :)
  3. coffipls thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2010
    i like the point you made about data loss.

    im going with a AE + hdd. i dont mind having a few wires if it means easy data recovery.

  4. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    I hate seeing this remark, because it just isn't true. :confused: It's not very difficult to get the hard drive out of a Time Capsule. I've done it myself and I'm no experienced expert! All hard-drive enclosures are subject to failure. What you do is extract the hard drive and put it in another enclosure or SATA bay and you're good to go. The Time Capsule "enclosure" doesn't change this!
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Technically, you're right. It's not difficult to open up a TC and yank the drive out of it. However, if your TC fails under warranty, and you want Apple to replace it for you, you will not have an opportunity to swap drives.

    Although the TC comes with its own 1-year warranty, it's also covered under the warranty of any Mac that has AppleCare. For many families/people, this essentially gives the TC a perpetual warranty (assuming that they/their family snags a new Mac + AppleCare at least once every three years).

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