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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 11, 2012
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    Time Capsule vs. Airport Extreme
    Hello to all...

    As a new member of the Apple family via my 13" MacBook Air, I can honestly say that it was the best move having had mixed experiences over the years with the PC. With that said, I've begun to do research into the pros and cons of the Time Capsule and Airport Extreme. I understand how both would be used in a home network, but was curious as to the following... would it be more beneficial to purchase a time capsule and attach an external hard drive for portable purposes or purchase an Airport Extreme and purchase an external hard drive for the same reason? If an argument is made in favor of the Airport Extreme, then which portable hard drive would be recommended? I sincerely apologize if this topic has been covered in the past, but any help would be greatly appreciated based on either personal experiences or general knowledge of the topic.

  2. #2

    Doug b's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums!

    I've been using an Airport Extreme for about 4 years, and have never experienced a single issue. I also have several external HD's which store redundant backup data (photos and music mostly). One of those HD's is permenantly attached to the Airport Extreme for use as an network drive. This is actually the main drive I use for all of my photos with Lightroom/Photoshop and one of my MacBook Pros. It is also the main music server.

    Of course it would be more convenient to use something like the Time Capsule, and likely a bit faster to access the data, but even if I did use one, I'd likely still have back up drives which I'd use Carbon Copy Cloner with. I realize that I should probably advocate using Time Machine, but I'm kind of old school I guess. I know how to manage my OS, and don't let it manage me.

    I know that my stuff is backed up redundantly, and if anything ever goes wrong with my HD, I'd rather just reformat it and start from scratch. Haven't needed to do that ever, but I know it's what I'd do.

    In the end, it's personal preference and also what your budget will allow I suppose. But if there's one thing I can add, is that I personally am not the type of person to put all of his eggs in one basket. And that's pretty much what you're doing with an Time Capsule. I love it from a conceptual pov, but I'd be afraid that if one part of it stopped working, that it would be a paperweight afterward. You have to figure logically anyway, that every single HD will eventually fail.

    And yes, I know that nothing is meant to last forever, but it just seems to me that HD's aren't made as well as they used to be. There's also the issue of heat build up... but that's another story! Anyway, enough of my ranting.

    Doug

  3. #3

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    The Time Capsule is very convenient. It takes up less space than an Airport Extreme and a separate drive would. It's always there, so you don't have to remember to do backups… just let Time Machine do its job automatically.

    The downside is that it's not kept off-site. If you relied on that solely for your backup, you are vulnerable to losing everything to a fire, lightning strike, etc. A good backup plan involves multiple backups, with one copy periodically updated and kept in another, secure location. So… ideally you would use the Time Capsule for regular backups, and use an external drive to make a backup periodically to keep stored offsite.

    The big advantage to using Time Machine in particular is easy access to something you may have accidentally deleted or modified, say, a couple months earlier. You just go "back in time" to get the file. You can't do that if you stick to a more typical backup that involves cloning the entire drive and updating the clone once a month.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  4. #4

    Doug b's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 22, 2008
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    Specs:
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
    The big advantage to using Time Machine in particular is easy access to something you may have accidentally deleted or modified, say, a couple months earlier. You just go "back in time" to get the file. You can't do that if you stick to a more typical backup that involves cloning the entire drive and updating the clone once a month.
    Good point. I'm very careful about what I do, but you never know. That said, most people aren't as anal retentive about day to day operations as I am (aka geeky), so this is a great tool to utlize for them.

    Doug

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