Time Capsule - how connect (question before buying)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lukasamd, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. lukasamd macrumors newbie


    Feb 21, 2016
    Hello, I have MBP 2015 early and interesed in buying Time Capsule (2gen) for Time Machine backups. Unfortunately, I don't know how it works. My computer uses wifi and it's impossible to use any cables in my home now.

    I read some information and Time Capsule use AirPort. But how does it work? I will can use wifi on computer AND direct connection to time capsule in the same time?

    Or maybe only use AirPort to connect Time Capsule to my existing wifi network?

    I will be grateful for any help and suggestions. BTW. Why not USB HDD? I'ld like to "hide" backup device and make it as quiet as possible.
  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    The core value of TC is that for what it is, it just works. It is designed to be the main wifi router/access point, and the internal disk will back up data for those systems that point their Time Machine to it.

    Most people connect TC using a wire to their internet modem. Then all backups to client devices are backed up over the air.

    TC is somewhat configurable.I have mine configured without the routing functionality. It's just an access point and a backup device.
  3. lukasamd thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 21, 2016
    Ok, but is it possible to connect MBP to my own router via wifi, AND also to time capsule in the same time?
    I would like to use TC only for backups, without sharing, etc.
  4. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    Time Capsule can be configured as your router, or as a WiFi bridge, or as a network storage device (not using WiFi or routing). The USB port can have a drive connected, but I seem to recall 4th-5th generation models support Time machine on the attached USB, other models I recall can just share files on the attached USB. BTW, Airport Extreme can also use USB attached for Time Machine.

    Regardless of how you connect your Mac to your network (wired, or WiFi), it will see the Time Capsule and be able to backup to it.

    If you use the TC as a router, and enable Back To My Mac with your iCloud Apple iD, you will be able to access the drive on the TC from outside your home. if the USB drive attached is formatted macOS (Journaled), you will be able to access that drive as well from remote.

    By default, it will setup as a router. If you don't want the TC to be a router, set the network Mode to Off (Bridged Mode) to disable routing, in which case, it acts as any other user device on your network. if you don't want WiFi from the TC, turn the WiFi Network mode to off. For BTMM to work through another router, the main router will likely need UPnP enabled.

    Use airport Utility to configure it.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I may be going against the grain here, but...

    ... I WOULD NOT recommend that you buy a Time Capsule now. They are "old tech" as far as Apple is concerned, no longer being actively developed.

    If you have only one or two Macs to back up, I'd suggest one (or two) USB3 drives instead.
    I also recommend either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (cloning apps) instead of Time Machine for backups. Bootable, finder-mountable, and may serve you better in that "moment of extreme need" -- such as an "I can't boot!" moment.
  6. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Putting aside the "old tech", which is accurate but not necessarily meaningful (it's not clear how much of an advantage the "newer tech" gets you) . . .

    If all you want is over the air backups, you might do better with an NAS solution instead. Time Capsule is meant to be an all in one device - you use it as your router and a backup device. Setting it up merely as an access point for backups is going to be more cumbersome and you're giving up the router functionality that you're paying for.

    Alternatively, connect a hard drive directly to your laptop for backups and just unplug it when you move your laptop.
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I agree with Fishrrman; the TC is a bad investment. Unlike almost every other NAS or router, a TC requires proprietary software to configure. That was also true of the older Airport Expresses and Extremes. Then Apple did an update, and boom, the old Airport Utility no longer ran on the new system. And the new Airport Utility wouldn't configure an older Express or Extreme, so they were effectively bricked if you couldn't find an older computer to configure them. Don't get caught out that way; keep it simple and use either connected HDs or another NAS and router.

    There are other network products if you do need network vs directly accessed backup for Time Machine. And much better routers. For example, https://9to5mac.com/2018/01/10/apple-mesh-wifi-system-airport/

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6 February 18, 2018