Time Capsule, should I get one

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Murl, May 16, 2011.

  1. Murl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    #1
    I was looking for something to backup my macbook air, we have some photos and media, nothing too important but has sentimental value. I am currently running a G router and thought the upgrade might be nice to the N. I found the time capsule refurbed on apples website for $219. Is it worth it? I have heard these don't last long could anyone share their experience? Is it possible to replace the drive if it goes? I know it won't be easy but I'm fairly savvy taking things apart and soldering, but are the parts available?

    Thanks for your help
     
  2. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #2
    I've always bought cheaper external hard drives to use with time machine and never had a problem. One is going on about 7 years and the other I've had for about 1 year now. you might just want to get one of those instead of the time capsule.
     
  3. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #3
    If your planning on having multiple Macs in the future to back up then yes I would say it's a great piece of hardware. But if your just going to have your MB Air then I would say just get you a good size external hard drive and plug it in every week or every other day and let Time Machine run.

    On the other hand if you want your backups to happen almost invisibly and seamlessly, then Time Capsule is the way to go.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    The early models has some bad capacitors and power supple issues that caused early failure, but that seems to be sorted out in the new version.

    It might not be the cheapest solution, but it is easily the simplest to install/use.

    Given you want to upgrade to N speeds anyway, this seem like a good way for you to go.

    The HD is not intended to be user replaceable, but you can do it if you don't mind tearing apart the device.
     
  5. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #5
    The big problems with using an external disk with a portable computer are (1) the hassle of plugging it in and unplugging it and (2) *remembering* to plug it in for periodic backups.

    Between point (1) and (2), and the passage of time, 90% of people (my humble estimate) are going to let it slide more and more, until backups are performed infrequently, just whenever they happen to think about it.

    (If you use your portable more like a desktop, where the external drive can stay plugged in, then this doesn't apply so much. However, that seems like unlikely usage with the easy portability the MacBook Air!)

    When backups are inconvenient, backup frequency becomes a trade-off between safeguarding the data and minimizing the hassle. Will you use the MacBook Air for your photo repository? How often might you add photos? How many are you willing to lose if the MBA's drive fails?

    The greatest thing about the Time Capsule is that your portable only needs to be within range and turned on, and all new or changed files will be backed up every hour (or when awakened from sleep). So, quite soon after you load new pictures into iPhoto, you have a copy of them safe on the TC. You probably won't even notice it happening.

    Some folks here won't touch a TC, but I've got one (a 1st-gen) and I love it.

    I've replaced the original 500 GB drive with a 2 TB green drive, and it was very easy, even though they aren't designed to be user-upgradeable. The only "hard" thing was removing the large rubber foot pad to get at the screws on the bottom (hint: heat from a hairdryer and steady pulling). Then it's just a few screws to replacing the drive.
     
  6. Murl thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    #6
    Thanks for all of the advice I really appreciate it. Anyone had a bad experience buying a refurb anything from apple?
     
  7. SithTracy macrumors newbie

    SithTracy

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    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    S.E. Wisconsin
    #7
    I use a Synology NAS for that and so much more.
     
  8. greg0rn macrumors member

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    Dec 16, 2009
    #8

    It is like buying new. No problems yet with Imac, Time Capsule, and AppleTV. Hope it stays this way.
     
  9. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #9
    +1 for buying refurb! MacBook Air, Airport Express and Time Capsule were all bought refurb and are flawless. No problems whatsoever.
     
  10. Arkious macrumors 6502a

    Arkious

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    Mar 14, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #10
    i recently got my time capsule for use as a data point, print server and router when i move into my new house. ive had a toy about with it seems great however at the moment its still sitting in its box so i cant comment if it will last for ages. the elder time capsules had bad powersupplies i hear
     
  11. ChristianJapan macrumors 68040

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #11
    I have one; but recently more trouble then trust ... I tried several time a rebuild and fresh setup but failed during inital load. Since one year I store on a QNAP NAS with external eSata-backup.

    You could also just get an external disk and use TimeMachine with that external disk instead of TC ... works also well.
     
  12. IFailedShapes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    #12
    I can't believe this hasn't been said yet. Just get an Airport Extreme and external drive. This is a cheaper, more flexible, and more easily upgraded solution.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #13
    It will work and is more flexible, but it does add some complexity and I don't think it will save him much money. The TC is $219 refurb and the AE is $129 refrub, plus around $70 or $80 for a 1TB external drive. I guess the OP needs to decide if the tradeoff is worth it for him.
     
  14. CHSeifert, May 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011

    CHSeifert macrumors 6502

    CHSeifert

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    Dec 28, 2010
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    #14
    TimeCapsules are overpriced like most Mac stuff is :)

    But I got one in the 2 TB version and it seems to run pretty stable compared to older generation, which had a lot of heat issues.

    It's really nice to know everything I do on either my iMac (still waiting for imac ultimate SSD) or MBA is auto backed almost instantly.

    I still do manual backup of my 2 TB music, pic and movie collection - just to be 110% safe though.

    But the manual backup I do twice a month. The TimeCapsule does it each and every day !

    Yes as mentioned - it's way overpriced, but it's really nice to have :apple:
     
  15. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #15
    This appears to work for some people, but it's not supported by Apple: "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an AirPort Extreme..."

    See http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.6/en/15139.html
    and http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2038

    Despite what the Apple info states, TM can (at least most of the time) back up to an AEBS disk. But can it do so reliably without errors? Do you want to take a chance that it'll be OK even though Apple clearly doesn't recommend it?
     
  16. davidg4781 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #16
    I had the same question last week and decided on getting a WD 1TB hard drive and backing up to that. Time Machine reminds me every 10 days or so to back up, so there's a reminder right there.

    Plus this is a lot more portable than having a Time Capsule. I keep mine in the living room (out of laziness, mostly) and if there's a fire, I can grab that when running out the door a lot easier than the Time Capsule. Also, if I go on vacation, unless I need to take it with me, I'll leave either my MacBook or the hard drive behind. This way, if one gets lost/stolen/damaged, I still have my backup.
     
  17. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #17
    Yeah I don' see this as being THAT much cheaper. If you get the same size HD as in the Time Capsule it's roughly the same price and the HD is covered with AppleCare if you have it on a Mac. It only starts getting cheaper once you get up to 2TB.

    Plus if you search enough about doing this not everyone is having it as easy as with a Time Capsule.
     
  18. iRobby macrumors 6502a

    iRobby

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL USA
    #18
    I'm going to be in the market for an external drive when I get my iMac switching from PC. Even though the Time Capsule prices are high I like the wireless aspect as well as the the fact that it is a router as well.

    My concerns are: since it is compatible with PCs as well before I disconnect my Dell can I transfer my files over to the iMac with it and if so how? Also, unfortunately there will still be another PC in the house (not mine) Will we be able to use the TC for backup with he PC and if so how since it doesn't have Time Machine?

    The price was deterring me but f I can get a refurbished then I could try it.
     
  19. Locodice macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    #19
    Just to chime in on the whole TC vs AE (+extHD) having a free usb port on the TC means you can connect a printer which supports printing for the whole house as a networked printer.
     
  20. Brian33, May 21, 2011
    Last edited: May 21, 2011

    Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #20
    Yes, you can connect both your new iMac and old Dell to a Time Capsule, your choice of wireless or wired, and transfer files between them. I can think of three different ways: (1) Sharing the Dell's disk via Windows sharing (I had this set up at one time but don't remember the details but there is a place in the Airport config utility to put a Windows workgroup name), (2) share the iMac's disk (may have to install Bonjour for Windows on the Dell but otherwise I think it's pretty easy to set up), or (3) install the Linux-like Cygwin utilities on the Dell and use the 'scp' (secure copy) command (I did this recently, but it's certainly not everyone's cup of tea).

    The Time Machine/Time Capsule combination will not back up the other PC. I have that situation myself. You could plug a USB external drive into the TC, and use some windows-based backup solution to back the PC up to that external.

    For my situation, the PC doesn't have much that needs to be backed up, so I use Dropbox. On the PC I manually copy the directory into my Dropbox folder and it gets synced (copied) to my iMac. Then it gets backed up with the next TM backup. Works for me, but only because of the small amount of data.
     
  21. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Around
    #21
    This is the reason why i ended up going with the Time Capsule. It also looks better sitting on my desk with out wires all over going to an external hard drive. It works flawlessly so easy to set up.
     
  22. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Very good advice. All backup solutions should work without any human intervention.

    The only thing that I would add is that any local backup solution should be considered a "seconday" backup... which is for fast/convenient data restore.

    Primary backup should be off-site. There are any number of issues that could cause you to lose all the data in your home... including theft, fire, or other disaster.

    I back up everything to the cloud every 15 minutes using Crashplan+. I back up everything to Time Machine/Time Capsule every hour.

    /Jim
     
  23. jonnysods macrumors 601

    jonnysods

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    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    There & Back Again
    #23
    Never had one bad experience buying refurbished from apple. And I have bought around 15 things from there over the years, including two time capsules.
     

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