Forum Question: Difference Between Time Capsule With Time Machine Rather Than An External Hard Drive?

What is the difference between using Time Capsule in Collaboration with Time Machine rather than just an “Ordinary” External Hard Drive with Time Machine ?

Comments: 10 Responses to “Difference Between Time Capsule With Time Machine Rather Than An External Hard Drive?”

    7/28/12 @ 11:08 am

    An external drive is connected directly to one Mac via a somewhat fast USB2 connection. TIme Capsule allows you to backup multiple Macs via a slower wifi connection.
    There are two advantages to using Time Capsule:
    1. Back up multiple macs to a single device.
    2. If you have a MacBook, the backup can take place without you needing to remember to plug in the external drive.
    The advantages of using an external drive:
    1. USB2 is much faster than wifi.
    2. Regular external drives are much cheaper. If you had three iMacs in your house it would still be cheaper to buy three external drives than one Time Capsule.

    7/28/12 @ 12:06 pm

    Ah ok, well at the moment I only own one mac, but if I ever do own more than one in the future, I’ll go with the regular external drive option.


    7/28/12 @ 12:37 pm

    Gary, can the Time Machine in Mountain Lion back up to more than one location or to put it more plainly can I create two simultaneous back ups with it on separate external hard drives?

      7/28/12 @ 3:45 pm

      No, it doesn’t do that. What is you goal? Having three copies of the same data in the same location (original drive, plus two backups) isn’t much better than two. Perhaps if you want to be extra careful with your data you should consider a remote backup as the next step instead of a second local backup.

        8/2/12 @ 8:51 pm

        Actually, it looks like with Mountain Lion you CAN do this. You can go to the System Preferences, Time Machine, and choose a drive. Choose a different one than the one you are using, and it will give you the option to select “both” — then you have two backups. Like one for work, and one for home.

    7/28/12 @ 5:03 pm

    @bryan. A good solution to two backups would be your “incremental” time machine backups and another “clone” back up using an application like Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper. With the clone you have a bootable drive. I personally prefer Carbon Copy Cloner.

      7/29/12 @ 4:45 am

      Gary when you say “remote backup”, are you referring to online backup, and if so which do you recommend, as there are so many to choose from ?

        7/29/12 @ 8:10 am

        I can’t recommend any of them because to do that I would have had to try them all and review them. But I picked CrashPlan (CrashPlan Pro, actually, for me). And it works well. But the key for me is that I have a fast connection. If I didn’t have a fast connection, I’d probably do it anyway but choose to only back up documents and photos.
        Before that I was cloning everything to two 1TB drives once every two weeks and then storing them in another location.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    7/29/12 @ 10:59 am

    I am sick of saying this(Don`t worry it`s got nothing to do with anybody else) i am not technically minded. I have never used Time Machine at all,seeing it`s part of the computer. If any thing happen`s to the computer which it could. I back up all of my files ect…to My Book. I also have an external hard drive My Passport WD 500GB so i am not stuck for room. My computer has been away a few times,and it only takes about half a hour to back them up.

    7/29/12 @ 5:33 pm

    I love Time Machine & run it to a HD dock that takes either USB or Firewire. The beauty of the dock is that I can keep multiple backups to regular Sata (or even old IDE) disks. I also do Superduper disk clones & regularly take a copy to leave at work for offsite storage. This is for my iMac

    On MacBook Pro I use a portable USB for Time Machine.

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