Time Capsule

The most elaborate option in Apple’s AirPort family of wireless routers is AirPort Time Capsule, a hard drive-equipped version of the AirPort Extreme that includes 2TB or 3TB of storage for backup purposes, selling for $299 or $399 respectively. Apple first released this product as Time Capsule in January 2008 with lower hard drive capacities, 802.11n support, and a much larger footprint that resembled the Mac mini.

Introduced in June 2013, the current AirPort Time Capsule looks identical to the AirPort Extreme: all white, glossy plastic that resembles a milk carton in size and shape, akin to a 6.6″-tall version of the AirPort Express. The height accommodates all of the large antennas required for 802.11ac wireless support, as well as enough space to hold the hard drive.

On back, AirPort Time Capsule has the same ports as AirPort Extreme: three inbound Ethernet ports, plus one for communication with a broadband modem, and one full-sized USB port that can be used with either a printer or a second hard drive.

In our experience, AirPort Time Capsules are great routers and eventually problematic storage solutions. Almost any wireless issue you might experience with a less expensive router disappears with an AirPort device, particularly when you set up a dual-band network. However, Time Capsule hard drives are prone to failure over time due to frequent network access, and are generally not fast enough to be used for anything beyond backup purposes. We would recommend the $199 AirPort Extreme instead, as it has all of the router goodness and none of the hard drive headaches.

Need extra cash to upgrade? Sell your Time Capsule to Gazelle.

Read our full coverage for details.

Our recommendation:

Somewhat Recommend
Apple's Time Capsules are updated infrequently but the next version in 2013 will likely have a 4TB Hard Drive and improved 802.11ac networking.

All Time Capsule Generations

Release Date Age
June 10, 2013 2 years, 2 months, 26 days ago

Time Capsule ▪ October 6, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 7.31.26 PM

AirPort Utility is a built-in Mac app that is used to configure and control Wi-Fi networks using Apple’s AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule. The AirPort Extreme is a base station router like you would use when setting up your Wi-Fi network. An AirPort Express is used to extend a Wi-Fi network to a larger area, or can be used to stream audio using AirPlay. A Time Capsule is a combination of an AirPort Extreme and an external hard drive, and comes in 2 TB or 3 TB. It automatically backs up all Macs on your network.

AirPort Utility has the ability to set limits on what time of day the network (and therefore the internet) can be accessed from specific wireless devices. This can be helpful in situations where parents want to keep kids off of the internet after a certain time. Time limits can be set for different times on different days of the week.

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Time Capsule ▪ June 10, 2013

store

In what gets as close as possible to confirmation that Apple is announcing new hardware at WWDC today, the Apple Store is down for updates.

We’re expecting new Haswell-based MacBook Airs, and perhaps new MacBook Pros and a new Airport Extreme and Time Capsule supporting the faster 802.11 ac standard …  expand full story

Time Capsule ▪ November 21, 2012

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It is the holiday shopping season again, and we know many of you will be looking to buy Apple- and Apple-related products this year. To help out, we’re compiling a new section of 9to5Mac called Apple products and separate sections for each of Apple’s lines. Elsewhere, we have seen buying guides, pricing guides, related news and predictions, but we’re wrapping them up into one page per product.

How it works:

1. With the help of our 9to5Toys editors, we’re finding the lowest prices on Apple products in the U.S. and keeping a matrix of the biggest retailers’ prices. Here’s the current static matrix of MacBook Airs.

2. For the last few months and going forward, every post we do on a related product will be propagated to the page so you’ll have a roundup of the latest information on each product line. Additionally, in every post on a topic, you’ll notice a new link to the product section on the right.

3. We’ll also have a record of Apple’s past updates on each product, which should help in estimating the next product cycle.

4. Finally, we have our best predictions on upcoming products from 9to5Mac’s editors headed by Mark Gurman.

Together—this information should help Apple product users and buyers make smart, informed decisions.

Enjoy! expand full story

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