APC Magazine: Apple Time Capsule is world’s easiest backup system

Apple Online Store“It’s hard to know where to categorise Apple’s Time Capsule. It combines a 3-port gigabit router, USB file and print server, dual-band wireless access point and 1TB NAS appliance. For many home users, the Time Capsule will be the only device they’ll need to manage their connectivity and shared data storage. If you’re trying to manage costs, there’s also a 500GB versio,” Anthony Caruana reports for APC Magazine.

“The Time Capsule is primarily designed for Mac users wanting to take advantage of Time Machine, OS X Leopard’s fully automatic backup system. However, Windows users can access the hard disk within the Time Capsule just like any other NAS although they will need to install Apple’s [free] Bonjour software to do this,” Caruana reports.

MacDailyNews Note: More info and download link for Bonjour for Windows here.

Caruana continues, “The first backup to the Time Capsule, from our MacBook Pro over 802.11n wireless, took 7.5 hours. This covered 56GB of data. Users with more data on their hard drive — e.g. the 250GB on the latest MacBook Pros — will need to plug their Mac directly into the Time Capsule using an Ethernet cable, otherwise, the backup will take several days (in fact, in APC testing, backing up 250GB over gigabit ethernet still took 9 hours.)”

Caruana reports, “On the Windows side of things, after installing Bonjour, life was very simple. When our test system, a Toshiba Portege R500, booted up, we were prompted to connect to the Time Capsule. After accepting the connection, we launched Windows Explorer. The hard disk in the Time Capsule appeared as a mapped drive that we could copy files to it just like any attached storage.”

Caruana reports, “Many Mac users boast that their systems “just work” – the Time Capsule, in our testing delivered that experience.”

Full review here.


  1. C1,
    Me too, but a FW800 external drive for me (no TC here). No FW ports on my AE.

    It works fine for Time Machine but wireless backups from my Powerbook to my external HD via my AE network doesn’t work.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”mad” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I meant wired backups to my external hard drive via Time Machine. I unmount it from my desktop and then connect to my laptop to initiate a TM backup.

    The switching back and forth is tolerable but not elegant to say the least.

  3. I ordered a 1 terabyte unit over the weekend for my MacBook Pro. I need a place to put all of my iTunes content, for I only have 11 gigs free.

    If any of you use one in a mixed environment, please let me know your experiences. I was thinking of using this to back up one of my older PCs so that I can replace it’s hard drive.

  4. What I really want is a Mac Mini form-factor server with maybe 2TB, built in AE and TC, 4 port Ethernet, and FW ports for more drives. Set up a FW raid with MiniStack drives and you’re all set. I now have a stack of 3 devices that does this, and still can’t do wireless TC-type backups.

  5. I wish plugging as USB drive into my almost-new AE would ‘just work’ for TC. 🙁

    it does. i have a 500GB USB drive plugged into my AE base station , and i use it to back up my MBP and my wife’s MB wirelessly via time machine. apple released a firmware update a while back that allows this.

  6. C1, I’m with you on the “mini form-factor server”. The Time Capsule is close, but a little shy on ports and on accessibility.
    And, not just “ports”. Many systems, including Macs, have two places to plug in USB wires but only one … driver? … for both. This limits the entire set-up to the slowest ‘speed’ being served. Having the electronics for two allows you to have a “fast” stream and a “slow” one – one for disks and the other for printers and keyboards.
    As for accessibility, a limited version of OSX Server would be good – let you log in and run configuration and diagnostic software as well as the “server” software for the home/small office.
    Log in from another Mac on the same network? We don’t need no steenking monitor, kb, or mouse on our Unix server, man. We gots it covered! 😀

  7. @C1…I love it when you talk geek ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smile” style=”border:0;” />

    I have an AE with a LaCie USB drive plugged into it. Painfully slow and oddly enough, noisy when not in use. I just ordered a Time Capsule mainly because I am lazy and prefer things to be automated.

  8. I can not tell if the device works well or not. My brand new 1tb will let me config and use the airport part, hooked to dsl, wors fine. However, no matter what I do I cannot see the drive!!!

    What am I doing wrong??

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