Daniel Eran Dilger
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First Look: Time Capsule, AirPort, and Time Machine

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Time Capsule pairs the existing AirPort Extreme with a half or full terabyte hard drive to serve as a backup appliance for Leopard machines running Time Machine, in addition to acting as a simple file and print server. It is offered for both Mac and Windows users, although Windows PCs (or Macs not running Leopard) won’t have Time Machine and therefore will access it only as a regular file and print server.

At last year’s Macworld Expo, Apple released its first version of the new AirPort Extreme in a slim square box rather than the UFO shape of previous AirPort base stations. In addition to the new form factor, the new version also added support for 802.11n, a considerably faster new version of WiFi that also achieves much greater wireless reach.

Even for those who primarily use an AirPort only to distribute their relatively slow ~1.5 MB Internet connection, the MIMO antenna technology used by the wireless n standard means that the 2007 AirPort Extreme can deliver a more reliable signal over a much larger area. Apple also added a wireless USB hard disk sharing feature to make effective use of the new speed jump.

When AppleInsider reviewed the AirPort Extreme last year in An in-depth review of Apple’s 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station, the biggest complaint was the lack of Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. The use of 10/100 Fast Ethernet throttled the unit’s capacity to act as a single box router, switch, file and print server, and wireless access point for small business and home users. Apple quietly rectified that limitation later the year with an AirPort Extreme update providing Gigabit Ethernet.

Continues: AppleInsider | First Look: Time Capsule, AirPort, and Time Machine

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  • jimsf

    You knock CES for not having anything exciting, well the big news from MacWorld is a thin laptop. Big deal! There are several other brands that have lighter laptops. Yes, Macworld really was exciting! lol

    [Well the Air, plus an expansion of wireless serving capabilities with Time Capsule that are actually practical (compared to the Windows Home Server joke that has consumed two CES events now), and then there’s Apple TV, which will clean up the market for TVoIP and movie rentals, and then there’s the advancement of the Touch and iPhone, which already lead mobile music and mobile phones by a wide margin. What else did you expect to see? What else could Apple have announced, a flying car? – Dan ]

  • AlanAudio

    This time last year, I bought an Airport Extreme Base Station and a 500GB hard drive so that I’d be able to do this sort of thing. Right up until just before Leopard was released, Apple were claiming that Time Machine would work wirelessly, but of course when it was released, that feature was quietly dropped.

    I feel very annoyed at having to go out and buy another base station so that I can now do what I was originally led to believe I was going to be able to do.

    At the very least, Apple should offer some very serious trade-in deals on AEBSs when trading up to Time Capsule.

  • russtic

    I agree, I too bought the AEBs and drive with the expectation of being able to use it with time machine (this functionality was attested by both the apple website and the apple retail shop). My hope is that they will update the AEB firmware to allow this.

    (ps I KNOW that the website said ‘features subject to change…’)

  • LyndellR

    The frustrations over the external drive on the Airport Extreme is why I haven’t bought one. However, I’d still go for the Airport Extreme and my existing external drive. The terabyte WD World Book offers mirroring, what the Time Capsule doesn’t.

    Since Time Capsule is a backup solution, it makes sense to use a server grade drive. They are more reliable and this is a backup solution after all.

    Can either of these devices create the illustion that multiple external drives, or external and Time Capsules own drive are one volume?

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