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Customer Review

142 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easy, fast, just works, June 26, 2011
This review is from: Apple Time Capsule 2TB MD032LL/A (Personal Computers)
I've had two hard drive failures recently. I didn't want that to happen again, and Apple's release of revised Time Capsules this week was a signal to do something about it.

It's a fairly small unit, with simple hookups - the power cord, one LAN in, three LAN outs, and one USB port. There's only one light, which only shows two colors - amber (for something requiring attention) or green (for everything running smoothly). My setup was to be using the Time Capsule for Wi-Fi, while piggybacking off a router required by my ISP. Once I hooked up everything, I loaded AirPort Utility on my Mac, which walked me through setup of the Wi-Fi network and TIme Capsule. After setting it up, the unit rebooted and the light started blinking amber, indicating a problem. Here's where the Time Capsule was proven to be worth the money.

Over the years, I've spent a lot of time dealing with network hardware and traversing through the router's confusing interface. The blinking amber light gave me flashbacks to those days. But, this was different. I loaded up AirPort Utility, and it walked me through all indicated problems along with recommended solutions. After five minutes it was running correctly, indicated by a steady green light. I hooked up my PS3 and Xbox 360 to the Time Capsule Ethernet ports and they connected to their services flawlessly.

The summary here: Thirty minutes after taking the Time Capsule out of the box, I had a perfectly running Wi-Fi network, 2 devices running through the ethernet ports, and all my data being backed up to the hard drive. I've used a lot of consumer-level network hardware over the years, but nothing was as straightforward and pleasant to use as Time Capsule. I don't know why every company doesn't make it this easy, but it is how it should be. Highly recommended.

Edit: I just got a printer and hooked it up to the Time Capsule a few days ago. As with everything else, setup was absolutely no-fuss. Through USB, everything set up automatically and all I had to do was add it to the printer list in preferences.
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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 27, 2011 9:12:49 AM PDT
J. Paree says:
I agree, just got mine yesterday and it was a breeze. I previously had a Linksys E3000 which was a nightmare to setup with a USB harddrive. The Time Capsule was literally plug and play ready. Also, I am finding that the range, throughput, and overall speed are fantastic, much better than the E3000 I was using. Not sure if this is different from the previous generation as I did not own one prior to now, but I am thoroughly satisfied.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2011 7:07:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2011 7:45:03 AM PDT
HOMER says:
When you plug in a external hard drive, will the drive power down when not in use? Also can you set up times/days the USB drive is not accessible?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2011 12:25:18 PM PDT
J. Paree says:
The hard disk will not continue to spin if that is what you mean. The drives I have do not power down completely (lights still on), but they never did, even when connected to a computer. I think that is more a function of the drive itself, rather than the Time Capsule. You cannot set time/day dependent sharing for the drives, but they are password protected.

Posted on Jun 30, 2011 7:09:21 PM PDT
Buffy says:
I got my first mac last year. It was frustrating at first, but, as I got the hang of it, I have been very pleased with the performance and how easy things work. I don't have the crashes, etc that I had regularly with PCs. As I go along, I have gotten to the point where I am buying more & more Apple items because many components just don't work right with a Mac & PC wifii system. Actually, I am thinking of replacing my non-Apple items just to make life easier and less complicated. I ordered Airport Extreme and should get it tomorrow. I'm thinking about getting one of these Time Capsules to use as storage for my wifi connected units at home. I am even thinking of getting a Mac Mini to replace the PC in the livingroom. I am not a techie, but not completely ignorant, either. Right now I have a wifi ready iMac, TV, Nook and a PC with Windows 7. Any advice is welcomed. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2011 7:37:20 PM PDT
J. Paree says:
I have a Mac Mini in my bedroom with an EyeTv Hybrid TV Receiver attached and it works great--I can watch and record all my favorite shows. I originally ordered the Airport Extreme, but then decided to trade it in for a Time Capsule since the Capsule is basically the Airport Extreme with the addition of being able to backup wirelessly and seamlessly (all of your Macs, wireless or not, can backup to the same Capsule). I The only PC I have left in my home is the one I use for work...I have no choice in that, but it works fine as far as the Wi-Fi goes with the Time Capsule.

Posted on Jul 17, 2011 12:01:45 PM PDT
Thanks so much for the great review! Do you happen to know the rotational speed of the hard drive in the time capsule? Is it 5400rpm or 7200? Apple doesn't include this information in the technical specs.

Also, does "server grade" mean anything other than "very large"?



In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2011 10:29:22 AM PDT
JoshJosh says:
To be honest, I don't know. I have a feeling it's just 5400rpm, as the 7200rpm would spin faster, which would cause more heat and thus be more prone to breakdown. As it is, I think it works plenty fast.

I don't know what that "server grade" phrasing means. Probably nothing!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2011 10:31:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 18, 2011 10:35:45 AM PDT
J. Paree says:
Server grade generally refers to a drive that is tested to withstand considerably more usage than a standard consumer drive. There was some debate about whether the drive used in the Time Capsule was truly server grade, but Western Digital confirmed this earlier this month and demonstrated that the drive is server grade, and so it should be longer lasting and more reliable than standard consumer grade drives on the market in theory. Also, CNET just released their review of the new model, and they concur it is one of the better options out there on the market right now. Here is the link to the review:;txt#reviewPage1

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2011 5:31:13 PM PDT
M. Weekley says:
Hi! I'm looking for some advice as well. I am a brand new iMac owner who is expecting to get my new machine in a matter of days via mail. I've simply had enough of PC's after I've had 4 broken down on me in 10 years despite how knowledgeable as well as gentle I am with them. While Windows 7 is nice, I'm tired of the hardware not being up to snuff.

I got a 500GB iMac mainly because it meant the next size was shelling out 300 bucks to make it 1 TB which I didn't think was worth it. I think it is wiser to purchase a dedicated 2TB drive to share with the house with the same 300 dollars. That being said, I know this can back up your computer but can it also be used to just drop files inside of it if your own drive gets too big? My wife's a photographer and deals with .RAW files all the time. I also wanted to know what is the advantage of me purchasing this 2TB hard drive vs. buying a non-Apple drive that will probably be half the price.

I'm pretty good with computers but brand new with iMacs so any advice or suggestions are welcome. If you have any other advice beyond the scope of this question (like, should I upgrade to Lion since I qualify for a free version) it would be welcome! Thanks for listening.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2011 8:24:01 AM PDT
J. Paree says:
Yes, you can store your time machine backups and other files on the same drive. Just create a separate folder to keep them tidy and separate from the backups folder. If you qualify for Lion free, I would take it. It's an excellent upgrade and well worth it--just make sure you have at least 4 GB of RAM. The advantage of the Time Capsule over another drive is that it does not need to be connected to your computer like a USB drive (cluttering up your desk), and you don't have to worry about compatibility issues or errors trying to configure your own NAS device (search the web and you will find many people who use their own networked drive end up having many problems down the road). Hope this helps!
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