Your Opinion on the best alternative to a Time Capsule please?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Greenone, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    #1
    Hello -

    I bought the very latest Time Capsule (came out Oct. 20th, supposedly, and I bought mine Oct. 21st and Apple said I got the latest). I have since seen all the bad reviews about the Time Capsule in general.

    I'm not sure I'm willing to risk that this one's yet another lemon, since the time I have to send it back for full refund expires in a few days.

    Needless to say, I really liked the option of wirelessly and automatically backing up my Macbook Pro's data - and knowing it backs up up to 5 computers in the home. The biggest complaints I've noticed from reading reviews has been its lack of two drives, the fact that most die around the 18 month mark (do all external HD's die around this time?) and that they're not easy to open up and fix - oh and have no good manual or support for when things go wrong. Also I've read many people have had to reset them which loses data.

    Sure I'll hunt around on the internet, but if any of you WISE PEOPLE ;) can suggest a reputable alternative (1 TB), I'd be most grateful. Is there something else out there like the Time Capsule that's Mac-friendly? Or if not, is there one that's not wireless but very simple to use and backs up automatically - and only the newest stuff since the last backup? What about with two drives?

    Thank you so much!
     
  2. boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #2
    Why not consider getting an Airport Extreme base station and hooking up an external drive to that? I own at AEBS and I really have been very pleased with it. It was very simple to configure and its dual band capabilities are nice if you have any iPhones or iPod touches in the house. I also have a Western Digital external and have been very happy with that drive as well. I have yet to hook them up together to wirelessly backup, but will probably start doing that once I get a mini in a few weeks so that I can backup my Macbook without having to plug it in. I've heard good things about this system here in the forums - this way you can choose which brand of external to get, and if one of the two should die, you're not out both a routerand an external.

    If you do go this route, though, it'll probably be best to perform your original TM backup while the drive is plugged into your computer as doing it over your network would take a while and probably grind it to a halt. Hope this helps! :)
     
  3. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #3
    boston04and07, just an FYI, Time Machine backs up differently to a drive connected to the computer than to a network drive. When it's connected to the computer, it copies the files directly. When the drive is a network drive, TM makes a single sparsebundle file. As far as I know, you may not be able to continue a backup started with the drive connected to the computer once you connect it to the AEBS. I may be wrong in this however. But what I would suggest is to connect the drive to the AEBS and do the initial backup while connected to the AEBS via gigabit Ethernet.
     
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    I'm not convinced you are convinced you need an alternative! :p

    What, exactly are your objections to the TC?

    Failures at 18 months?
    1. We don't know if this trend will continue with newer models
    2. We don't really know the failure rate... Sure there are a few dozen complaints... out of how many units shipped?
    3. If you are using it for backups, then a failure of your TC does not mean lost data... it's just a backup. Don't be dumb and store the only copy of important data on only one device (TC, laptop, or anything else for that matter)
    4. It's not going to last forever, don't assume it will. While 18 months is unnacceptable, operate under the assumption that any device you own could fail at any time. Then you will never suffer a loss of data.

    For an all-in-one router backup solution, you can't beat the TC. No one else combines those functions into one device.

    You can buy a separate router and backup solution. If you really want to go that route, there are a ton of options from NAS to Firewire or USB drives... depending on how many systems you want to have accessing the device at once.

    My advice is not to listen to the fear mongers, buy a TC, use it as intended (for backups) and live happily ever after! :)
     
  5. FarSeide macrumors 6502a

    FarSeide

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Earth Lane
    #5
    I was in the same situation and I even posted a very similar thread.

    I thought about getting a external HD and just use AEBS but I thought I might give my new 2TB TC another try.

    I think I will be buying a 1TB G-Drive for additional back up but I'm hoping that first batch of TC that I had was part of bad batch.

    So far I'm very happy with my TC but we shall see in 18 months. At least Apple is good with their return/exchange policy if something were to fail.
     
  6. slapguts macrumors 6502a

    slapguts

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #6
    I'm using an AEBS hooked to s 320gb external, in enclosure designed for a Mac Mini. They stack on top of each other. Looks good on the desk.

    You can always add another drive using a USB hub. Just stack a new 1tb version on the bottom when you need it.
     
  7. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #7
    You can't daisy chain USB. The best you can hope for with an AEBS/external setup is to swap out your drive with a larger one at a later time. You'll have to copy the sparsebundle file to continue backups, but you won't be able to add more space like in a RAID setup. (Unless, of course, the enclosure is set up in a RAID and is capable of accepting additional hard drives to make the available space larger, then disregard my post.)
     
  8. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    Just wanted to chime in -- I got a 500 GB Time Capsule that has served as the router and backup machine for 3 different Macs since day 1 and it has been going strong without a hiccup since April 2008.

    If this does die out of warranty, I will get another one.
     
  9. slapguts macrumors 6502a

    slapguts

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #9
    Or through a powered USB hub.

    Sorry, shouldn't have used the term 'daisy chain'. My mistake.
     
  10. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #10
    So you're ok spending $400 on a device that only lasts 18 months?

    I guess if you have a ton of disposable income...I for one, will not buy another TC until its confirmed the issues are fixed.

    Use and AEBS with an external HD (and stick with one method only...wireless or wired...don't mix). It does the same thing as the TC. Its a cheaper set up. And if something dies, its less expensive to replace.

    Unless you like spending $400 on poor quality products...I would recommend this route.
     
  11. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    So you're ok making up numbers to prove your point?

    It was $300, I have the receipt. Please show me where, in 2008, I could have bought a wireless N router and a 500 GB external HD that would work together as a wireless backup unit for time machine for less than $300.

    At the time, the unsupported AEBS + 500 GB HD solution was more money.

    You have to put forum posts into perspective. I'm sure the problem seems rampant, but I'm also sure that more people are *not* having this problem than are.
     
  12. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #12
    No worries, but just an FYI, you can't add storage space to a single Time Machine volume by connecting more drives to a USB hub. They will show as separate drives, meaning each will show up as a separate target backup volume in Time Machine. You'll still need to either copy your backup and continue or start the backup from scratch on the new disk.
     
  13. tonyled macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #13
    agree, i love my TC
     
  14. FarSeide macrumors 6502a

    FarSeide

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Earth Lane
    #14
    I agree that I shouldn't have to worry about my TC but its hard not to fear it when you lost 1TB worth of data.
     
  15. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #15
    I also love mine. I will hate it if it breaks. Same as everything. And, I like the wireless printing and the way it all works with Apple TV as well.

    I just hate to ruse stuff that has to be configured and screwed with, so I stay away from non-Apple stuff, download every update and have no problems, mon.
     
  16. tonyled macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #16
    the TC is a backup not a primary storage device. anything important should be in two places
     
  17. FarSeide macrumors 6502a

    FarSeide

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Earth Lane
    #17
    I agree with you that TC should be served as a back up but if you follow your logic, then you must have a back up for your back up and back up for your other back up.

    I know better now and I will plan ahead I guess.
     
  18. tonyled macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #18

    no, if you follow my logic you should realize if an important file only exists on the TC that you should restore a copy to your computer so it will again reside in two places
     
  19. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #19
    Why?

    I have been 'mixing' it with my macbook for over a year now and I've never had any problems.
     
  20. FarSeide macrumors 6502a

    FarSeide

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Earth Lane
    #20
    what happens if the important files on your local HD and your TC dies pretty much same time ?

    My point is I get your logic but how many back ups do you really need ? Do I need to start burning critical data on to a DVD and make a back up of that DVD incase the first one dies ?

    As I said before, its just a hard to believe in TC when the original TC died on me.
     
  21. tonyled macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #21
    you can play the what-if? game til the cows come home, but it is all relative to your level of paranoia

    cant blame you for that. fool me once . . .
     
  22. slapguts macrumors 6502a

    slapguts

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #22
    A dead Time Capsule is covered under Applecare, if you have it on any other machine you own.

    But still, the results over at http://timecapsuledead.org are hard to argue with.
     
  23. andykemp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    #23
    I would suggest looking at the HP MediaSmart's. These allow up to 4 internal HD and 3USB external and 1 e-sata external drive so plenty of scope for space!

    Will do timemachine backups of macs and similar backups for windows machines... Also includes an iTunes server and lots of other interesting media options... Admitidly it is running Windows Home Server but it is very mac friendly and still woth looking into...

    http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/mediasmart-server/
     

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