Time Capsule vs. Aiport Extreme + External HDD

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ijsportsman, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. ijsportsman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #1
    I am debating between buying a Time Capsule or an Airport with an HDD. It's about a $40 difference and they do the same thing, yet some people say that sometimes the external HDD that you plug into the Airport is not recognized and it's a pain in the neck to get hooked up. I would love to have some feedback on this topic. Thanks.
     
  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #2
    I highly recommend against either method. Here's why:

    • I've tried using my Airport Express (802.11n) as a Time Machine server and it works the first time only. There are multiple threads on Apple's site about problems with this method.
    • If you buy a Time Capsule and the wireless dies, you've essentially lost your backup solution -- unless you connect it via Ethernet to another wireless router.

    A better solution might be to get a NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive that is Time Machine compatible.

    The better question is why do you need a backup solution that's over the network? Locally-attached drives are cheaper and faster.

    -Aaron-
     
  3. ijsportsman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #3
    Alright first thing is, Apple explicitly states that the Express is for Printers only, I'm talking about the Extreme, so if you have that then thats a problem. Secondly, you plug a local drive into the Extreme anyway for backup so it's the same price.
     
  4. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #4
    Sorry. Typo. I meant Extreme. It is unreliable with Time Machine backups to external drives. If you need reference links, I can dig them up for you.

    -Aaron-
     
  5. ijsportsman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #5
    Its okay, thank you, I'm checking out a bunch of stuff right now on it. And worst case scenario, I purchase the product and test it, then return in within 14 days.
     
  6. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #6
    If it helps, I purchased an IOMega external 1TB hard drive that wasn't recognized by any of my non-computer boxes (Western Digital WDTV Live, Buffalo NAS, Airport Extreme), so you might want to avoid that brand.

    -Aaron-
     
  7. StupidNice macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #7
    I'd Say Stick To The Time Capsule Only. Its The Cleanest, Easiest, Clutter Free Solution. It Has Been My Method For Over A Year And I Have No Problems Whatsoever. I Find The Router Even More Dependable Than The Linksys Router I Was Using Before. Apple Has Fixed The Issues These Devises Were Having In The Past, There Is No Need To Worry.

    If The Wireless Does Die For Whatever Reason, You Do Not Lose Your Back-up As You Can Always Run An Ethernet Cord Back To The Computer.
     
  8. futoko Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #8
    I had the same decision to make a few months ago. I chose to go with the Airport Extreme and an external HDD. For one, I'd read about problems with the HDD inside the Time Capsule (heat, dying drives, etc.). But more than that, I figure the lifespan of the Airport Extreme by itself should be 3-5 years at least. I never get that much out of hard drives, due to parts failing or needs for increased capacity or simply wanting newer, faster drives. I wanted the option to swap and replace drives easily without affecting my home network. I want to keep the network separate and stable.

    I've had no problems so far, about four months in. Currently using a WD bookcase style HDD.
     
  9. ijsportsman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #9
    BTW, when did you purchase your Airport Extreme?
     
  10. re2st macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #10
    I suggest AE + External Drive. You can get a combination of AE + 2TB External drive for $300.00. Time Capsule will set you back for over $400.

    Besides, just in case your AE stopped working, you can plug your external drive directly to your Mac. And then there's that hard drive failure risk with time capsule.

    As for others who questioned why bother with over the network backup? It's the "plug it in once, and forget about it" part. You can initiate time machine back-up from multiple machines in your house, and it will back-up automatically.
     
  11. james90755 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    #11
    I went through this and ended up with direct connect ext hdd. Anything wireless is slower, and there was something to due with the wireless backup being a single gigantic file... which you cannot pick things out of... (I forget the term for this)

    Simple ext hdd is cheapest, fastest, and you can backup anywhere... which road warriors will appreciate...
     

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