If you add a HD to it can you use it for time machine like a Time Capsule

i dont want to get a Time Capsule because they die after 2 or so years and they are more costly, so if i add a 1TB HD to it can i use it to backup my MBP with time machine


QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

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7 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    The current addition of the airport extreme easily allows you to plug an external drive into the USB port on the airport extreme. Once you do, it can be configured in less than two minutes. This is a great solution to "create your own" time capsule if you would like more control in the selection of hard drives.

    Again for most people, the Time Capsule can be not only the simplest and most elegant solution for shared drives but also cheaper less confusing. By incorporating the drive and router in one device, the overall price is cheaper than buying them separately, and both the drive and router can be serviced at the genius bar of the local Apple Retail Store.

    By buying an Airport Extreme and External drive you do however give yourself the ability to choose drive brands and sizes as well as replace or upgrade drives without opening anything up. This is usually only important if you are familiar with network drives and networking, or are simply one of the many people out there that love to tinker. On a side note if you already have an external drive and/or airport extreme this cheaper than buying the time capsule.

    In recap; totally possible, not difficult to do, increase the customization options, and could be cheaper if you already have an external drive. Time Capsule is always an easy and simple solution, great for beginners looking to get an amazing back up and/or storage solution.

  • If you expect Apple to help you when you have a problem after doing this, forget about it, as they will not support this use of Time Machine.

    From Snow Leopard Support > Time Machine
    "Mac 101: Time Machine"
    Apple states:

    "Setting up Time Machine for backups

    Setting up Time Machine is as easy as connecting an external hard drive to your Mac via FireWire or USB, or by connecting to a Time Capsule. You can also use a secondary internal disk if your desktop Mac has one (that is, a disk that you don't start up from)."

    Also, refer to the Apple Leopard Support document:

    "Mac OS X 10.5: Time Machine doesn't back up to AirPort Extreme AirPort Disks"

  • Of course you can, but be aware there is no Apple support for that.

  • I'm researching this question at the moment but your statement threw me.

    Knock on wood but I've yet to see a Time Capsule go bad after two years. We're a mixed OS house, with various computers but the Time Capsule serves all; I have a neighbor, and IT guy Tom, and a friend also with Time Capsule. No problems.

    Where do you get your information from because i would like to read these reviews / statements of Time Capsules dying after two years.


  • Yes.

  • Time Machine backups via an Airport are unreliable and NOT SUPPORTED!

    See http: SLASH SLASH docs.info.apple DOT com/article.html?path=Mac/10.6/en/15139.html

  • Absolutely. I was able to simply plug an external drive into our Time Capsule. My husband packs up to his Time Capsule, and I back up to a LaCie hard drive. You just need to navigate to the external disk through the Time Machine preferences.