Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme w/ external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ataylor, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. ataylor macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    I'm looking to upgrade my wireless router as well as get serious about storage backups -- curious if I should go with the Time Capsule or go with the AirPort Extreme and an external drive.

    If AirPort Extreme with external hard drive, any recommendations?

  2. Vercingetorix macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2007
    Atlanta, USA
    I used a Time Capsule for ~2 years without any problems. But recently it started overheating a lot, and I decided it was kind of stupid to have the hard drive and the router combined into one integrated unit so that I had to replace both of them if one failed. I replaced the failing TC with a new Airport Extreme and a 2 TB Western Digital hard drive that I already owned, and everything works fine. It was not completely seamless to set up -- I think had to format the hard drive, mount it, then immediately reboot in order to get Time Machine to see it as a mountable backup volume -- but once Time Machine saw it, it works flawlessly.

    As long as this works, I don't see any reason to buy a Time Capsule. It's annoying to throw a hard drive in the garbage because your router fails (or vice versa).
  3. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    Timecapsule+aftermarket low power HD is a much cleaner solution than APE+External. Less wires, takes up less space, you get a free port for sharing another USB device to boot.

    But of course APE+External is a much more practical solution. You can swap out hard drives much easier (Time Capsule isn't hard to upgrade but it's nowhere near as easy as unplugging old drive and plugging a new one in XD)

    Honestly it's a toss up. Both have pros and cons. But in the end both are great choices.
  4. drummingcraig macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2007
    "Armpit of the South"
    I am looking to upgrade my aging Linksys WRT54G to something with N band power as well as hooking up a 1TB WD external drive I was recently given for back-ups. As I already have the external drive I am leaning towards just a refurb'd Aiport Extreme.

    But to be more on topic with this thread, if I didn't already have the external drive I would still opt for the router/HD combo vs. the Time Capsule primarily for ease of HD expansion/replacement.
  5. benoitgphoto macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2007
    I went through this dilema recently. I decided to go with the Airport Extreme and a Western Digital NAS My Book World edition 2 TB.....saved 200$ over a Time Capsule but man...how unstable the drive is and how poor WD support is. I regret my choice.

    The drive misses a couple of TM backups a day for unknown reasons. And on WD support page, the official firmware of the drive is older than the one that came on my drive and there is a newer unoficial version appearing on different sites and forums. No official firmware update on that drive for over a year and the drive is plagged with bugs...Very poor product support from those morrons at WD. My reco : Time Capsule. That is what I should have done.
  6. benoitgphoto macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2007
    Ok...for what it's worth. Costco were kind enough to take the My Book World edition back out of the return period telling me that I'm far to be the only one returning that product.

    Was struggling a bit to find a replacement product since I can't get a Time Capsule because I already have the latest AEBS. Went finally for the Seagate GoFlex Home 2 TB and so far it's seems to work great. Fast, stable, expandable, easy setup, has an iTunes server, accessible by ftp, etc. The drive is plugged ethernet in the router. My 2 Macs (1 wifi) are backing up with Time Machine on the drive. I'm very pleased so far. It heels the frustration.
  7. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
    I have a Time Capsule, it works great. But I want to use an external hard drive as well. The Time Capsule has only one USB port and my printer is using that. So all you with just an Extreme and external hard drive any good recommendations and anyone with a good USB hub?

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