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The After Mac

Which Is Better Time Capsule or AEBS with an External Hard Drive?

by Juan on April 1st, 2008

There’s a discussion going on in the local Mac Users Group I belong to. Several members are discussing which is better to get, a Time Capsule or an Airport Extreme Base Station. With the current software update of the AEBS enabling it to do wireless backups when an external drive is plugged in, this is also looking to be a good solution for your wireless backup needs.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of each solution

Time Capsule
1. Simple all-in-one solution
2. No clutter
3. Easier to set-up

1. Hard disk isn’t user replaceable (at least not by most people, the procedure can be seen here)
2. If something goes wrong with Time Capsule you lose all the functionalities if you want to have it repaired
3. Relatively expensive compared to an AEBS + External hard drive solution

AEBS + External Drive
1. Cheaper outright cost
2. Expandable storage, you can also choose what hard drive you use
3. If the AEBS breaks you can still plug-in your external hard drive to your Mac

1. A more complicated set-up
2. Cluttered solution

Armed with these facts, I’m inclined to go to an AEBS solution. Why? Well I really love the idea of wireless backups and prior to the software update I would have gone with the Time Capsule but now that you can also do that with AEBS and an external hard drive, the option of being able to change the storage device appeals to me more.

You can also reformat the external hard drive easier than the Time Capsule. As of this writing I have not found a way to format the Time Capsule apart from taking out the hard drive slapping it on to an external enclosure then formating it.

How about you? Which would you prefer and why?

POSTED IN: AirPort Extreme, Hardware, Juan's Posts, Time Capsule

2 opinions for Which Is Better Time Capsule or AEBS with an External Hard Drive?

  • [email protected]
    Apr 3, 2008 at 1:41 am

    i am using a bootcamp, leopard and vista. is it advisable to have parallels apps? can you pls write about it?

  • Juan
    Apr 8, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Hey Sassy, if you’re only using Vista for basic tasks such as Office, email, surfing, etc. Parallels would work fine. It’s not native performance but it’s quick enough to do those tasks.

    In fact I use Parallels with Windows XP. I have a Windows XP installation via BootCamp but I really use it only to play games which I hardly do now because of my xbox 360.

    So not unless you’re using apps that require native performance such as games, 3D applications, video editing, then Parallels would do fine.

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