Time Capsule vs. AEBS + Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bondsbw, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. bondsbw macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2006
    Could anyone give me a rundown on exactly the differences between buying Time Capsule and buying an Airport Extreme and a 500 GB/1 TB hard drive? With recent developments, I'm thinking of buying one or the other, but I want to know the best value.

    I'd like comparisons of cost, speed, ease-of-use, compatibility (Windows, Mac, Linux), ability to use from more than one computer, ability to use multiple partitions (say, one for TM and others for plain storage), expandability, etc... anything you can think of.

    I have a feeling that Time Capsule is the better buy (except for expandability and ability to hook it up as a USB drive directly to the computer).

  2. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Time Capsule is an AIO device with Airport Extreme Wireless N with either a 500GB or 1TB drive. It's truly designed to work with Time Machine whereas it will backup multiple Macs in the house wirelessly with Time Machine. You can also use it as a NAS for Mac with Tiger or PC's with Windows XP/Vista.

    Airport Extreme is just a wireless N router that allows you to connect any external HDD with a USB plug to the back of the AEBS. This setup works with the AIRDISK feature in the Airport Utility. You can only backup one computer in the house via Time Machine as well as a NAS for non-Leopard Macs and PC's.
    It's all about choice but TC is much more convenient feature wise as well as reducing so many wires.
  3. Tom J macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2006
    You can only backup one Mac with Airport Extreme/Airdisk and Time Machine?
    Crap !
  4. wallaby macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2007
    Is the Airport Extreme the same size as a Time Capsule? I was at the Apple Store today checking out the Time Capsules, and they're freaking huge!
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    The TC is bigger than the Extreme.

    I haven't done any official benchmarks, but streaming to/from my TC seems a lot faster than streaming to my Extreme + external USB drive.
  6. n00b-1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2007
    TC has a SATA (and thus faster HD) instead of the USB 2.0 external HD, which would be a lot faster than AEBS + an external HD.
  7. powz macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2007
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you'll see the speed benefit of the SATA drive in the TC unless you use the Gigabit connection. Otherwise, the speed bottleneck will be your wireless or even your regular ethernet connection, as both are slower than even USB 2.0. I'm speaking theoretically, as I haven't tested the actual rates on either...hopefully someone will do an objective test.
  8. n00b-1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2007
    That's a good point (unless it is a USB 1.1 drive):
    USB 1.1 = 1.5 Mbit/s or 12 Mbit/s
    USB 2.0 = 480 Mbit/s (280 Mbit/s realistically)
    SATA I = 1,200 Mbit/s
    802.11n = 248 Mbit/s
  9. thenewguy macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2006
    Theoretically that is correct, although I have experienced that streaming from the TC is much smoother than doing so from an attached drive.

    But I'm concerned about this AEBS only allowing 1 TM backup? How does this work? One computer backing up per disk?
  10. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2005
    Danville, VA
    I don't have an Airport Extreme, but couldn't you partition the External HD before you hooked it up to the AEBS? Then just back up each computer to a different Partition? Might not be as nice as TC, but it might work no?
  11. kjlowe macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2008
    Could you get some rough comparisons for us? Trying to figure out which route to take. Any help appreciated.
  12. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I can't believe that's true. Surely with sharing/permissions set correctly you can do more than one. Or at least partition with each partition available to a different computer.
  13. JPMaximilian macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2004
    You could also use a USB hub and multiple drives.

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