What exactly is a Time Capsule?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by moonbeep, May 22, 2012.

  1. moonbeep macrumors member


    Jan 19, 2012
    Belfast,Northern Ireland
    Have a chance to buy a 1st gen Time Capsule,but not sure what it does exactly,i know it backs up your files but does the router act alongside your current router etc?

    Thanks for any help
  2. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Avoid the Time Capsule, 1st gen like the plague. They have serious overheating issues.
  3. McGilli, May 22, 2012
    Last edited: May 22, 2012

    McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    Been using a 1st Gen Time Capsule for 5 years now.

    One of the best purchases I have made.

    It can act as your router, or in conjunction with.

    Most reliable external hard drive I've ever owned. Considering there is no power switch, and it has been 'on' for 5 years without ever being turned off I'd say they are well made. If it was going to fail, then I think it would have done so a long time ago....
  4. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    In addition to the wired/wireless routing features, for automated and untethered backups its very convenient, esp. if you have laptops in the house. It can also act as a network file location for sharing between multiple computers.

    If the price is right, and you don't mind the lack of simultaneous bands, it's a convenient and versatile device. And I know the 1st gen hard drives were smaller but Google "time capsule hard drive upgrade", its a very easy upgrade.
  5. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    Another feature which I used for some time is the ability to plug a printer, or another external hard drive into it.

    So, If your Time capsule is downstairs - you can have a printer attached to it there.

    Then if your computer was located upstairs etc etc.

    Could be useful.
  6. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    I have a 1st-gen Time Capsule, and it has been trouble-free for 4 years. Most likely it can replace your current router, if you want, but it doesn't have to. For example, my "first" router is the one supplied by my ISP (because of the way they ran my fiber-optic connection). But the ISP router has its wireless features turned off, and the only thing plugged into it is my TC. The TC creates my wireless network and my hard-wired computer is also connected to it. You don't have to set it up this way, just saying it can work along with your router if you want to. I'd prefer to have just the TC, really, so then I'd have only 1 device to manage instead of 2.

    TC is great to have on your network, especially if you get a USB hub. I've got a USB printer and a small USB drive plugged into my TC's USB port. Both are accessible from my Macs and our Windows XP machine. The TC internal drive backs up two Macs, and the small USB drive is our cheap (but somewhat slow) "network storage".

    I upgraded my TC's internal drive from 500 GB to 2 TB, and it was quite easy. I love it!

    Good luck
  7. unfrostedpoptar macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    question about configurability


    I've got a very old Airport Extreme and also an old Mac Mini I use as sort-of a backup and printer server with 3 external harddrives on it - one set up for TM.

    It looks like I could replace both with a TC. What are the limits of attaching drives? I'm guessing it doesn't have the FW connector like the MM so I'd have to use USB. Are you able to set up different drives/partitions with different sharing access for different users? What else can you control / configure on it?


  8. CocoSS macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2011
    I have the last generation TC, the 2 TB model. I use it mainly as an external hdd to my macbook ( i know it is not recommended, but i suppose the hdd won't fail ). I store also my backups there. You can acces it over Internet, which is a very good thing considering the fact that a decent NAS as much more expensive than the TC. Overall i'm satisfied with it's performance.
  9. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    There's only 1 USB port on the TC, but you can attach multiple USB drives and USB devices using USB Hub(s). I imagine you could attach as many as the protocol allows (isn't it something like 128?). You're right: there's no FW connector on the TC. It's possible that the throughput for any external USB drives may be slower than the TC's internal drive, but I'm not sure about that.

    I haven't tried it, but the attached screen shot shows you can "Secure Shared Disks" "With accounts". You might want to find someone with more experience with that feature if it's crucial for you.


    A couple things to know:

    Any files you store on TC disks (either the internal one or any external USB ones) cannot be backed up with Time Machine. You need to come up with a different backup scheme for those particular files.

    You can't partition the TC's internal hard drive, or at least, it's clear Apple doesn't intend you to. I think some have accomplished it by removing the TC drive, plugging it into a spare SATA connector, partitioning, and re-installing. But if I remember correctly, even that didn't work for everyone.

    I believe you can partition the external USB drives that you connect to the TC, but I' haven't actually tried it.

    If you want to store files on the TC drive(s), you'll save yourself a lot of trouble if you do not store them on the same disks (partitions?) that are receiving backups from TM. The reason is that by design, TM will eventually fill up that disk and then you won't easily be able to store any more files there. The easiest solution is to use, for example, the internal drive for TM backups, and attached USB drive(s) for your "network storage".
  10. unfrostedpoptar macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    Thanks for all the info! I'll have to figure out how I'd backup the external drive, which has all my music, movies, photos, etc. Right now, I have 3 drives off the MM. One is just for TM for all my Macs. One is the media drive. And the 3rd is the weekly backup of everything. I use Chronosync for this.


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