Time Capsule versus portable external hard drive.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jenko, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Jenko macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #1
    Hi guys, ned a bit of help. I went to the Apple store here in Cardiff, Wales, UK to ask about the new Lion OS, but as usual I got no answers. So I decided to enquire about external storage and back up. I asked for some advice from the genius sales adviser about whether to purchase a time capsule or portable HDD, they had lacie rugged and WD passport in the store but I also like the look of the Iomega. I told him My needs were basic enough, I purely use the MBP for uploading and downloading medium res photographs to my MBP and a lot of writing, nothing to strenious I also use photoshop on and off The MBP HDD is 500gb so I was looking for 1tb storage capacity, I have a small house and a three year old daughter, so it would be used and stored away out of harms way. The time capsule sounds good but I do not need 2tb of storage and I already have a router which is a mobile one. The genius adviser was useless he just ran me in circles gave me no straight advice. The time capsule is €250 and the lacie rugged is €180 and the WD passport is €100. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Samiam1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #2
    Lacie

    I got a Lacie portable $150 USB hard drive. 1TB. I've had it about a year and use it to backup. It isn't blazing fast or anything, but if you plug it in once a day, it doesn't have to back up too much at any given time. The time capsule is great too. I use that at work. It is wireless and works in the background without you even knowing. You have to decide if the wireless, server grade HD, and seemless background backups are worth the extra cost. I use it at work, because the the server grade hard drive matters for my livelyhood. It really is just a matter of cost and convenience. Both work very easily and the set up is a breeze.
     
  3. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #3
    It's too bad that you didn't get more information at the store. I think there are two main points to consider -- how important the money difference is, and whether you use your MBP more as a portable computer or more like a desktop computer.

    I ask the last question because I feel that a reliable backup plan must absolutely minimize the need for human action. If you carry your MBP in and out of the house, then using an external directly attached drive has the disadvantage that you'll have to connect/disconnect the drive often. Being human, you'll probably get lazy about doing it or just forget about it, resulting in backups that are much older than ideal.

    The Time Capsule neatly solves this problem -- whenever you use your MBP within range of your wireless network, Time Machine will back it up every hour.

    I'm not trying to sell you a TC (though I love mine), but another thing to note is that you can store other files on the TC's internal drive, and so you can use half (or whatever) of it for network-accessible storage. However, it's a little tricky using it that way because TM will eventually fill up the drive and then you can't easily put any more files on it.. There are a couple of workarounds, ask me if you're interested.

    If you really want only 1 TB of storage, you can save quite a bit of money by going with the external drive, so I can certainly understand going that route. Just understand the benefits of wireless backups that you'd be giving up.

    Regards,
    Brian33.
     
  4. Jenko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #4
    Thanks guys. Finaly i have got some solid advice. The time capsule sounds like a great idea. I do take the MBP out of the house down to my studio frequently and when I do I disconnect the mobile wireless router and take it with me would this cause any problems with the time capsule?
     
  5. Jenko thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #5
    I'm not trying to sell you a TC (though I love mine), but another thing to note is that you can store other files on the TC's internal drive, and so you can use half (or whatever) of it for network-accessible storage. However, it's a little tricky using it that way because TM will eventually fill up the drive and then you can't easily put any more files on it.. There are a couple of workarounds, ask me if you're interested.



    Hi Brian 33, I would like to know more about the couple of workarounds you have mentioned. Could you send them to me please.
     
  6. Jenko, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

    Jenko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #6
    Another question is the time capsule reasonably future proof as in it will work with my computer and future updates for a few years. Also what do I do if I lose my back up if the time capsule breaks down. I am probably making things more complicated than need be, but i am new to this and I want to get it right.
    One thing the genius adviser did say was you could use an extreme which would allow for a portable external HDD to connect in the back, which would mean I could upgrade or use any portable drive plugged into the extreme as a wireless HDD and as a portable HDD. Any thoughts?
     
  7. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #7
    I'm sorry to admit I'm not sure what a mobile wireless router is. Does it have anything to do with mobile phone (cell phone) service? Or is it a standard router that's small enough to easily carry around? Around here a wireless router is cheap enough I would never consider carrying one around regularly... Is this router one your ISP requires that you use? Maybe it's a modem and router combined?

    Since the Time Capsule *is* a router (among other things), it seems to me that you could leave your mobile wireless router at the studio, and use the TC as the router at home. In any case I don't think disconnecting your other router should cause any problems for the TC.

    Regards,
    Brian33.
     
  8. hehe299792458 macrumors 6502a

    hehe299792458

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #8
    I think it's a router capable of receiving cellular service, and then re-broadcasting than via wifi to nearby computers? This'd basically be a dedicated hotspot. But I'm not sure what the OP meant either.
     
  9. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #9
    Something to consider might be a small NAS that supports Time Machine. I use a Synology DS110j and it's pretty handy.
     
  10. Jenko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #10
    Here is a link to the page on the cell phone company site I have a contract with called Three.ie. It shows the exact same modem/router that I have.



    http://www.three.ie/products_services/broadband/products.html?active_tab=panel_mi-fi



    It works in the same way as a cell phone, when you buy it you also get a Sim card to put in to it and it has a cell number. So it works in a similar fashion to cell phone coverage but picks up broadband, it picks up a great signal.
     
  11. Jenko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #11
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Anybody have any experience with my HDD Time Capsule issue?
     
  12. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #12

    Sure. But first, remember that any files you put on the TC's internal disk, or an external disk attached to a TC, will *not* get backed up by TM. This just means you need to have an alternative backup strategy or keep copies of them somewhere else.

    So, if you want, you can put files on the TC's internal disk and all the computers on your local network will be able to access them, even Windows computers. (I've got a Windows XP system that can read and write to my TC's internal drive.) So it can be handy to store common files there.

    The only problem is that TM will eventually fill up the drive -- that's fine if you've already put the files on the disk, because TM will not delete them, but you won't be able to put more or bigger files onto the disk unless you go into the TM interface and delete some old backups.

    One solution is to partition the TC's internal disk, but that can't be done easily -- it turns out you have to take it out of the TC and put it into another SATA enclosure or bay.

    A second potential solution is to set the maximum size of the .sparsebundle file that TM uses to contain the backups. I think it's sorta like a disk image file, and according to this link: http://web.me.com/pondini/Time_Machine/A8.html you can set its maximum size and TM will respect that. I have not tried this.

    A third solution is similar: "to "reserve" some space there, by creating a disk image of the desired size and storing your data there, but it's rather cumbersome, and two Macs can't share it at the same time." Here's where I found directions for this: http://web.me.com/pondini/Time_Machine/TCQ3.html (blue box). I haven't tried this either, just passing on what info I've found!

    Regards,
    Brian33.
     
  13. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #13
    I'm assuming you wouldn't take the TC along for these outings! Sounds like you would use your existing mobile wireless router to create your wireless network just like you are now, and have the TC connect to it so that the MBP could "see" it.

    After looking at the router info you supplied it looks like it doesn't have any ethernet ports, so the TC would have to connect to your router wirelessly.

    I'm not sure how to configure the TC to connect wirelessly to your router, but I think it can be done. Does anyone else know? In any case, isn't there a 14-day return period if it doesn't work for you?

    Regards,
    Brian33.
     
  14. ZStation macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    #14
    You could save some money by buying a refubished Time Capsule. Mine is a refurb, and it's been working 100% for over a year.
     
  15. Aviboy97 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #15
    I was torn between buying a Time Capsule and an external HD. After reading many customer reviews, especially on Apple.com, I elected to get a standard HD and also saved money in the process. I got a Western Digital MyBook 1TB USB 2.0. Not the fastest, but, I wanted an affordable HD to use with Time Machine. I was hoping to find an affordable HD with FireWire 800 or Thunderbolt, but, had no such luck.

    The Time Capsule is more than a HD, so, if you need the other features it comes with, then go for it.
     
  16. Jenko thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
     
  17. Jenko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #17
    That is exactly what I was thinking. The Time Capsule might be more than I need as I already have a router which works fine, although being able to back up wirelessly and with no hastle is very tempting. I am still not a hundred percent sure. Like I said love the idea of time capsule, but the external portable HDD option seems to be winning favour with me so far especially as I can also use the external to store other files as well quite straightforward unlike Time Capsule. Hmmmmmm decisions, decisions.
     
  18. cjwireman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #18
    Help



    Brian,
    New to mac. We are pc people.
    we went to apple store and they sold us an iMac,iPad time capsule. we were told we could use the time capsule as a device to network our home. for instance we were told we could transfer info from device to device wirelessly. we were told if we took a picture from our phone or pad it would be on our time capsule. I thought the time capsule was an external hard drive. any input is helpful

    ----------

    can i use my tc and an external hd? can my iPad transfer data to and from my time capsule? my iMac is 500g we have a 2tb TC is this mute since apple care told me I could only use my tc as a backup
     
  19. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #19
    For me the biggest factor was not being able to encrypt my back ups to a TC. I needed a larger back up drive and was set to buy a new tv when I learned Filevault2 will not work with it. Only directly attached storage which sort of sucks but what can you do? No point in having your internal storage encrypted and leave your back not. So I just got a 2gb wd FireWire drive. With the new off line local back ups it isn't a major deal if I am remote and not connected to my back drive for a few hours.


    ---
    I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=35.687267,139.728267
     

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