What is faster for Time Machine: 802.11N or USB 2.0?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jbg232, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I bought an external USB 2.0 hard drive when it was on sale last week to use for time machine but have not opened the box thinking that something might happen at Macworld and it sure did with Time Capsule. However, I was thinking about it and I'm not sure which is faster, saving backups over a wireless-N network or saving them directly on USB 2.0. Any ideas?
  2. coolant113 macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2007
    New Jersey
    i would say the usb... since it is a direct connection to the computer there is nothing interfering with it such as walls, electronics etc.... but i could be wrong:apple::apple:
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    "Real world," USB will most likely be faster.
  4. jbg232 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
  5. Justinerator macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2007
    Redondo Beach, CA
    i would say it wouldn't be significantly faster, but still relatively quicker. General rule of thumb is - anything directly connected will be faster than something wirelessly connected.
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    For the AEBS the limiting factor is the CPU in the base station. 6 to 8 MBPS maximum. I would suspect the TC to be no different if it uses the same chipset.
  7. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    I believe 802.11n should be faster on the 5GHz band. I'm not sure how the 2.4GHz band compares.
  8. Eyerish macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    Orange, New South Wales, Australia
    Well.... When everything is working at top speed...

    802.11n = 300Mps (usually 220Mps - 2500Mps in real-world use)
    USB2 = 480Mps (Can be as low as 100Mps if your other USB ports are busy)

    ... Most people would go USB I think but the best option really depends on your computer.

    I'm not sure if I read if you have a laptop or desktop. If your main Mac is a MacBook/Pro then you don't really want to use up one of your 2 USB ports for backups. Add to that you wouldn't really want a external HD handing off your computer all the time as you move it around. Not when putting the backup disk on the network only drops your backup time by 1 or 2 minutes.

    If you have a iMac or Mac Pro when I'd use USB for the extra speed because you aren't moving the computer around and you have more ports the spare on these machines. Or even better.... does the Hard Drive have a Firewire 800 option?? using that could get you up to 800Mps.

    Until ThunderBolt drives come along!

    ThunderBolt 10,000Mps

    Your connection to external drives is the same as your connection to your built-in drive at that point. Cables don't matter then. :)
  9. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    It's a really easy decision... if you have a laptop use the time capsule. If you have an iMac or Mac Pro use a USB drive.:D
  10. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    May we know how you came upon this three year old thread, and why you just registered to resurrect it?

    Btw, it is Mbps or Mb/s.

    And real world transfer rates are normally represented in MB/s, as FW800 for example doesn't deliver 100MB/s, more like 65 to 70 MB/s.
    USB 2.0 delivers up to 35MB/s, but TM doesn't use the full interface speed anyway.

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