Time Capsule - Is it worth it for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by holden57, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. holden57 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    #1
    Hello everyone. I was just wondering if buying a 500GB Time Capsule for myself would be worth it. I think it might be nice to have some type of backup and to be able to use Time Machine. I have a 350GB MacBook.

    I just had a few questions as well. Can I just use TC for a router for an already existing network?

    And would I be able to connect to TC when out of range of it, but in range of other routers in the network?
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    Yes, this is called "access point mode". The TC will not be a router and will act instead like a computer on the network.

    Yes, in access point mode, a router acts like part of another network, so connecting to any router or access point in the same network will allow you to see all the same devices.


    Also, attaching a USB drive to an Airport Extreme Base Station is cheaper than a TC and also gives you the option of buying a larger hard drive than what is offered by a TC.
     
  3. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #3
    You mean like using an Airport the same way as a TC, by just plugging an external HD into it? Because all I really want is to be able to back up my laptop wirelessly and from a distance.
     
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #4
    Exactly.
     
  5. Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #5
    Seriously, why would he get a larger HD when the capacity of his computer is 150GB less than the Time Capsule's? Not everybody runs a file uploading server, you know...
     
  6. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #6
    Why should he pay $300 for 500GB when he can get the same setup for $180 + $50? He could even use a 1TB drive on a AEBS for less than a 500GB TC.

    Also, you don't make a clone of your computer with Time Machine, you make backups. As time goes on, you need more space to store these backups. You should use a storage space that is double the capacity of the drive you are backing up.
     
  7. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #7
    -Is there a particular HD that I would have to get, or just one with a USB plugin?
    -Could I use the cheaper Airport Express Basestation instead. Because I don't think that the other one would save me that much more money.
    -Would I need to have a HD with a fan so it can cool, and doesn't overheat?
    -And last if you use a HD for Time Machine, can you use it for anything else, or just that? Do you have to partition it if you want to use it for storage also?
     
  8. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #8
    1. Any would work so as long as its USB
    2. No, AE doesn't mount an external drive
    3. I wouldn't put the two on top of each other - just keep them separate and heat shouldn't be an issue.
    4. Not sure - I imagine with a hack or two, you may be able to partition it.... use Disk Utility
     
  9. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #9
    I'm not even sure that the Airport Base Station plus an external HD would be any cheaper than just buying the 500GB TC, unless of course it would be preferable to have at least a TB for backup. My MacBook is 350GB, but I only have about 30GB of it used up right now as is. Thoughts?
     
  10. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #10
    You should always utilize some form of data back up - regardless of how much HDD you have used or have left.

    This is just a matter of if you want the HDD remote or connected.

    I think out of the box, the TC is your best bet and will meet your needs. Just buy the refurbed 500GB one for $199.

    BOOM, done.
     
  11. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #11
    And 500GB should be enough to backup my laptop? What about in the future, will it still be able to back it up if I get up to 300GB of stuff on my laptop? And if I got that, (I'm moving) would it matter if I set it up before I move, I should I wait to install it with the new wifi system?
     
  12. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #12
    As long as you format the drive to HFS+ with your Mac prior to plugging it in to your AEBS, it will work.

    Nope. Express can only handle printers, not hard drives.

    No. A fanless aluminum enclosure is much better than a plastic one with a fan. Fans can fail after a period of time and plastic can't release the heat of a hard drive very well. I highly recommend this enclosure.

    You can use a hard drive for Time Machine and anything else you want, regardless if it is attached to an AEBS or inside a TC.

    You could easily do with a 1TB drive if you can afford it. 500GB drives aren't half the price of a 1TB drive, and 1TB drives are the best $/GB on the market right now (some 1.5TB drives can be better value). As soon as you start downloading from iTunes or using the computer for a couple of years, you will find that more space is better.
    Time Machine does incremental backups, so the longer you own the machine, the more space it needs to backup.
    Hard drives are cheap. Upgrading a small hard drive to a larger one can be expensive and time consuming, so buy more than you need for now.
     
  13. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #13
    Well taking everything into account, the refurbished 500GB TC seems like a pretty good deal, taking everything into account, mostly price, but I just fear that it will run out of space in a year or two, is that possible?
     
  14. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #14
    The TC can attach USB drives as well.

    I think the 500GB TC refurb is a good option for you. Make sure it has dual band though. This will speed up and improve your wireless connection.
     
  15. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #15
    So I could potentially add more storage if I wanted to later on?
    How do I see if it has that?

    Thanks for the help everyone, by the way
     
  16. Jigsawjammer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    If you are slightly handy- you could put the hard drive directly into the time capsule as well. I would wait until you are out of warranty but it seems a lot of people don't bother. Look online for video of this upgrade.

    I personally like the idea of time capsule as long as you get it refurbed.
     
  17. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #17
    The refurb doesn't have it, but it isn't worth an additional $100 unless you use both other 2.4GHz devices (cordless phones, bluetooth devices) and non wireless N devices (A, B, G).
    Having other 2.4GHz devices around can cause interference which leads to slow downs or dropped connections. Switching to 5GHz will stop those problems, but prevent any devices without wireless N from connecting to the network. Using the simultaneous dual band router allows for both bandwidths to be used at the same time for fast speeds and dropped connection prevention.
     
  18. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #18
    -Other than my laptop, I just use my wireless mighty mouse, will that create a problem?
    -Oh and will other people who have access to the network be able to see or access TC?
     
  19. goldenaustin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    #19
    You mentioned you have a Macbook, but do you also have a desktop, like a Mini or iMac. Another option is to attach and share an external drive to that, since Time Machine on your Macbook can detect and backup to that shared drive.
     
  20. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #20
    Not really. It is more with bluetooth audio headsets than anything.

    Just buy a refurb and run it at 5GHz. You will get faster speeds, but a slightly shorter range (only significant if you have a large house/apartment). Just be warned that if any friends come by, they will need to use wireless N to connect to your network.
     
  21. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #21
    No, I only have a laptop.
    But will other people who connect to the network (out of range of TC), be able to see the TC on the network and connect to it?

    Keep in mind I'm using this at my university, so I don't want everyone to be able to access it or see it in the network.
     
  22. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #22
    It looks like the 1TB TC is now only 300$. So does anyone know about the other question I asked?
     
  23. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #23
    Anyone on your TC's network will be able to connect to the internal drive. If you connect to the university network by using the "internet" port, the TC will not merge with the university network. The reason behind this is NAT.
     
  24. holden57 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #24
    Would I be able to do that and still remote Time Machine?
     
  25. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    Sorry to jump on this thread but the 1TB has been replaced with a 2TB so guessing the 500GB has been replaced with the 1TB (however, in the UK we're still on 500GB and 1TB :()
     

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