Time Capsule Performance as a Wireless Router

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kavi, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. kavi macrumors member

    kavi

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #1
    Hello, I was wondering if anyone could tell me from their experience how well Apple's Time Capsule works as a wireless router.

    I'm setting up a wireless network and I have high speed Internet so I'm wondering if the Time Capsule will work well enough for streaming HD movies, playing online games, lots of downloading of large files, etc.

    I'd like to avoid buying a separte wireless router and just use Time Capsule if possible but I'm not sure how well it compares to other wireless routers out there and I'd like to get the best speeds on my wireless network as possible.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. web500sjc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    #2
    I use it as my wireless router and Time capsule at college...i can defiantly tell you that the internet at my school is fast and the time capsule docent slow down the connection...take that with a grain of salt as at most there is only an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro connected.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    You should not have any trouble at all with that type of usage. I use a Time Capsule with far heavier demand than you described and it works fine.

    Here is a pretty thorough review from Anandtech.
     
  4. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #4
    I've had problems with it as a NAS when opening rediculous numbers of sockets to it and eventually went to a DAS solution for writes. I still use the TC as a wireless router and have no issues with it as a router with normal NAS duties. I just wouldn't recommend it as an integral part of a very busy file system.
     
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #5
    It isn't just the pure speed of the wifi, it's whether you get interference or otherwise have issues that screw up your reception. It is a radio. But it works as well as most out there. If you're not a substantial distance away you should be OK.

    The Time Capsule is a nice feature, but frankly I prefer just an AEBS itself. But YMMV.

    Rob
     
  6. Sam2lucky13 macrumors 6502

    Sam2lucky13

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #6
    I've had a 2tb TC for i guess two years now and i love it. Great coverage all over my home and no problem getting the most out of my connection wirelessly.
     
  7. iHeartapple2 macrumors 6502

    iHeartapple2

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #7
    I have had mine for over 3 years now and no problems at all. I have coverage all over my house and get speeds up to 20 mbps!
     
  8. kavi thread starter macrumors member

    kavi

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #8
    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I think I'll go pick one up.
     
  9. wytwolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    #9
    I had the 2TB time capsule for about 2 weeks. I can't really fault the TC because I had it in bridge mode and it was doing what it was supposed to do but my modem/router didn't play well with the TC. There is no way to disable the router part of the modem/router that my DSL provider uses and when i had it plugged it into the TC i would get "your IP is being used by another device". This would happen usually whenever woke my macbook pro up. It got way too annoying so i returned it and bought a seagate goflex TB drive.
     
  10. Prime85 macrumors 6502a

    Prime85

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #10
    Just wanted to thank everyone for all this information. I am getting tired of constantly connecting my thunderbolt goflex drive to use time machine. I am planning on getting the 3tb TC. Also i want to keep my iTunes library on the TC to save space on my SSD. Thanks again! :D
     
  11. roadqueen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    #11
    Time capsule


    Wanted to find out how did you like the Time capsule was thinking of getting one as well. 2TB.
     
  12. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    I replaced the latest spec AE with the latest spec TC and performance seems to be identical - as in very good.
     
  13. Panini macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #13
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't it function exactly the same as an Airport Extreme Base Station with a 2tb USB drive?

    And as far as routers go, the Airport Extreme is very, very good.
     
  14. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #14
    That's not what the OP is asking. I wouldn't use any wireless router when trying to move lots of files around on my local network. For an internet connection pretty much any N wireless router is up to the task, unless you have a Gigabit broadband connection.
     
  15. laudern macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #15
    What is the power usage of a TC?? Is the hard drive constantly on all the time or does it get switched off when not being used? I dont want to be chewing electricity when I dont have to be as right now I have my TC turned off and only turn it on once a week to back up my macbook
     
  16. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #16
    Between 10-11 watts in idle mode, wifi turned on, and about 30 watts in full use. If I remember correctly, that is.

    In your situation, I would sell the TC and get an external USB-drive for backups, then use the spare cash for a new toy or something ;)
     
  17. SteppingStone macrumors member

    SteppingStone

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    #17
    Yes -- this was tested a while back:

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/13...ce-in-apples-new-airport-extreme-time-capsule

    The only real difference is that you can do Time Machine backups to the Time Capsule, but not to the Airport Extreme with an external drive. There are sites which claim to let you do some hacking and use the AE for Time Machine backups, but apparently your backups eventually get corrupted (something to do with a hardware buffer issue IIRC). Very sad... Don't know if this is something they can address in an OS X update or not.
     
  18. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #18
    Absolute bullcrap ;) Connect an external USB drive to your AEBS, share it in Airport Utility, mount it through finder, set up Time Machine to use it for backups, donce.

    No hacking needed, and the problem with corrupt backups doesn't seem to be any more wide spread with that solution than with TC to be honest.
     
  19. SteppingStone macrumors member

    SteppingStone

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    #19
    I've seen enough threads like this to be cautious:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2632771?start=0&tstart=0

    Or the last couple of posts here:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2736425?start=45&tstart=0

    When Apple initially announced Time Machine, they advertised backing up to Airport Extreme USB disks as a feature. Then they pulled it. Then they quietly sort of made it work, but didn't announce anything and it's still not supported. Draw your own conclusions.

    I don't think any statistics about the failure rate are available in the different configurations, or what sort of external USB disks might be safe or not. That said I'd be happy to learn, since I've got an AE which I'd very much like to run backups on.
     
  20. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #20
    I've seen threads such as those as well, but also threads like these: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4087100?start=0&tstart=0
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3684176?start=0&tstart=0
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4067284?start=0&tstart=0

    Which is part of why I wouldn't recommend anyone to keep only one backup, no matter which backup system you're using...

    As far as I know, they never stopped the function but only dropped the official support. Most likely because so many people bought the AEBS and connected existing USB-drives instead of the more expensive TC ;)
     
  21. SteppingStone macrumors member

    SteppingStone

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    #21
    Hey, it might work. Lots of unsupported stuff does.

    But calling "bullcrap" based on a handful of forum posts that say "in addition to suddenly failing on AE, it's also broken on Time Capsule sometimes" doesn't seem sound to me. I'd need some hard data before trusting backups on such a configuration, and that's not available AFAIK.

    Anyway, I don't want to beat this into the ground so I'll step out here. Multiple backups in separate locations FTW.
     
  22. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #22
    What I called bullcrap was the statement that it's not possible, or not possible without some kind of hack.

    Also, you're painting a quite slanted image. It's not more sudden on the AEBS than on the TC, and it's not like it's sometimes on the TC but all the time on the AEBS. Considering the vast amount of threads about corrupt backups on both setups, I'd say the problem is more likely in the actual backing up-process/software than in the hardware.

    Although I found what is claimed to be a fix for corrupt Time Machine backups, could be good for future reference: http://www.garth.org/archives/2011,...ine-sparsebundle-nas-based-backup-errors.html
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #23
    That is great it works for you, but the fact remains it is not supported and may stop working for no reason. This is reported by users each time this comes up. It even says not to do it in the Lion and Mountain Lion help.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #24
    Apple is lying and the same problem occurs on both Apple's own TC and the other solutions supported by them.

    See, in my experience what's reported by people when AEBS+TM comes up are two things: those saying it can't be done (i.e. have never tried it themselves and trust Apple blindly) and those saying it can be done, and that they know because they are doing it.

    In discussions about corrupted TM backups on the net, it's not like USB-connected drives to the AEBS in any way make up such a majority of the cases that it's noticeable.

    They say it can't be done. They're lying. I would be less prone to use that solution if they actually went out with information such as "it can be done, but we do not recommend it because of X and Y". I mean, it's not like they would ever take responsibility for lost data due to a corrupt backup even with their TC, so why lie? That makes me think they just don't want people to opt for a cheaper solution and push them towards their more expensive TC.
     
  25. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #25
    I suppose there are two ways to look at this then:

    1. Apple is intentionally lying to users as part of some conspiracy to get them to buy Time Capsules.

    or...

    2. There is some technical issue we are not aware of that causes intermittent problems with Time Machine backups to USB drives on an Airport Extreme.

    I honestly don't know which it is, but I would not bet my data on it being #1. :)
     

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