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back to article Apple Time Capsule 2013: Next-gen wireless networking, anyone?

The new versions of Apple’s AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule Wi-Fi kit went almost unnoticed during Apple’s WWDC keynote speech earlier this month, overshadowed by the anti-skeuomorphic hoo-ha surrounding iOS 7 and the introduction of the first MacBook Air models equipped with Intel’s new Haswell processors. But the AirPort …

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

No ADSL/Cable modem?

IMHO, this is not a problem. Let your DSL/Cable supplier supply one. You can always buy one of you own should you wish.

The author seems to forget that these devices all need certification on each country Telephone network. not having a modem saves Apple a lot of work as well as making their device more portable around the world (not needing different versions for every county in the EU for example).

Paris because she isn't certified for anything. :)

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Gimp

Re: No ADSL/Cable modem?

However, this does mean you can't get the public IP address over to AirPort, which can be a problem because various modems provided by ISPs are turds in plastic boxes. In the UK the Draytek 120 provides a good compliment (full disclosure: it's a terrible world when you have to provide "Full disclosure" to prove you aren't in it for the money). Now you can enable "Back to my Mac" and NAT-PMP and it's all very cool. :-)

Cheers,

Sabahattin

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Re: No ADSL/Cable modem?

Agreed. In the UK, at least, it's basically unheard of to sign up to a home broadband supplier and they don't give you the modem. For businesses it's different, but then again I would expect it would only be a SOHO that would use this kit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No ADSL/Cable modem?

And lets not forget the utter horseshit that is virgin's superhub and as I gather it, the superhub2 is not much better unless both are in modem mode so I'd much rather have a piece of kit I'm fully in control of.

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Re: No ADSL/Cable modem?

I'm not sure that's completely true. Many ADSL/Cable modems have a 'bridge' mode where the LAN ethernet port is bridged to the WAN side, which would mean that the AirPort uses the public IP address and does its own NAT, DHCP etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Disk or disks

Are you committing your precious data to a single disk?

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Thumb Down

Re: Disk or disks

That was my thought too. I'm guessing the idea is you're using this as a backup device on the network rather than the sole copy of data, either that or backing up to the cloud as well. As someone who lost a NAS hard drive just before Christmas, I'm going to continue mirroring the data.

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Bronze badge

Re: Disk or disks

No, you're backing up stuff on your computer to another location. That equals 2 separate hard drives.

Personally though I agree, I'd feel happier with more myself - perhaps that USB port can be used to copy stuff to a third location?

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Re: Disk or disks

Discs - the Time Capsule has one, the device you're backing up has another.

Although the prices are a bit eye-watering, the Time Capsule that I have has been one of the easiest networked backup systems I've ever set up. The WiFi has also trivial (with a Virgin cable modem). I will qualify this by saying that all three clients are running OSX. So far I've used the backup to restore an iMac after a disc upgrade and a MacBook Pro after a disc failure. Both restores were trivial to run and reasonable fast over GigE.

For anyone with an OSX device who wants fit and forget networked backup the Time Capsule is a no-brainer.

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Silver badge

Re: Disk or disks

The TC is an excellent product (once Apple fixed the dodgy capacitors in the first batch) and mine has been very reliable. However, in my experience, Apple's Time Machine backup software isn't the best. I've had corrupted backups on a couple of occasions and no choice but to start all over again.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Disk or disks

This is a backup solution - yes I'm paranoid and my backups are on an old RAID array - but for most people a single disk 'backup' solution is ok.

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Gimp

Re: Disk or disks

Yes, you can do exactly that, although you need to remember to do it manually (triggered from the utility). It's also USB 2.0 only.

But this brings me to the point I really need to make, which is that I'm starting to go off these products. I still like 'em a lot, of course, but Apple has oversimplified them in recent years with their utilities, and what were once really great, reliable products with enough room for "Pro" users have now been transformed into horribly "Dumbed down" devices for ... for everybody else. This wouldn't be a problem if there were other contenders on the market that took their place, but there aren't; AirPort and Time Capsule are simply among the most smooth and reliable consumer-level products available. At best, my advice to anybody buying these is to remember that they are base stations first and foremost, so if you would like advanced router functionality (applicable to PPPoE users especially) you should only expect to use them in "Bridge mode", which means they're just access points and network-attached disks. Your modem/router then provides all the firewall/NAT/whatever, which most will anyway. Turn off the other wi-fi network, and maybe you can see reliability improvements all the same. I, myself, and reduced (promoted?) to using a Cisco 881W as firewall/IPv6 router/PPPoE terminator (full 1500-byte MTU on BT's network). My recent rant on the subject:

http://lists.apple.com/archives/ipv6-dev/2013/Jul/msg00002.html

Again, I really do like AirPort, but think people should realise what they're buying.

Cheers,

Sabahattin

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Bronze badge
Coat

Re: Are you committing your precious data to a single disk?

Nope I put it into the "cloud", thus allowing GCHQ,NSA, random other countries to provide additional backup.

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Silver badge
Stop

Apple and wifi

Having been burnt by Apple's wifi 'expertise' before...

- was this tested with kit from other manufacturers or just a MacBook Air?

- how well did it cope with busy channels or interference?

- did connecting several devices to it make it crawl?

- etc, etc...?

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Bronze badge

Seems like a straightforward appliance

Wireless access point plus a disk to store stuff on. In a home where everyone has tablets and laptops, this seems like a nice way to avoid the need for "that one desktop."

To make it more useful, I'd like to see two changes:

1. Include a bracket that allows it to be mounted on the wall. Most of us don't want to display our networking kit in the middle of the room as if it were a sculpture.

2. Hello Apple, there's this thing called a web browser, and *all* other networking and NAS vendors have switched to using it for their configuration screens. "Configuration utilities" are outdated 20th-century technology.

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Re: Seems like a straightforward appliance

Yes. A web browser. For browsing the web. Not for running applications. I know "browsers" have become considerably more advanced these days but I can't help thinking this is a double-edged sword - a sizeanle fraction of browser exploits are most probably due to this massive increase. Give me a lightweight client application any day of the week.

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Gold badge
Meh

Re: Seems like a straightforward appliance

Wireless access point plus a disk to store stuff on.

The number and variety of routers available which offer the capability of USB attached storage is massive. Quite a few of them will also provide DLNA streaming of stuff from storage too, in addition to the more prosaic data sharing functions. IIRC, DLNA is something you're unlikely to get from Apple as they have something proprietary instead.

I'm using a Fritz!Box 7390, which does all that, includes a DSL modem and does VOIP too. I had thought that it was quite expensive until I saw this.

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Meh

Re: Seems like a straightforward appliance

Really? They are still doing this? I threw away one of those Apple bridge/AP things built into a 13Amp plug because I could not bear the faffing around installing an OS and patching it to a specific service pack just to run some crappy configuration utility. Threw away N95 for similar reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

AirPlay

The lower costs AirPort Express supports AirPlay, this device does not.

I'm not sure if this an issue or not as I don't have AirPlay (and don't know how to gain the benefits of it) - I just thought I'd point it out.

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Re: AirPlay

Depends what you mean by "Supports Airplay"

The low cost Airport Express has a 3.5mm audio jack built into it, you can connect this to an amplifier and stream audio to it from iTunes on your computer or from an iDevice.

You can still use the other Airport/Time Capsule devices as dumb hubs to put an Apple TV on and stream Airplay to that.

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Silver badge

Speed

So at peak rates this is transferring and storing 25MB/s (200Mbps) or, more simply, it's in the realms of a USB 2.0 portable drive. Would a USB 3.0 portable drive not make more sense as the storage medium or perhaps if you had an Airport Extreme with a USB 3.0 port? To me that's just shit and even being an Apple fan I wouldn't touch it.

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Silver badge

Am I the only one - iPxxxx backups

Who would buy this at the drop of a hat if it supported remote backup of the whole iPxxxx family?

With recent events theres no way I trust iCloud, and I dont even have a reason to switch on my laptop these days so Im effectively backup less. What I want is a NAS that does this for me.

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