Mossberg reviews Apple’s Time Capsule: Money well spent for users of Time Machine on Mac notebooks

Apple Online StoreApple’s Mac OS X Leopard “includes a feature called Time Machine that automatically and continuously backs up a Macintosh computer’s entire hard disk, without requiring the user to do any tedious setup or have any technical knowledge,” Walt Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Time Machine is a key selling point for Leopard and the Mac. It is more complete, and yet simpler, than the built-in backup feature in Vista Home Premium, the most popular home version of Windows,” Mossberg reports. Apple’s new Time Capsule “is a $299 stand-alone networked gadget that packs both a giant hard disk and a speedy Wi-Fi wireless router into one slender case. It just plugs into your existing home network, and any laptop within wireless range can connect to it. It can back up multiple computers.”

“Time Capsule is designed to seamlessly work with Leopard’s Time Machine. But it can also be used as a wireless Internet connection, and/or a remote hard drive, for manually storing and retrieving files by Windows PCs running either Vista or Windows XP, or by Macs running Apple’s older Tiger operating system. And you can also use it with certain other backup programs, such as the ones built into Windows XP or Tiger,” Mossberg reports.

“In my tests, Time Capsule performed perfectly with Time Machine. It also was easily recognized by several of my Windows machines running Vista and Windows XP. On all of these machines, I was able to speedily access the Internet via Time Capsule. Time Capsule can be set up to either replace or supplement your existing Wi-Fi router,” Mossberg reports. “All the machines, even the Windows ones, also could recognize the Time Capsule as a remote hard disk, and save files to it and retrieve files from it.”

“If you use Time Machine on a Mac laptop, then Time Capsule’s $299 price is money well spent,” Mossberg reports.

Walt Mossberg reviews Apple’s Time Capsule:

Read the full review here.

17 Comments

  1. Does anyone know if the migration assistant recognized airport disks on an airport extreme prior to 10.5.2? I know they still don’t work in time machine but mine is showing up in migration assistant. If it’s new then it’s interesting.

  2. I just want to be able to network my desktop and laptop together via my Airport Express as I could with no problem in Tiger and hasn’t worked at all under Leopard. The two won’t even connect if I type in the AFP number let alone search for sharable volumes.

  3. @ron
    Desktop computers are not necessarily hampered by hardwire connections to networks and peripheral storage. A wireless drive for backup is not as valuable for them. Portable laptops, on the other hand, find tremendous value in a backup device that works from anywhere within range, needing no stationary hookup.

  4. Spark … maybe true, maybe not. I had a Western Digital NetCenter drive – a NAS – on my network that did just fine with Tiger. It disappeared from the network list as I upgraded to Leopard. No longer “seen”. Love to recover it. The one system still on Tiger – an iBook – still sees it … doesn’t need that functionality. I’m planning on attaching it to my Time Capsule – as soon as one shows up at my local Apple Store.

  5. CAN’T BOOT FROM IT = NO GOOD!!!

    Auto-clone your hard drive instead!

    1: It’s “hold option” bootable in case your hard drive crashes or or OS is corrupted.

    2: Software can do this auto-magically and even incremental clone so it’s not having to start over and do the whole drive.

    3: Cloning copies copy protection schemes so your apps work like MAGIC. (although might not work with a different computer naturally)

    Screw all these lame ass EXPENSIVE Apple alternatives.

    Cloning software is FREE or near FREE, Like Carbon Copy Cloner or the SuperDuper.

    All you need is a hard drive. Set it and forget it. You have a complete BOOTABLE clone just in case something bad happens…

  6. @Mad Mac Maniac

    Not everyone works that way. Although they should do what you’re suggesting. Time Machine compliments SuperDuper! in that it will allow the user to “go back in time” and recover a particular copy.

    Two different types of backups.

    Now, why buy time capsule? Especially if you don’t have a laptop. Buy a 800 FireWire drive and run TM and SD! together. Throw in a bit “Mozy” to cover the off site requirements.

    If something goes wrong with Time Capsule you loose both your external HD and router. Is that worth it? I don’t know. I’m still thinking it over but for now, I’ll keep my LaCie drives spinning and save the $$$.

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