Time Machine without time capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Shmuco, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. Shmuco macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2010

    Im getting my new 12" MacBook soon and i want to know the best way to back it up.
    I would like to use time machine but i don't want to buy a time capsule. I there a way to hook up a hard drive to my network and use it for time machine.

    Thanks :)
  2. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Yes, that's fairly routine these days. Just need to direct TM to the HDD. Allow an extended time for first backup. I always do it overnight. Routine backups are quick. I would also suggest doing a periodic (monthly?) image backup to an external HDD that is bootable. I use SuperDuper for that but CarbonCopyCloner is also a good choice. The reason for the image backup is that if something happens you need to re-install everything, TM is slow and cumbersome for that. It is more useful as a method to retrieve accidentally deleted items or going back to an early configuration.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Many third party routers now support Time Machine, so that might be a way for you to do this. Also many NAS devices support Time Machine, so you could just attach the NAS to your existing network and go that route.
  4. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    The Apple AirPort Extreme is an officially supported router that allows Time Machine to USB hard drives. That being said, many third party routers offer it too as Weaselboy pointed out but Apple does not "officially" support that configuration. However, most have never had a problem with them!
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Ah, but those that have had problems sure wish they never went third party. There are quite a few that have had issues, but if you are savvy enough to hack around it, its not that big a deal.

    Use something else, like CCC, to backup to third party devices. You can thank me later. There are a lot of vendors claiming TM compatibility, some work some not so much. I have had nothing but issues with Synology before I gave up on them. If TM backups are important to you, do it right.
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    I agree with ColdCase. Be VERY careful with believing 3rd party vendor claims to TM support. I bought a NETGEAR Nighthawk (R7000) router that was SUPPOSED to support TM. I never got it to work right, nor has anybody in the Netgear forums gotten RELIABLE TM support. I'm very happy with the Netgear router performance and configurability (I think it is better than Airport), but it does not really play well with Apple TM.
  7. priitv8 macrumors 68030

    Jan 13, 2011
    OS X Server is another bulletproof way to get a TM server onto your network ;)
    Especially, if you have an idle Mac lying around.

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