Time capsule or external HD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Bilalo, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Bilalo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #1
    So i was gonna buy 3tb time capsule for £350 in uk. Then i thought about it, i don't really need the router extension as our superhub reaches everywhere, and 2TB WD external HD for mac cost £125 and is portable, so i could actually get 6 tb for the price of 3. I wanted the time capsule to make 1tb time machine backup and 2tb of media storage but i'm hearing all around that time capsule lives for 3-5 years on avg and that scares my when my normal harddrive has been working for 7+ years. I don't want to lose ky data after 3-5 years and i can't afford backing up my backup... Any suggestions? Ilike the wireless backup idea+ wireless harddrive but how fast is wireless transfer speeds for movies and etc? What would u prefer, money isn't a problem but i don't want to waste it for no reason.:confused::confused::confused:
     
  2. vahidia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #2
    this is my question too, actually I hope to backup my MBP data WIRELESSLY but I can't afford TIME Capsule. apparently, connecting an external HDD to a usb support router would be useful.but, I don't know "" how fast is wireless transfer speeds for movies and etc?"". coz I think this set can be used for streaming movie to Apple Tv in order to show in TV too. with respect to the preceding post, and here, both discuss about how we can use HDD in network as Time machine but none of them mentioned about the speed and using for Apple Tv.
    any advise??.
    thanks in advance...
     
  3. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    In any case, I would not recommend putting any data on the same machine as your backup. It is just a bad decision.

    Secondly... never make a backup of a backup. Another bad decision. Just make a second redundant backup... ideally using a different program (to avoid any programatic errors.

    As far as which drive to get for backup.

    1) External drive (ex: USB) is fine if you are using a desktop... but creates a manual process if you are using a laptop. Any manual procedure that requires any human intervention (ex: attaching a drive) will result in having old/stale backups. Humans are just to unpredictable to regularly back up.

    2) Time capsule is by far the best option if you use a laptop. It is the only supported-by-Apple networked solution... with the exception of a OSX Server. If you have a desktop, the TC still has an advantage in that you can physically separate your backup drive away from the computer... so that if it is stollen, it is less likely that your computer data, plus backup data are stollen together.

    Many people will now say that they successfully use a NAS, and how wonderful it is. NAS boxes are great... but I would not recommend using a non-supported (by Apple) solution. In the past, Apple has made changes that have created problems with NAS solutions... leaving the NAS users waiting for a vendor specific upgrade before they can continue to backup. Not a good position to be in.

    /Jim
     
  4. Bilalo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
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    Oxford, England
  5. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #5
    A few comments. Our house has several systems, and I use several types of backups methodologies. My first rule of data is that it reside in at least two places. That is, when a disk/file is no longer available, you have a copy someplace else.
    So on my Mac Pro, I use Carbon Copy Cloner to synchronize the data between two disks. This is effectively a daily backup. In addition, I used Time Machine to back up to a ReadyNAS Duo with Raid 1 drives. The NAS also serves as a centralized storage area, mostly for media. Note that files stored on the NAS are not backed up any place else -- that's why I use RAID 1. The media files live only there.
    Note that this is an older NAS, with SATA-1 interface. The wired connection is Gb, and the wireless is early 802.11n. Movies streamed just fine.
    Time Machine on this NAS has been troublesome: after the third time where I got a message on a verification error (and please back up all 120GBs again), I finally gave up and bought a Time Capsule. It works flawlessly, and backs up 3 different MB*'s.
    People seem to come to their own conclusions about backups. Most don't seem to do the right thing (multiple methodologies, rotating media, offsite storage, and so on). But that what I like about Time Capsule. It works for what it says it will do, which is make a backup of your disk, reliably and automatically. It's not archival storage or NAS, and doesn't claim to be. But if your Mac disk goes bad, or you accidentally delete a file, it is there for you.
    So a USB drive will work, as long as you remember to connect to it on a regular (daily?) basis.
    I'm impressed your drives last 7+ years. I've usually outgrown them by then, but I've had several fail (Seagate, WD, Hitachi). Perhaps this is because they were on 24x7? Who knows.
     
  6. Bilalo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #6
    Is time capsule good to partition, use as time machine for 2 laptops and as an external hard drive for media? How fast is wireless transfer rates?
     
  7. macs4nw, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013

    macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #7
    It's hard to give you sound advice, without knowing more details, such as: are you backing up from a desktop or a laptop, how much data do you need to back-up, and what OS are you running. If you have a good router, that you are happy with, there's no need to get a TimeCapsule. You can spend that money on those WD drives you are suggesting. However if you value your data, I would rethink that "can't afford backing up my backup" idea. More on that in a minute. If, as you say, you've had 7+ years out of your current HDD, you've done OK, but there's no guarantee, you'll get the same kind of lifespan out of any hard drive you may purchase in the future.

    Wireless back-ups are slow. Any initial TimeMachine back-up to a TimeCapsule should be done wired (thru it's Ethernet LAN port, if at all possible), otherwise, depending on how much you're backing-up, it could take ages. Subsequent, also called 'Incremental' back-ups to a TimeCapsule, can easily happen wirelessly, in the background; you won't even notice it, although if you have the option, wired is always preferable. For any other external HDD used with TimeMachine, you'll just use whatever interface it has, USB, FW, ThunderBolt, etc, that's compatible with your computer.

    If you are running Mountain Lion, that's a good thing because ML allows for Multiple TimeMachine Back-ups allowing you to have back-ups of all your files, on multiple hard drives, in multiple locations. Your Time Machine takes 'snapshots' of all the changes that have occurred on your computer, and remembers which Time Capsule/HDD needs which updates, so that a secondary TC/HDD which you might have at work or any other location, will get all the missed changes, that have happened since it was last connected, the moment you plug in that drive. This is a second tier of security, effectively giving you two back-ups of everything on your computer.

    Some of the earlier TimeCapsules became crippled within 12-18 mos, due to burnt-out power supplies, but that issue seems to have been resolved. I can't comment on the reliability of the new TimeCapsules, as they are still too recent, to establish any defect pattern, but if you implement the above noted two-tier back-up strategy, you shouldn't have to worry about one TC/HDD failing.

    Of course, there are always those cloud-based back-up services, like Dropbox, Backblaze, DollyDrive etc, some of which are Time-Capsule compatible, and that have the advantage of not having to worry about frequently updating your 'off-site' or 'second tier of security' drive, and also give you the advantage of 'access anywhere', but most of them are not free, for anything beyond the most basic 5-10 or so, GBs.

    If you went ahead, and got those three 2TB WD external HDD's, my suggestion to you would be to keep two of those for TimeMachine backups, one near your main computer, and another one off-site, that you bring in regularly for updating the 'missed changes'. You could then use that third drive for media storage. Alternatively, you could partition those two drives that you'd be using for TimeMachine backups, which would give you more room for media storage, but that is not recommended practice.
    To make sure the third HDD, you're using for media storage, gets backed-up via your TimeMachine, make sure it is formatted as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)(HFS+)", and is not excluded in the 'Exclude List' in System Preferences > Time Machine > Options.

    I can't comment on wireless transfer speeds for movies, but I suspect they will be similarly slower.

    A couple of links that might be of interest to you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgYqcL7_0BI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO-bHcnSNVA&feature=player_embedded
    http://www.machelpformom.com/241-set-up-time-machine-backups-to-an-external-usb-drive
    http://osxdaily.com/2013/05/01/use-single-hard-drive-time-machine-and-file-storage/

    Good Luck!
     
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #8
    1 Go to www.dabs.com or any other place, and you get 2TB drives from all the big manufacturers for under £70, and 3TB for £75. WD seems to double the price by adding "for Macintosh" to it, and the only difference is that they add lots of rubbish software on the drive that you don't need and that you have to work hard to get rid off.

    2. If you store media on your backup drive but nowhere else then it isn't backed up.

    3. It seems you need a 2TB drive for media, and 3TB for time machine backup.

    4. All hard drives fail eventually, so your data needs to be on one drive where it belongs, and on one backup drive, or it _will_ disappear eventually.

    The advantage of Time Capsule or anything wireless is twofold: First, you can hide it away in the loft. So if a burglar takes your Mac and your media drive, they don't take your backup drive as well, so there is no damage that your home insurance doesn't pay for, except a little inconvenience. Second, your backups _will_ happen and are not forgotten, which can happen if you have a laptop. If you use a desktop, and manage to lock the backup drives away, you're fine.

    For additional safety, Time Machine has a new feature: It can use _two_ backup drives and alternate between them. So if one backup drive crashes, you still have your original and a backup drive.

    You don't need to worry about the time that a backup takes. It runs in the background, and you don't even notice it. That's the same with wireless as well; wireless will take longer, but it will just run and eventually it is finished.
     
  9. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816

    iphonedude2008

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    #9
    I use an airport extreme with a usb hd plugged into a hub with a printer also connected. I back up 3 computers to it. No need to partition.
     
  10. Bilalo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #10
    But If i want to use my time capsule as a hard drive and back up. So I want to back up everything to it from my computer which is only 512 gb ssd, then the rest 2.5 tb i want to store media on it. Dont I have to partition it so it wont be slow? and how fast/slow is it to copy say a 10 gb movie over wireless to the time capsule?

    ----------

    If I get the time capsule, I can wirelessly backup 2 mac laptops and at the same time use the rest of the memory which will be 2 TB to store media and so on from any laptop/mac on the network wirelessly and swiftly? Thing is, the time capsule is too big to move around and connect it and I download lots of media so I need fast data transfers and cant afford it takes 30 min to copy one 10 gb movie over wireless. Elsewise ill just get a wired connection and a WD passport HD.
     
  11. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816

    iphonedude2008

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    #11
    You don't have to partition it. Backups are stored in dmg files (like separate hard drives files) The only speed limit I have had comes from the hard drives speed. If you use an ssd, your only limit will be the airports speed.
     
  12. Bilalo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #12
    And how much is the airports speed?
     

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