What’s the best route to TM over WiFi?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by LarryJoe33, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. LarryJoe33 macrumors 6502a

    LarryJoe33

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Location:
    Boston
    #1
    I would like to TM over WiFi. I have an external hard drive that I currently plug in to my MBP. I would like some advice on the cheapest solution vs going the time capsule route while still utilizing this HD. I assume my Xfinnity router is of no use? I also have an iMac. Could I plug it into that and access it? Make it a network drive of some sort? I’d also like to be able to use CCC to backup to it over WiFi/network? Is there something I could buy used on eBay since my machines are so old? Any help appreciated.
     
  2. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #2
    Keep in mind that when you start doing TM over a network connection, the data is stored differently on the hard drive compared to when you are connecting to the drive locally. At least that used to be the case when Time Machine was first released. Thus you can continue to use that hard drive, but you couldn't access the old backups without plugging the drive directly into your computer.

    Since the drive is formatted HFS+ it can only be read by Macs natively. If you use the drive in another type of router, or NAS, or computer the drive will need to be re-formatted. Thus losing your old backups. In order to keep the old data, you'd need to put the drive in the iMac you mentioned.
     
  3. LarryJoe33 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LarryJoe33

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Location:
    Boston
    #3

    Thanks, I have been doing some homework. Would you or anyone else know if the older Time Capsules (square ones) work well and if you need to restore, could you plug it in directly for a fast restore? I see these cheap on eBay and am curious if there were any issues? I definitely would want the ability to plug it into my machine in the event I need to do a full system restore.
     
  4. Crash0veride macrumors regular

    Crash0veride

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #4
    My recommendation would be to avoid the time capsules as they're becoming pretty dated at this point and Apple has scrapped it's router development group. Find a router that has usb network share capabilities and usually a quick google of "time machine and -router model-" will tell you if people have tried it and if it works. I have the WRT3200ACM, it works for me, and they're more affordable through linksys refurbished models. For first backup and restores you're going to want to plug in via ethernet. Every backup after that shouldn't take too long and all backups can be interrupted and continued later.

    As for CCC, I wouldn't try to clone anything over wifi. I wouldn't trust all those dropped packets, but I don't know how well CCC recursively checks data. Would also be super slow over wifi for a full clone.

    Also the beauty of time machine is really in the incremental backups. Being able to find things from both two hours ago and 6 months ago is great. As such, you may want to avoid the frequent drive wipes that I pick up on from other threads, and at least double the size of the full possible size of your boot drive is my recommendation for these incremental backups.
     
  5. LarryJoe33 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LarryJoe33

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Thanks as always for your input. Basically what I was looking for was something in my home that is wireless that could handle the incremental backup's that TM does, not the full as I would fully expect to do the first by plugging it in or using ethernet as you suggested. I want to set TM to auto and just let it find the network drive.

    In terms of CCC, it actually does have a pretty thorough checking system and it also (like TM) can just do an incremental to a backup or image. TM and CCC take about the same amount of time and transfer the same amount of data when they backup Thanks as always for your input. Basically what I was looking for was something in my home that is wireless that could handle the incremental backup's that TM does, not the full as I would fully expect to do the first.

    Believe it or not I wiped my drive a few days ago for the very first time! Although my multiple threads seem like I do it all the time! This is what I am trying to safeguard against by looking into automatic backup options. I having TM and CCC is probably overkill, but CCChas been good to me, I just started using TM.
     
  6. Crash0veride, Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

    Crash0veride macrumors regular

    Crash0veride

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #6
    As mfram noted a usb backup won’t be continuable over the network, it will just start new as a “.sparesbundle” archive instead of just a “.backups” folder system. So Ethernet would be the only option for quicker first backup.

    I didn’t know that about CCC though. I understand why you use it more now. I would message CCC support about compatibility for a better idea, as TM is built with wireless backups as a feature.

    And np on feedback. It’s been kind of slow at work lately and I’m browsing for a new online community.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Yes... attach the drive to the iMac then install macOS Server on the iMac. That will allow you to backup any Macs on the network to the drive attached to the iMac. You can also use that same drive for local (direct) TM backups for the iMac if the drive is large enough.

    https://www.apple.com/macos/server/

    As mentioned, networked TM backups are stored inside a sparse bundle image and cannot be used over USB to restore, but there is a work around. Just attach the TM drive, then open the sparse bundle image and drag the backups.backupdb out of the sparse bundle to the root of the drive. Then you can use it for a restore or Migration Assistant import.
     
  8. LarryJoe33 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LarryJoe33

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Nice, looks like a very powerful product. Maybe a little too powerful and administrative for my hunt. Looks like more and more a networked solution is the way to go but also comes with restore complications and quick restore capability is probably my first priority vs. a wireless automatic backup.

    Too bad Time Capsule is being phased out. I did read up a bunch on them and as will all Apple products, it's pretty easy to get it going. They are also really cheap used on eBay. A 4th generation 2TB can be had for $60. I was tempted but I think I will just plug my external into both the MBP and the iMac on a regular basis.
     
  9. Crash0veride, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017

    Crash0veride macrumors regular

    Crash0veride

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #9
    It has power, but is really a pretty straightforward set-up for local network. Though it might be worth just trying plugging it in with file sharing turned on in the sharing preferences and your drive added. I've used MacOS server for this and web hosting, but a simple file share of the drive might work too; worth a shot.

    Downside is I hear macOS Server is broken on HSierra betas without access to developer beta copies of server.

    Edit: The release notes for HSierra macOS Server 5.4 beta, which I know you're on HSierra, states: "Caching Server, Time Machine Server, and File Sharing advanced options are now built directly into macOS." Configuration of TM Server: https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/78691
     
  10. LarryJoe33 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LarryJoe33

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    Thanks Crash. I pulled the trigger on a 4th gen time capsule. Getting tit today. Although I know it’s old technology it was cheap and gives me something to play with that “should’ be easy to setup. We shall see. My OCD now has me in the bank for lots of hardware and lots of backups. I have a huge USB stick, a G drive and now a 2TB TC. I think I enjoy messing with Hardware more than using my MBP lol!
     

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