Gizmodo’s first look at Apple’s Time Capsule: Worthwhile, convenient, clean and easy

Apple Online Store“We’ve been fiddling with Time Capsule since it arrived this AM, and so far it works as billed, clean and easy. The star of the show is really the new AirPort Utility software, which now comes with some neat tricks for the network-phobic. Most of all, we’re learning the ins and outs of adding external drives, using networked printers, and setting up that potentially [huge and time-consuming] initial data dump,” Wilson Rothman reports for Gizmodo.

“We’ve actually set up the Time Capsule several different ways already, as the only router in the network, and as an Ethernet-linked node on an existing wireless network. The start-up wizard in AirPort Utility asks you plainly what you want to do, in increasing steps like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. I know some of you don’t need that kind of child’s play, but this kind of thing will even help you when you tell your mom to get one of these and realize you won’t have to do tech support too,” Rothman reports.

“We will continue to test… but in the meantime it’s safe to say that this is a worthwhile product for people who have the money and want the convenience. How often do you refuse to connect the USB to your backup drive because it would hamper your style? How often are you afraid, after a long period of not backing up, of the time it may take you to perform a backup. Those issues go away with Time Capsule,” Rothman reports.

“But there’s a cost, particularly at the 1TB model, which is $200 more than the $300 500GB model. When we ask about this, all we get back is that these are ‘server grade’ drives. Great, thanks, but we’re gonna recommend the 500GB version. If you have 300GB of backup or less you’re covered, and if you have 1TB of backup or more, you’re better off scoring some massive drive or drive array at discount, and plugging it in via USB,” Rothman reports.

Much more, including settings screenshots, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Grigori” for the heads up.]


  1. Had to search NYC for a Time Capsule neither the 5th ave, Soho or West 14th Street Apple stores had any time capsules in stock as of 3:30 PM. So I decided to call one out on long island and when I got there I got the very last 1TB time capsule in stock.

    Let me say it is awesome to use, I just wish I had a newer MBP with the N wireless instead of the G wireless. My first sync took a few hours because of the huge amount of material to sync so I did it via ethernet. Afterwards I disconnected the ethernet and it is working like a charm. No problems or hiccups, I just wished I could have transfered my old time machine backup to the time capsule but I guess this will have to do.

    I got the time capsule so I could cut down on the wires behind my desk for an external HD for my previous time machine, a hub to connect the external and another device and the various power cords. Now I just mount the Time Capsule under the desk two wires for the ethernet and power and I’m golden. I just wish it supported air tunes then I could get rid of my airport express.

    I rate it top notch.

  2. …if you have 1TB of backup or more, you’re better off scoring some massive drive or drive array at discount, and plugging it in via USB

    What Mac user in their right frigging mind backs up 1TB over slow ass hell USB?

    Score that Firewire 800 baby in a RAID 0 external enclosure…ZOOOMMM!!

    By the way, I miss the old Firewire iPods, they loaded SO FAST…So why couldn’t the new iPods be both Firewire AND USB compatible?

    This way us Mac users would have a advantage and encourage a PC user to switch for the faster interface?

    Apple disappoints me sometimes….

  3. And before some wiseass tells me that wireless is going to be the new Firewire 800.

    Let me tell you this from a US ARMY trained Electronic Warfare Specialist,

    Wireless is INSECURE. Period!!

    I don’t care how much you encrypt it, the wireless signals are snooped on and decoded.

    Even signals passing through wires can be snooped on, but it’s much harder to do. Requiring entry into the room to set a tap on the line just about.

    But you got nothing to hide right?

    Plus try booting over wireless when your boot drive fails and your under deadline.

    Hehehe. Apple is making their computers more insecure by the day.

    EFI, iPhone backroom deals with Cisco and AT&T;(of NSA fame) and now wireless backups. Oh yea, I forgot about Leopard bypassing OS X firewalls too.

    Slipping that old Trusted Computing mentality right on us.

    With Trusted Computing, they decide what trust you have, instead of you having the ability to decide who to trust.

    They decided they don’t trust you. Thus they want complete control over your machine which you paid for.

    You’ll see, papers please.

  4. @mad mac

    Keep taking the pills.

    It is interesting that an external hard drive can be used to back up. Hopefully they upgrade the system over time to allow disk spanning, so that as you back up needs increase you can simply add on more drives.

  5. Go off your meds much, Mad Mac?

    • Apple is STILL not using Trusted Computing to interfere in any way in its products. Perhaps you’re thinking of Windows.

    • iPhone “backroom deals”? WTF? Apple signed a well-known front room deal with AT&T;(of NSA fame) – I mean, somebody has to carry the signal, right? What did you expect them to do?

    • Oh, and wireless backups too. If you have so much concern over someone snooping around your life, then DON’T USE IT. Turn your Airport off, and you’re fine.

    When Apple starts including secret codes that the NSA can use to take over your computer and search your drive, or starts allowing Airport to broadcast signals to law enforcement when you download “illegal” content, you can start telling me you’re justifiable paranoid.

    As it is, Apple continues to use technology to make things convenient for the average user. It has nothing to do with who trusts whom.

    Are some technologies inherently more insecure? Sure. Are some loopholes going to be found that high end government and private espionage agents could use to snoop on you? Sure. Is this by design? No.

    The point of the AT&T;NSA situation to me is that it was leaked, that it was a huge media fiasco, giving the government and AT&T;a black eye, and that it made people wary. As long as these things continue to become public, I feel more confident that our system will retain enough checks and balances to keep things in line. Sure, it’s never perfect, but I haven’t seen any black helicopters overhead, or had any of my neighbors disappear in the night.

    And no one’s asking for my papers, although they do ask for my drivers license just to buy a box of Sudafed.. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

    But please, save your fanatical ravings for a more appropriate web forum.

  6. The 500Gb model and an external drive make a lot of sense. the price is excellent. Although, having a one-box terabyte drive is certainly compelling.

    I sure wish Apple had included a FireWire port next to the USB 2… for those of us who know better than to use USB 2 for hard drives.


    1: EFI is a pre boot firmware level that has the ability to connect to the internet, read and write to hard drives and incept calls to hardware from the OS.

    The shell can be used to execute other EFI applications, such as setup, OS install, diagnostic or configuration utilities, and system flash updates; it can also be used to play CDs or DVDs without having to boot to a complete operating system, provided that an EFI application with the appropriate features is written. Shell commands also make it possible to copy or move files and directories between supported file systems. Drivers can be loaded and unloaded, and a complete TCP/IP stack can also be used from within the shell. Wikipedia

    Have any idea what’s in YOUR EFI?

    2: Cisco – Remember the “deal” Apple made between Cisco over the name “iPhone?”. Cisco had no intention of releasing a iPhone, they just sat on the name because they wanted to do a deal with Apple that involved the NSA.

    Cisco is notorious for providing the routers the internet backbone relies upon and the backdoors hackers found the NSA uses to tap into the internet backbone.

    Why does the NSA want “in” on the iPhone? A highly potential source of valuable personal information. People store all sorts of stuff on a iPhone and it has no privacy what so ever.

    (Xerox also plays ball with the NSA and makes nearly invisible little yellow dots on all xerox copies so they can track.)

    3: AT&T;. A well known and public issue about backroom tapping of people’s phone calls and the internet. Cross tracing of telephone calls.

    Heck they even tell you every month on your statement who called you and who you called. How brazen of a privacy violation is that?

    You see what’s going on here? Apple used to be about the customer. Safe and secure computing that you could trust.

    But Apple has teamed up with the evil corporations who play ball with the government to violate your right to privacy.

    Open your eyes. Open your minds.

    Connect the dots. Reason why they would develop and are doing things like they are.

    You have no privacy anymore. You are being monitored.

  8. @ silverhawk… the coolest thing about Time Capsule is that is IS an Airport Extreme with ‘N’ wireless and gigabit ethernet built-in.

    I’m thinking of craigslisting my “old” Airport Extreme and getting one. Of course I bought the first “new” AE (10/100 ethernet) a few weeks before they upgraded it with gigabit (10/100/1000).

    Oh well the price of technology…

  9. Has anyone here used one yet? How “loud” is it? I hate loud drive. I have several LaCie drives and some are less noisy than others.

    Is there a way to move an existing time machine backup to the new drive?

  10. @Silverhawk, Apple says, “Time Capsule is also a full-featured 802.11n Wi-Fi base station” on the Time Capsule Page. So, it obviously isn’t receive-only, which would be the most bone-headed thing evar. (There are technical reasons why, even if its only receiving data for backup, that the communication has to be two-way).

    I guess we can expect Micros**t’s version to be receive only, then.

  11. @ Mad Mac Maniac: I’m connecting the invisible yellow dots, all right. BTW, Xerox isn’t the only one playing that game. Every color laser manufacturer is doing it. I’m sure you’ve seen the <a href=””> on that. (I even sent them pages from our Canon iR C3380i as another example.)

    Re: EFI… what was so different about Open Firmware in the old PPC Macs? It was written in and had a live Fortran interpreter (oh, and telnet, too), so conceivably could be programmed to do all sorts of nefarious stuff too. What, since no currently produced Macs use it, it’s not worth your time? What about all the extant Macs with Open Firmware? Get your torch and pitchfork after them for that too, bud.

    Re: Cisco & iPhone. One of the rules of Trademark law is that you defend it or lose it. Cisco had to defend the iPhone trademark. Please provide links to prove that Cisco somehow twisted Apple’s arm into handing over data to the people in black helicopters, k?

    Re: AT&T;and Privacy: take it up with your congressman, not Apple. Besides, name a major cell provider in the US that *hasn’t* bent over for the Feds. And, at least since the early 70s, phone bills have included every single long-distance call made. It’s not a privacy violation, but something people want so they can scream at their wife/husband/kids for talking too much on the phone, either over long-distance in the 70’s or on the cell today.

    Your rants are pure paranoia and/or blatant trolling (in which case, I fell for it). Nonetheless, I can refer you to a qualified counselor, if you like. Seriously.

  12. I think 200- more for the 1tb is a bit outrageous.They’d sell a lot more of them if they sold both units at the same margin. And the more Apple products you sell now, the more Apple products you will sell.

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