What is faster for Time Machine: USB2or3 External HD OR Time Capsule(Wifi)?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by imacericg, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. imacericg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    #1
    Need a new solution for my Time Machine backups:

    Would a USB 2or3 External Hard Drive be faster than a Time Capsule that backups up over Wifi?
     
  2. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    Obviously usb3 is the fastest solutioN. Usb2 would be next fastest. Wifi is slowest, but for me the most convenient as i have multiple machines and don't care for peripherals on my desk.

    Actually, i don't understand the concern for fast backup connections. Time machine runs in the background and frequently enough that any single transfer is typically a small data amount. Even large data changes, tens or hundreds of gigs, transfer quickly enough over the wireless connection to my Time Capsule.
     
  3. JML42691 macrumors 68020

    JML42691

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #3
    Same thoughts, other than the very first backup the change sizes should be so small that it wouldn't matter which medium is used. I hadn't backed up to time machine in ~45 days until a week ago (was moving around a ton and never unpacked the drive) and the backup size was just barely a GB.
     
  4. imacericg thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    #4
    Thanks guys. I am going to go with the Time Capsule. Maybe I will wait a few weeks to see if they release a new one. I am in no hurry.
     
  5. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    Good choice, i highly recommend the TC. And, if its a concern, to speed the initial backup you can connect the computer by ethernet cable to the TC.
     
  6. lkgreenwell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    #6
    Time Capsule obsolescence

    I have been wondering if there is a new Time Capsule in the offing
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Having what that is not in the latest version?
     
  8. ColdCase, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #8
    Initial backups and updates run in the background and you hardly notice them. Recovery, however, may be a different story. If you have a lot of time or are patient, it doesn't really mater but that machine is dead in the water until recovered. For a point of reference, if you need to recover about 500GB from a TM backup that has been running for 8 months or so from a thunderbolt enclosure, it takes an hour and a half (if the backup is on a Raid0 volume less time). Similar backup drive in a USB3 enclosure takes about two an a half hours. Similar drive in a USB2 enclosure takes roughly five hours, and over WiFi about twelve hours. The longer it takes the more chance of screw up. I had to recover the same machine twice today due to operator error. It would have been much more annoying if I was recovering via WiFi.
     
  9. wytwolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    #9
    With Time Capsules most people will do the initial backup via Ethernet cable and then all future backups (small updates) via wifi.

    With time machine there is no advantage over the other depending on the situation. Like marzer said the updates will be faster over USB3 (about 100MBps), then USB2 (about 30MBps) and wifi "N" (about 10MBps). I'm not sure of AC speeds as my MBP only has wireless N.

    The issue with most people is they don't have the USB drive constantly connected to their mac if they have a mac laptop. They will only backup when TM reminds them every 10 days. Time Capsules will do a implemental backup ever hour. This will result in a small backup via wifi. If you back up every 10-14 days the backups will be much larger and therefore would require a faster delivery system for impatient people (99% of the population).

    Also you have to factor in if you travel a lot. "Frequent flyers" may be better off with a portable USB3 drive to keep backups while traveling.

    Both have their pros and cons.
     
  10. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #10
    I agree but your data rates are double the real world data rate reported by activity monitor during a TM backup. You need a fast drive or a couple in a RAID to get anywhere near 50 MBps.
     
  11. pietrov macrumors regular

    pietrov

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #11
    USB3, USB2, TC.
    You could consider also connecting for the first backup the TC via ethernet and then use the wifi sync...
     

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