back to article Apple Time Capsule

This update of Apple’s Time Capsule Wi-fi access point-cum-NAS box went rather unnoticed amid the recent barrage of Mac revamps. However, it works well and boasts an ease of use that justifies its slightly above-average price tag. Apple Time Capsule Apple's Time Capsule: updated for simultaneous dual-band wireless usage …


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  1. Paul Bruneau

    Include ADSL modem??

    I don't really like the idea of including a modem. Here in the states, many people use cable TV internet. Why tie your router to your delivery method?? I prefer a router that works with all of the delivery systems.

  2. Richard Large

    @Include ADSL modem??

    However, in the UK we mostly use ADSL, which as a UK site is what the Reg will be getting at. I can understand it to keep costs down, but it really is a very simple addition, and most router/modem combinations will support being plugged in to a cable modem as well, if built properly. It makes set-up easier too, instead of having to setup and configure a seperate modem, in keeping with Apple's "Keep it simple" philosophy.

  3. Dave


    Strange, so much of this review emphasised the ease-of-use, then you go and complain about not having an ADSL modem built in.

    Seems reasonable to me: many of the less-savvy Internet users in the UK will be using the BT home hub (shudder), while the top end users will already have their own preferred connection device, (possibly cable,) and no great desire to have to set things up all over again.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got the original model

    And the highest praise I can give is that I don't notice I have it. Backups are regular and seamless. It's saved my hide a couple of times in the last year. A brilliant product.

  5. Greg

    These are actually pretty good

    I'm normally one for slagging off Apple and their product range as being nasty little form-over-function boxes, but I rather like the Time Capsule. Had one installed for the Mac users in our office and it works pretty seamlessly. The actual restoration software has all the needlessly-flashy hallmarks of being from Apple, but it does the job rather well.

    Pity the client backup software is gobshite. During setup, the Macs insisted on attempting to back the Time Capsule up to itself. I went into the Time Machine settings (what few there are) and told it to ignore the backup drive, which it promptly didn't. Only after three hours on the net and on the phone to Apple did I find the stupid obscure terminal command that fixed the problem. Nice.

    But once we got past that little turdspurt the little sod has worked just fine. We've even given it a nickname - the iSquirrel. There's a little fluffy squirrel toy sat on top of it in the rack, keeping its bum warm (these suckers run quite hot sometimes). God, we're sad.

  6. Paul Livingstone

    Cheap Ethernet NAS

    Can anyone actually recommend a good, energy efficient and well priced Ethernet NAS device if the Time Machine is 'too expensive'?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    S'fine reeli

    Time Capsule is a stunning bit of kit, can be used wired or wireless, works fine and dandy with BT HomeHub (TC set to a 5 Ghz speed - I have the older model that operates at one frequency), as TC is not on all of the time I have 2 wi-fi options.

    Now if BT would do something stunning with its email and shift from POP to IMAP the world would be a far more pleasant place? Heck, even google would give them a hand. Certainly it should be an optional POP or IMAP.

    On the other hand I've created a couple of domains and will research (play?) with a view to creating email addresses for home use that are not subject to changing ISPs.

  8. lee harvey osmond

    ADSL modem/routers and 1000BaseT

    Most ADSL modem/routers have 100BaseT ethernet, and the WiFi isn't always great. Some ADSL/cable ISPs require custom firmware for connectivity. It seems reasonable to me to let the modem be the modem, and let something like Time Capsule be everything else, including a Gigabit ethernet hub.

  9. bygjohn
    Thumb Up


    Ironically the modem is more of an absence since the new update.

    I have the original TC, and it works well in combination with my existing 11g modem-router - the TC is set to 5GHz 11n for my MacBook, and all the 11g stuff connects to the old router. The TC is wired to the old modem-router and setting it up in bridge mode was an absolute doddle - especially as my understanding of bridging networks is non-existant... Net result (groan) is everything can see everything else irrespective of which router it connects to, and the 11n connection is lightning fast.

    With the new version, there's no need to keep your old router for the 11g 2.4GHz stuff, so it'd be irritating to have to keep it because the TC has no modem.

    Even so, if it's as good as the old one it's worth serious consideration, especially if you have a portable Mac: mine's been up for months and only needed restarting after firmware upgrades. Time Machine just does its stuff and everything is lovely. Well, within obvious limits :-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame about the speed too ...

    90 seconds per gigabyte - isn't that a tad slow? Where are the bottlenecks in this thing?

    I would have hoped that the real world throughput of a decent gigabit (>100MBytes/sec?) ethernet port should transfer more than the theoretical maximum of boring old 100 meg ports (12.5MBytes/sec...) otherwise surely they are a waste of time?

    If the theoretical maximum speed for 802.11g is supposed to be 54Mbit/sec (about 7MBytes/sec?) then fair enough but with 802.11n rated much faster I just think that if the modern SATA hard disks inside NAS boxes are capable of sustaining well over 100Mbit/sec random data transfers, any gigabit and 802.11n links to those disks should have enough CPU power and RAM buffers added to not cause serious data bottlenecks when shifting major chunks of pr0n :)

    Would the terabyte model at the fastest measured port speed take almost a full day non-stop just to populate it fully?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    ..shame about the speed

    firstly, 802.11n wireless slowly than 1Gig copper connection? wow. what a suprise. not. can o dual band - oh. like other decent access points have been able to do for ages now?

    I dont get this weird Mac fixation that Apple are the pinnacle of innovation. Blind Apple advocates bore me.

    in response to the question about bottlenecks... when dealing with 1Gig Ethernet, unless you move the using jumbo frames (I dont know if this kit understands those) you get massive amounts of interupts for each 1500 bytes of traffic on the wire from your NIC - interupting the CPU (which then hits the disk access). with jumbo frames you can shift much larger amounts of traffic with far less interupts and less CPU load. even then, its for this reason + more than stuff like FibreChannel and iSCSI came along for data transfer at higher speeds.

    As for 802.11G - 54Mbit/s is the PHYSICAL link layer speed, not the data link layer speed. by the time you take off wireles frame overheads, CRC, error correction et al then you really get around 32mbit/s on a good day....and thats shared broadcast space. someone else on board doing work and you get half that (with standard handoff/equality on the AP).

  12. steven W Riggins
    Thumb Down

    No Modem!

    It would be incredibly stupid to include a modem. In the States we have:

    Cable - DOCSIS 2

    Cable - DOCSIS 3


    Just to name 3. Which Time Capsule would you buy? Replace the whole thing when you move?


  13. steven W Riggins

    Size of Drive

    "However, the 1TB model seems seriously over-priced – just buy the 500GB model instead, along with a cheap USB hard disk if you need a bit of extra storage."

    Note that Time Machine will not make use of an external disk, so if you want to keep a lot of data in Time Machine, get the 1TB model.

    Also, the USB port is really useful for backing up your time capsule. This article makes no mention of that. Plug in an external 500/1TB drive and click, boom your time capsule is backed up to an external which you can take offsite should disaster strike at home.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: Cheap Ethernet NAS

    IcyBox IB-NAS4200-B plus 2x WD 'Green' 1Tb drives - total cost, around £270 (the IcyBox came from Scan, drives from Misco as they had an offer on)

    Does RAID 0, RAID 1, spanning and JBOD, Samba, NFS and even has a BitTorrent client built in (v.useful for downloading Linux ISOs, I find). Better still, it's a Linux-based device and the parent company (Tagan, IIRC) actually encourage people to hack around with it - there's a pretty good community and folks have done some *very* interesting things with these boxes.

    Power draw at idle with 2 disks is around 25W (from a bit-tech review - my own figures are broadly similar) - the internal fan is temperature controlled and I only really notice it come on when the disks are getting hammered.

    As for the Time Capsule, we bought one for our MD to use with her Mac and, frankly, I found it an absolute pain in the arse to use and it appears that I wasn't the only one. Hopefully the usability has improved with this iteration.

  15. Bad Beaver

    Separate modem please

    While an included would be on the "nice to have" list, I actually prefer separate devices to avoid creating single points of failure. Plus the points already mentioned in other replies. Now I would have liked to see some info regarding the units heat development in the article.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I went Mac nuts a few months ago and bought an iMac, then shortly after, one of these. It just sits there and serves pretty good wireless. My iMac and MacBook Pro just back themselves up on it on a scheduled time. I just use Time Machine (built into the OS) to restore when I need to. Time Machine is pretty slick.

  17. Mike Dyne


    Username: soggy

    Password: biscuit1 ?


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