Time Capsule or AEBS/external HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by nope7308, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I absolutely love the idea of integrating an external HD with a wireless router. The new TC caught my eye (1TB model), but so did the price...

    After reading a few threads, it seems many people are creating their own makeshift TC. That is, buying the AEBS and manually connecting an external HD via USB. While I think that's a great idea, I'm a little worried about how everything would work/look.

    For instance, what kind of enclosure would be best for this setup? Does the external HD require it's own power source? Is there any loss of functionality with this setup as opposed to the TC?

    Also, it would help if someone could post a picture of their AEBS/HD setup. I'll probably be living in a cramped area when I return to school, so having a clean workspace with minimal wires is definitely an asset. That said, I don't want to pay an extra $200 for pure aesthetics.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. thecypher macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #2
    AEBS with an external disk is the way to go if you ask me. I am not sure what quality disks Apple uses in the Time Capsule. I am sure they are good disks but not sure if paying over $200 for them makes sense. I setup my AEBS and External disk setup a year ago and I used a 500 GB Seagate FreeAgent Drive. Cost me about $90 I believe. Since then disks have become even cheaper. It has been working great for me. My MacBook and my iMac both backup over an 802.11n network and I have never had any problems. I liked the flexibility of being able to upgrade the drive if I needed to. So far I am using only about 35% of the 500GB disk. I figure it is going to last me a while. I can also access the Airport disk from my Windows PCs and I use it to manually backup stuff from there as well. This is not going to take up a lot of space. You can just put the disk upright on top of the AEBS. Seagate I see now also has a Mac version (Color that matches the AEBS). See links:

    http://freeagent.seagate.com/en-us/hard-drive/computer-hard-drive/Free-Agent.html

    http://freeagent.seagate.com/en-us/hard-drive/hard-drive-mac/Free-Agent.html

    http://freeagent.seagate.com/en-us/hard-drive/desktop-hard-drive/Free-Agent.html
     
  3. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    Do these external HDs require their own power source? Tentatively, I want to set up the TC/AEBS on the top of my bookshelf, so excessive wires/cables may be an issue.

    Additionally, the last link you provided indicates that the HD is not compatible with Mac OS X. I just checked newegg.ca and apparently these drives are rated poorly as well.

    Damn, I'm really leaning toward the TC, but I don't want to pay that ridiculous premium! Is it possible to replace the TC's internal HD later on? And finally, is there any hope of the price decreasing within 4/5 months? Highly unlikely, I presume...
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    http://www.hardmac.com/articles/79/

    Definitely do not count on Apple reducing prices, they typically add features to keep the price point.

    B
     
  5. azdunerat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #5
    I just went through the same thing. I really like the concept of the TC but had read many less than stellar reviews and the price is outrageous. I did buy the AEBS eventhough there were better priced models from companies like lynksis. Set up with the AEBS is the easiest I have ever had with any of my routers and that alone made the purchase worthwhile.

    When I started looking at externals I was focused on the 1TB area with most drives in the 120.00(US) price point. good drives and I thought I had made up my mind, but I made the mistake of asking people who knew more than I did. Everyone of them said the same thing, Get a RAID or you will be sorry. Damnit, right when I thought I knew what I was doing I got thrown a curve ball. So I started my search over again, this time with RAID 1 in mind. There seemed to be a pretty wide span in pricing from 250-500 for a 2TB drive that could be raided down to 1TB. In the end I found this drive for 240.00and could not have been happier

    http://www.powermax.com/parts/show/d-lac-301838u

    The drive is dead sexy, very clean lines and a little blue LED underneath the front that isnt too annoying. It only offers a USB 2.0 connection, but I wanted it connected to my AEBS so that is a mute point. It is fairly quiet but you can tell its a hard drive, fan kicks on every now and again and there are two 1TB drives in there and they spin up and down with an audible hum. As for the extra cords, yeah you will need a power cord, but seeing as how its all wireless I would say why not hide it somewhere out of site.

    One last note once it was formated I partitioned it into three drives, one for my mini, one for my mac book and a very large(730gigs) for my media. These drives did not automatically mount. I had to go into my finder preferences and check the show connected servers, and then I went into my personal preferences and did a drag and drop of the mounted drives I wanted into my show on start up folder. Now when I start my mini it will only show my Mini and media drives, the mac book only shows the mac book and media. Just a note if you have never had to mount a wireless drive to your mac before.
     
  6. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Thanks for the detailed replies.

    I'm completely OCD when it comes to blue lights, slight vibrations, and audible operation. In fact, those are some of the reasons why I want to switch to a TC. Also, having independent power supplies is a real turn off - I already have too much stuff plugged in everywhere!

    Sadly, I think I'm going to have to pay the TC premium. I just can't find a AEBS/HD setup that I would be satisfied with. That said, I'm now a little worried... after reading that article on how to swap the HD, they reported vibrations/audible operation from the stock Hitachi drive. Can anyone confirm this?

    Like I said, I'm completely OCD...
     
  7. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #7
    I was in a similar position. I won't pay the TC premium plus being stuck with whatever size hard drive is inside.

    I just bought a Airport Extreme dual band and plan on connecting an external hard drive that I have lying around.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    I have the 500 GB TC in my family room, near lots of other hard drives :)apple:TV, DVR, iMac w/Seagate external). The TC's drive is noticeable, but not more so than any of the other nearby HDDs. Of the bunch, the external Seagate is the worst noise offender, which would be similar to the AEBS+external drive.

    Note also that unlike the :apple:TV, the TC and AEBS have a fairly large and bright obnoxious green/yellow status LED on the front panel. If I were OCD I'd probably hide it.

    B
     

Share This Page