Forum Question: Using a wireless modem with Time Machine

I have a Macbook Pro and use Time Machine for wireless backups, printing,etc. I also have a wireless USB modem for internet access as described in MacMost Now 133. The problem I have is that if Airport is on and connected to Time Machine, I cannot use the wireless USB modem. I cannot get a signal with Airport on. If I switch Airport off, I get internet connection with no problem but cannot use the two together.

— Johan van der Spuy

Comments: 6 Responses to “Using a wireless modem with Time Machine”

    12/20/09 @ 10:13 am

    I assume you mean Time Capsule, not Time Machine. Time Machine is just the software and usually backs up to a USB-connected hard drive. Time Capsule would be the remote Apple router with a built-in hard drive that you can use to backup (with Time Machine software) wirelessly.
    You can certainly use Time Machine to backup to a USB-connected hard drive since it wouldn’t need Airport to connect. It would connected directly to the Mac. But for Time Capsule you need to switch to your Airport connection, yes. I don’t see any way around this other than changing how to connect to the net and doing it through the Time Capsule, or changing how you back up (direct to an attached drive). Not sure of the point of a Time Capsule if it is only for backups. It would be slower than a wire-connected drive, and if you can’t access the net through it… Well, I guess if you have multiple Macs then it is useful, but how do those other Macs connect to the net if your only method of connecting is with the wireless modem attached to a single Mac?
    It is a complex situation, and there may not be any good solution with your current setup.

      1/19/10 @ 3:22 am

      I have almost the same problem which I am struggling to fing answers for.

      My problem is that I have recently lost access to an ADSL line (change of address, don’t ask !) and now I only have access to wireless interenet via a USB modem which is plugged into a desktop PC.

      I was previously using my Time Capsule as a wireless router and back up for my Macbook Pro and the PC (that is now connected to the USB Modem).

      Is there anyway of accessing the internet via my PC and then using the time capsule as a router as before ?

      Any help would be appreciated !

        7/3/10 @ 2:21 am

        Yes, Hament, there is a way.

        What you need to do is plug your USB modem into your Time Capsule, then use your Airport/Wireless to connect to the internet through the network created by your Time Capsule. Your Time Capsule will provide DCHP or NAT information for any number of computers you want to connect to the internet wirelessly.

        There are plenty of support guides and helpful discussions at the Apple Forums and other related discussion sites.

    5/8/11 @ 11:40 pm

    I am trying to do what you have just described but after some research am under the impression that this is impossible and the Time Capsule can only have USB hard drives/printers plugged in to it not USB modems. If you have actually done this could you please let us know how you did it. Thanks

    8/18/11 @ 4:59 pm

    Hi mary has anyone network a Time Capsule to a USB modems or is this impossible.

      8/18/11 @ 6:49 pm

      I’m almost certain that there is no way to connect a USB phone modem to a Time Capsule via USB.

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