Lately I have had the fun of trying out NAS products, and realising how utterly useless consumer grade ones are, such as the Iomega Home Media Cloud Edition NAS was. In the end I took it back and did what all Apple customers do if they have a problem, buy more Apple products!
And along came the Apple Time Capsule, my very own Time Machine. It was love at first sight.
Although it costs quite a bit more – £249.99 for the 4th generation 2TB version, compared with my previous NAS attempt at £139.99, this looks so much better and packs in a Wireless N base station and 3 Gigabit ethernet ports (along with a 4th to connect to a home router).
It took around 5 minutes to set up, involving unplugging the network cables from my old router and into the Time Capsule, setting up a new Wireless network using AirPort and disabling the wireless on my old router.
Finder recognised the Time Capsule immediately and Time Machine happily started backing up my drive once I told it to point at the Time Capsule.
Backing up via Time Machine took around 30-40 minutes to copy ~30GB, 1GB per minute is pretty good seeing as it was copying over 500,000 files!
Once the initial Backup was complete I started moving my iTunes, Aperture and other media files over to the Time Capsule. – I have this annoying habit of storing everything on lots of tiny little external drives.
iTunes didn’t play nice at first, I followed Apples instructions of copying across the iTunes folder and then pointing iTunes at the new path in it’s preferences however no music was detected. In the end I created a new iTunes folder, copied in the music files and told iTunes to import the music (without copying into the iTunes folder as they are already there) – in all it took iTunes about 30 minutes to process about 15GB of music.
Tip: One of the things to note is that if you load up Aperture, or iTunes while not connected to the Time Capsule (e.g.. on a different wireless network) it can reset the library location and thus anything added afterwards can be stored in the wrong place, it is always good to check.
After using the device for a few days it should be noted that the Time Capsule can get rather hot, though not excessively hot but may damage delicate furniture that it is placed on. This is usually because hard drives work best around 40-45 degrees according to a huge investigation Google performed. So don’t worry if the device feels a little warm, and if it gets too hot it should automatically have the fans kick in or turn off the device (firstly flashing the indicator LED amber to show there is a problem). What I have done is place the Time Capsule in a well ventilated area and raised it off the ground (though don’t use anything metal as that can affect the wireless signal performance)
Originally I was going to buy a 3TB Seagate GoFlex HDD to compliment the Time Capsule however that seemed a bit overpriced and not that good. …Upon reading the reviews of the external hard drive, it gets hot! and there are some problems with Time Capsule correctly interacting with USB3 devices :(
Update (of the update of the update):
In the end after a silly affair with Comet; they had a 2TB hard disc cheap and in stock, well until I went to the store that is. I bought myself a Hitachi LifeStudio Desk Plus 2TB drive, was fairly well priced ~£70 and comes with a 4GB USB stick as well.