Will Time Machine work with an Asus router connected to an external HDD?

JammySTB

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 26, 2008
16
0
Hi,

We're planning on upgrading a client's Time Capsule to an Asus RT-N66U to extend the range of his wireless network.

He still wants to be able to back up over his network using Time Machine. If we buy a USB external HDD and connect it to the router, will he be able to do this?

Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Hi,

We're planning on upgrading a client's Time Capsule to an Asus RT-N66U to extend the range of his wireless network.

He still wants to be able to back up over his network using Time Machine. If we buy a USB external HDD and connect it to the router, will he be able to do this?

Thanks in advance!
From what I've heard, the RT-N66U with an external USB drive can't be used for Time Machine in it's original configuration. Googling doesn't make me any wiser, so I would assume it's best to try it out for yourselves unless you manage to find more info than I did.
 

JammySTB

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 26, 2008
16
0
From what I've heard, the RT-N66U with an external USB drive can't be used for Time Machine in it's original configuration. Googling doesn't make me any wiser, so I would assume it's best to try it out for yourselves unless you manage to find more info than I did.
I'd love to try it out, but I don't want to drop £120 on a router and then £80 on a hard disk only to find it doesn't work.

I have tried an Airport Extreme with an external HDD and it worked fine, but I'm not sure if that would apply to non Apple routers too.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
I'd love to try it out, but I don't want to drop £120 on a router and then £80 on a hard disk only to find it doesn't work.

I have tried an Airport Extreme with an external HDD and it worked fine, but I'm not sure if that would apply to non Apple routers too.
The thing is the router has to have AFP (funnily enough, the Airport Extreme is the ONLY router on the market that has this and ISN'T supported by Apple to use for Time Machine, they even claim it can't be done), and I'm not sure the Asus has that.
 

JammySTB

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 26, 2008
16
0
The thing is the router has to have AFP (funnily enough, the Airport Extreme is the ONLY router on the market that has this and ISN'T supported by Apple to use for Time Machine, they even claim it can't be done), and I'm not sure the Asus has that.
Is there any way to enable it by flashing a third party firmware or something?

Could you not just add a second router as an access point to extend the range?
The client isn't the most tech literate person in the world... The simplest solution would just be to get him to plug the drive in to his PC directly using USB, but he'd forget and then never back up.

Connecting to a separate wifi network solely for backups would complicate things even more for him.
 

Stooby Mcdoobie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2012
797
20
The client isn't the most tech literate person in the world... The simplest solution would just be to get him to plug the drive in to his PC directly using USB, but he'd forget and then never back up.

Connecting to a separate wifi network solely for backups would complicate things even more for him.
Oh, no, I didn't mean have it set up two separate wireless networks. You can turn off all routing functions on the second router and basically have it act as a signal booster/extender. Though if he isn't very tech savvy, this might not be a simple solution for him.
 

JammySTB

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 26, 2008
16
0
Oh, no, I didn't mean have it set up two separate wireless networks. You can turn off all routing functions on the second router and basically have it act as a signal booster/extender. Though if he isn't very tech savvy, this might not be a simple solution for him.
So Hub > Airport Time Capsule > Asus Router?

If the Asus router one he connects to, how would he connect to HDD in the airport?
 

Stooby Mcdoobie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2012
797
20
It will basically be Modem -> Router 1 -> Router 2 (connect router 2 to router 1 via ethernet). But if you turn off DHCP on Router 2 (Asus), give both routers the same details (ssid/password), and put them on different channels, everything should work as before except he will have a stronger/more reliable signal.

I have never tried it with Apple routers, but, theoretically, he should be able to see the TC HDD when he's connected to either the Asus or the TC. Hopefully someone can confirm/deny this.
 
Last edited:

samh

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2009
317
3
So Hub > Airport Time Capsule > Asus Router?

If the Asus router one he connects to, how would he connect to HDD in the airport?
What we did at one office was connect Time Capsule and our main Wireless Router through a Gigabit Ethernet port on both, then turned off all DHCP, routing, and wi-fi networking on the Time Capsule after set up the new router. The Time Capsule essentially becomes a "dumb" backup hard drive accessible on the network and provides no network connectivity function.

Kind of a waste of the Time Capsule, but it made networked backups way easier and still allowed us to use a more robust, office-caliber router.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
What we did at one office was connect Time Capsule and our main Wireless Router through a Gigabit Ethernet port on both, then turned off all DHCP, routing, and wi-fi networking on the Time Capsule after set up the new router. The Time Capsule essentially becomes a "dumb" backup hard drive accessible on the network and provides no network connectivity function.

Kind of a waste of the Time Capsule, but it made networked backups way easier and still allowed us to use a more robust, office-caliber router.
How come you bought a Time Capsule for that instead of a "regular" network drive?
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,439
2,915
The short answer is that you can probably get it to work, but it's not officially supported and is prone to breaking with OS updates. It'd be effectively treated as any other Samba share, and if you search, there are plenty of guides for how to set them up. I used this method for years, and it basically worked, but it was always broken in some manner by a major OS revision and I eventually gave up now that the OS is updated every year.

How come you bought a Time Capsule for that instead of a "regular" network drive?
The Time Capsule is the only officially supported network drive for Time Machine. Third party NAS support makes this much better, but you'll still often have to wait for updates every time Apple changes something.
 

samh

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2009
317
3
How come you bought a Time Capsule for that instead of a "regular" network drive?
A couple of reasons. New network, 3 new iMacs, in the midst of opening a new office. I did not have time to fiddle with things to get them right, and I needed a more-or-less fool-proof backup solution that I wouldn't have to babysit later. Every time I've used Samba shares for TM I've run into issues. Since there would be computers used that I wouldn't regularly be sitting down at personally... I didn't want to have to worry.

Second, since our phones rely on our Internet connection, there was some value in having a backup router on the premises should something go wrong.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
44
Colorado
Hi,

We're planning on upgrading a client's Time Capsule to an Asus RT-N66U to extend the range of his wireless network.

He still wants to be able to back up over his network using Time Machine. If we buy a USB external HDD and connect it to the router, will he be able to do this?

Thanks in advance!
Just buy a Airport Express and use WDS mode to extend the exisitng TC network. No need to mess with multiple WiFi networks, ethernet connections, external HDD, etc. and TC will be available as always.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,674
1,238
Georgia
Just buy a Airport Express and use WDS mode to extend the exisitng TC network. No need to mess with multiple WiFi networks, ethernet connections, external HDD, etc. and TC will be available as always.
This is the best way just set the Airport Express somewhere else in the office and set it to repeat the network from the Time Capsule. If you haven't done it before it may be a little difficult to initially set up. Once it is configured you won't need to worry about it again. All your client will notice is a stronger wireless signal all over the office.

Just let it repeat wirelessly don't try to setup as an access point. For some reason if you plug in the Ethernet cable it cause all sorts of problems. I blame this on Airport Utility 6 having fewer options than 5 and the new Airport Express requires 6, perhaps someone knows something I missed here. Performance tests I made of wireless repeating showed no decline vs acting as a wireless access point.

Alternatively you can disable DHCP in the ASUS. Give it a static IP address in the correct range so you can configure it via the web interface easily. Then just plug it in via a LAN port somewhere in the office. Then set the SSID, encryption type and Key to be the same.

In either case I would set them a couple rooms apart to maximize the wireless coverage. When a computer connects it will automatically choose the strongest signal. It will only switch to the other if it loses the signal of the first by going out of range or sees the other one is stronger after a connect/disconnect.